Approximately one year after departing from Amazon and setting up its own online infrastructure, Target.com is finally coming into its own.
Kathy Tesija, executive vice president of merchandising for the Target Corporation, said during the quarterly conference call with investors and analysts on Wednesday that the online infrastructure is finally closer to business as usual.
At www.Target.com, we continue to make meaningful progress in improving the site experience. Since the launch of our new platform a year ago, we've been keenly focused on enhancing site stability and speed, and our guests have noticed. In our July survey, guest satisfaction with site performance had returned to pre-launch levels. While we're very pleased with this progress, we're committed to delivering even more improvement. Prior to the holiday season, we will implement changes focused on the shoppability of the site, namely search, navigation, and speed of checkout. We believe these improvements will create a solid foundation for our site, and set the stage for additional enhancements next year.
Target.com got off to a bumpy start last fall after switching over its online backend from Amazon's servers that summer.
Last September, there was a frenzy both online and in Target brick-and-mortar stores during one of its semi-annual discount designer sales. Unfortunately, the transition was anything but seamless and became painfully apparent to retail shoppers when the site suffered a major outage upon the debut of a discount designer line from Missoni.
Many consumers were likely left very upset -- both because the website kept crashing and also some of them received emails in the following days informing them that the orders they thought they completed turned out to be invalid.
Shortly after that in October, then-Target.com president Steve Eastman resigned from the company without explanation.
This past February, Target.com got another test to see if things had at least been patched things with another anticipated product line debut from fashion designer Jason Wu. That time, there were little to no problems reported.
With those hiccups (hopefully) out of the way, last quarter, Target Corporation chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel told investors the mega-retailer had a vision to start building out a seamless user shopping experience across all platforms, with a particular emphasis on mobile.
However, Tesija pointed out on that conference call that first quarter sales on the website and mobile platforms increased -- but at a slower rate than in brick-and-mortar stores.