I love Target. I love it so, so much. Just look back through my outfit posts: I’m wearing something from Target almost every single day. I buy a lot of miscellaneous household items from Target, like occasional groceries, toiletries, light bulbs, batteries, coffee, Christmas ornaments, storage containers—you name it, I’ve probably bought it from Target at some point. I probably spend thousands of dollars there a year. Yet I’ve only bought a handful of things from them online. Where is the disconnect? Why wouldn’t I be constantly shopping Target online if I’m such a loyal in-store customer?
It’s simple. Their website sucks so fantastically that I can hardly bear it. It’s a pity, really. The in-store shopping experience at Target is mostly great. More often than not my shopping trips morph from $5 toilet paper runs to $75-$150 spending sprees because I get side tracked by clearance racks, makeup, notebooks.
One of the absolute best things to happen to Target in years is the blog Target Does It Again. Why? Because you can see what they’re fucking selling. This is a GREAT thing…since you probably won’t be able to find it on their website. And that’s just the online shopping experience if you’re looking for something in particular. What happens if you want to just casually browse?
(Keep in mind that many of these categories have overlap too. You’ll find yourself getting thrown from section to section randomly. And don’t bother trying to filter—it’s not accurate.)
So, let’s assume you want to buy a sweater from Target.
Have you ever seen fuglier clothing photos on a retail site? A customer has not the foggiest idea how these clothes will fit, how they’ll lay and what they actually look like. Product descriptions are spotty and sometimes missing information. Occasionally you’ll actually get an item modeled on an actual person. And THEN it looks like this:
Forever 21 learned a valuable lesson a few years ago about product photos. Back then, they had Target-quality photos displayed. After they seemed to realize that cheap clothing looks even cheaper if it’s photographed poorly, they started rolling out better photos (below).
This is one of the six product photos available for a $22 striped sweater from Forever 21. The thing might fall apart in one washing, but damn if it isn’t well-styled. You can see it from every angle. You can see it up close. You can see the back. You can see how they’ve styled it.
Target, after a lengthy and well-publicized website redesign, clearly still does not yet understand a retail customer looking for their clothing. Actually—their problems extend beyond a retail customer looking to buy clothing or accessories. They have known customer service issues with their online shopping experience. The check-out process can be confusing. Let’s not forget when their entire website went down for more than a day because they were overwhelmed by people trying to get striped throws. It’s often a guessing game whether items are in stock. Just today I noticed they added a “notify me” option when an item is out of stock (a move in the right direction!). They’re worried about competition from Amazon, but still charge shipping unless you plan to spend $50 or more. You can get around these shipping costs if you hold a Target REDcard, but you can only apply for the credit card online. To get the debit card, you’ll have to bring a voided check to your nearest store. It’s a convoluted mess.
I cringe to think what could happen when millions of customers (myself included) try to descend upon the website when the Neiman Marcus collaboration becomes available.
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- lifeandeliza said: YES.
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- dailybaxter said: Amen. It’s terrible n so many ways it makes me wish I could quit the store until they fix their online shit.
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- noraleah said: omg how did i not know about target does it again? i occasionally follow one of those girls’ ‘real’ blogs, too… thx!
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- georgiegirlnyc said: And they have google ads on their website. I mean, what in the actual fuck???
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- nosmokewithoutpryor said: Preach!