Target Apologizes for Glitch in Online Gift Registries

A transition to the company's new Web site resulted in some technical difficulties regarding the management of bridal and baby gift registries-and the company is apologizing to affected users and offering a discount on their next online purchase.

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation recently assumed full control over its online operations with the launch of a new Web site after having previously outsourced much of its online service to Amazon.com.

But it appears as though even high-profile Web site launches can involve glitches-and the company is now apologizing to some users of its gift registries after they experienced technical issues during the Web site transition.

Following the launch of Target's redesigned Web site, some customers who had created gift registry accounts on the old site were unable to manage their registries by adding or subtracting items or by updating personal information on the new site.

Target earlier this week sent an apologetic e-mail to some of those gift registry users, stating that the company is “sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused during what is a very special and busy time in your life.”

In its e-mail, the company acknowledged that the launch of the new site “caused some unexpected issues, including the ability to access and manage your registry. We're working hard to correct these issues, and we're committed to delivering the quality experience you expect from Target.”

Target said that although users may have encountered problems when attempting to manage their gift registries, the registries remained accessible to those wishing to purchase gifts. “The next time you sign in to your registry, you will be able to view, update, and take full advantage of the improved experience,” the company wrote.

Target's e-mail included a promotional code through which users can receive a 20 percent discount on their next online order from Target. Company spokeswoman Morgan O'Murray told Twin Cities Business on Wednesday that “only a small portion of our registry guests” encountered problems with their registries.

Some registry users took to social media sites to vent their frustrations, and several users contacted Target on Facebook to ask how to receive the promotional code for a 20 percent discount. Target encouraged those users to contact its guest relations department so the company can review the registry and respond appropriately.

The Web site transition appears to have hit some other bumps, too. When attempting to reach the “company information” portion of Target.com on Wednesday morning, the site displayed the following message: “We're hard at work making the site better. Sorry for the inconvenience. We'll be back up and running shortly.” It appeared to be functioning properly several minutes later.

“We are continually updating and doing back-end updates on the site as part of the launch process to continue to optimize the site,” O'Murray wrote in an e-mailed statement to Twin Cities Business.

New features on Target's Web site include product recommendations, social network integration, buying guides, and expert advice for shoppers, the company said at the time of the site launch. It also features improved search and navigation, clear product information, improved security, fast guest service, and a more streamlined shopping cart and checkout, the company said.

Target serves customers at 1,755 stores in 49 states nationwide and on its Web site. It is Minnesota's second-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $67.4 billion in its most recently completed fiscal year.