Target : Forgetting its meaning

Corporate enquirers are set on a circuitous route to frustration.

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The Site

Target, a US retailer, sends corporate visitors on a frustrating search for contact information. Target’s corporate information is reached from its dotcom retail site but sits on a set of four inter-related microsites (for Our Company, Investors, Careers and Pressroom) that share a common template. This has a universal Contact Us option at top right. Clicking the link brings users to the dotcom home page, not its contact information, which is reached via a link in a rich footer that is not visible without scrolling. The page offers general shopping-related telephone numbers only. A link is offered to Target Corporation that leads to the Our Company home page. There is no collective corporate contacts page. Investors has a separate contact link in its left navigation to investor-specific contacts; Pressroom has a ‘Media Hotline’ panel in its right-hand column.

The Takeaway

Target is way off beam in the delivery of its service for non-retail visitors who want or need to make contact. The lack of a dedicated contact feature for the corporate ‘federation’ is illogical but more than likely encouraged by the underlying architecture. That is no excuse, however, for the disorientation that ensues in directing the corporate Contact Us link to the shoppers’ home page rather than the dotcom contact page, limited as the value of that is for the purpose. The circle of frustration set up by then passing enquirers on to Our Company confirms the shallowness of thought that has gone into the system. At the least, links could be offered here to investors and journalists to their dedicated sections, where a contact can be found. Target’s focusing of its dotcom property on online shopping, with relatively discreet links to corporate information, is to be expected, but its control seems firmly in the hands of retail-minded folk who are either blind or deaf to even the basic needs of their corporate colleagues and their clients. Someone needs to get them to recognise that the company’s name is also a verb, and to act more fully on it.
First published 06 March, 2012
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