#PinkSundayProblems: #LillyforTarget online launch is a haute mess

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If you stayed up for the Lilly Pulitzer for Target online launch, you may have grabbed items from your wish list from one of the links that were leaked early. Slow hand clap for you! If not, you may have stayed up until the wee hours (waiting for updates and frantically trying mobile links from affiliate sellers via your cell phone) only to end up empty-handed. Target’s website froze and crashed multiple times, items were added to carts only to be removed, and other items sold out within minutes. Do these seven stages of grief sound familiar?

  1. DENIAL: “I’ve been following this since the announcement in January. I set my alarm clock and began stalking the website at 7:00. What do you MEAN the Fan Dance shift is sold out?! Is this life?!”
  2. HOPE: When you *think* you’ve successfully added all your items to your cart and prepare to check out with glee.
  3. ANGER: Prompted by the “rotating wheel of doom” and your lack of sleep or caffeine.
  4. BARGAINING: Reducing wish list from 30 items to 3.
  5. COMMISERATION: Heading to Twitter to vent.
  6. DEPRESSION: Better known as that infamous “Oops!” notice.
  7. ACCEPTANCE: *Changes into sweats and sneakers for a mad dash at the brick and mortar when it opens.*

To be fair, this is a “limited edition” collection. And with Lilly’s loyal followers and all the hype, seasoned shoppers knew it would be a free-for-all. At this point your options are to shop your local store (which is probably sold out or close to it), wait for items to show up at rock-bottom prices at Dirt Cheap (yes, that actually happens), give up all together…or spend a bit more and shop at Lilly Pulitzer. Them’s the breaks, kids. For more tips, check out Fashionista.com’s post.

In all seriousness, Target has had well-documented issues with its designer collabo launches before from quality to quantity issues (hello, Missoni and Jason Wu). I won’t start on people who snap up everything and list it at ungodly prices on eBay. To not have plus size items in store this time around is a bad look, and frankly, to hear about a swanky pop-up preview soiree+sale at Bryant Park in NYC is disheartening when there are (were?) so many loyal customers around the United States. Why not really democratize fashion by hosting launches and special events in stores in other cities (such as the Neiman Marcus launch a few years ago)?

This could be a teachable moment for Target from an e-commerce, customer service and social media perspective:

  1. Make sure your e-commerce situation is in check! Some kinks are to be expected, but the early release of mobile links, multiple crashes, lengthy delays and numerous inadvertent duplicate orders is ridiculous. Work things out FAR in advance of a launch!
  2. Keep customers informed in a timely fashion. Target’s President Jason Goldberg tweeted replies and information to followers on Twitter, but I also saw the usual canned replies from Target’s account. However, not everyone was seeing these messages across social media. The comment section on the Target Style Facebook page was in shambles.
  3. Offer something to sweeten ruffled feathers. A massive goodwill campaign will be needed to win back some of Target’s customers, and even that may not be enough.

Your thoughts? How was your #LillyforTarget experience?

Happy shopping!

Xo, Alexis

Screenshots via Target, Gigi Goes Shopping, Lisa Vingerling and Twitter

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