Argos has said it is making every effort to fix a problem that has prevented some customers from accessing its website since Tuesday (28 October).
The traditional catalogue retailer has been undergoing a transformation to become a ‘digital retail leader’. Part of this involves connecting together all customer channels - mobile apps, website, stores and contact centres - with the aim of giving Argos a single view of its customers, and giving customers a real-time view of stock.
However, the website has been down for some customers following “planned maintenance” to the website and apps. Argos’ website runs on IBM WebSphere Commerce and Sterling Commerce.
“We have been experiencing some technical issues which means customers may have limited access to our website at intermittent periods,” a spokesperson for Argos said.
“We are really sorry for any inconvenience caused. Serving customers is our absolute priority and we are pulling out all of the stops to fix the problem as soon as possible.”
Argos declined to provide any further information on what upgrades had been applied that had caused the outage.
As if to highlight the important role that Argos believes its stores still play in its business strategy, the spokesperson added: “Customers experiencing problems can still order and purchase products from their local Argos store.”
Argos' parent company Home Retail Group said that the catalogue retailer's sister company, DIY chain Homebase, hopes to take advantage of the digital investments that Argos is making as part of its five-year transformation plan.
Argos started pursuing a new business strategy to become a “digital retail leader” in 2012. This has so far resulted in the rollout of 40 digital concept stores, which the company uses to trial technologies, such as NFC, and where it has replaced the traditional, laminated catalogues with Apple iPads. Behind the scenes, Argos is also overhauling legacy systems and making multi-channel investments, with the ultimate goal of being able to offer customers real-time stock availability of products regardless of where the item is in the supply chain.