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IDG Contributor Network: Target’s under-stocked sale: Lessons not learned

In retail — and especially in e-commerce — there’s a nuanced distinction between having a very popular sale and arranging for far too little merchandise. It’s like those hold recordings that say the lengthy hold time is because of high customer call volume, prompting most people to mumble, “That and the fact that you’re too cheap to hire enough call center operators.”

That’s E-Commerce Lesson #1. E-Commerce Lesson #2 is that the distinction between a site being down — having crashed — and a site that is responding very slowly is usually lost on shoppers. IT may understand the difference, but the consumer who can’t make the desired purchase won’t. Target this week relearned both lessons.

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