Why retailers can’t keep their sites from crashing

It’s so frustrating, you fill your online cart with tons of Cyber Monday deals and head to check out and the site goes down. Worse, you might get to the check out and find out they can’t process your order because of an issue with their payment system. Sometimes, all the stress tests in the world aren’t enough to prevent retailers online pages from slowing down or crashing. This is particularly true during peak shopping days like the first Cyber Monday of the holiday shopping season.

Just take a look at Neiman Marcus. The retailer’s site suffered an extended outage on Black Friday during the shopping rush. Today, Target and PayPal both experienced issues on their sites with consumers not being able to access the sites or even use their accounts to make purchases.

These “hiccups”  and even downright malfunctions of services can result in some real revenue loss when they happen. According to ChannelAdvisor, an e-commerce optimization firm, a retailer could lose roughly 8 percent of the day’s total digital sales for every single hour it’s down or not performing with consistency. Not only do they risk the loss of sales because people simply can check out, there are other issues too like items being placed in carts and purchased but then the retailer is forced to refund the money when it’s discovered the site continued to sell product when it had actually sold out online.

However, since consumers often revisit problematic sites there is a chance to recoup sales if they fix the problem fast and maybe reclaim up to 4 percent of that day’s sales per hour.

It’s an on-going problem that retailers will continue to have to manage this holiday season and those in the future as more and more people shop on their mobile phones as they multi-task and other options for shopping virtually happen.

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