If You're Going To Plan Online Doorbusters, Shouldn't You Plan Ahead For The Traffic?

from the just-saying... dept

Last week we noted that plenty of online retailers were preparing online "doorbuster" deals for the long Thanksgiving weekend, designed to mimic the sales that brick-and-mortar stores have to get people lined up and shoving each other aside for some super cheap item. However, reminiscent of holiday shopping seasons in the early days of the internet boom, it appears that most of these sites didn't actually prepare very well for the expected traffic influx. Wal-Mart, Disney and Amazon were all knocked offline at times due to their promotions. Spokespeople for the various sites claim the usual "higher than expected" traffic surges, but considering how much hype they put behind their promotions, that seems hard to believe. While Amazon's downtime wasn't all that long, it certainly doesn't help the company's more recent efforts to set itself up as the reliable platform on which others can build new web apps.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    PanMan, Nov 27th, 2006 @ 4:58am

    Platform

    According to Amazon, their S3 platform wasn't down when their main site was...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Nov 27th, 2006 @ 5:27am

    Amazon

    Well what do you expect to happen when you have 1000 Xbox 360 Core units going at $100 a pop? The site goes from zero to pwned in no time flat. I'll bet its safe to assume that at least 450 of them ended up on ebay...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2006 @ 5:28am

    the only thing down for me over the holidays was a ton of empty beer bottles! screw shopping, thats why i got married...right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    NO Xbox 360 for me, Nov 27th, 2006 @ 6:11am

    Amazon

    Well I was one of the F5 fools on Thanksgiving day. I had 5 computers and 2 phones trying to log on..... Nothing till 15 minutes after they were all sold out! I am a sad lil girl right now, oh and so are my kids.. Sorry kids maybe next year!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Geekfather, Nov 27th, 2006 @ 6:19am

    Turkey hangover?

    Looks like CyberMonday.com is being crushed under the weight of workplace shoppers, too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Dam, Nov 27th, 2006 @ 6:53am

    Sales vs Technical

    Nice to see that even in the cyber world, sales and marketing managers still don't talk to the engineering managers.

    So what else is new?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Alex, Nov 27th, 2006 @ 6:57am

    I was one of those people trying to get an X-Box from Amazon, and I wouldn't have minded if I had lost it due to people clicking faster than me, but when I wasn't even able to get into the site for 10 minutes, and finally get in just to find it all sold out, I was pissed. Although I'm not surprised it happened, I did expect Amazon of all companies to have their act together, and they didn't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Nick Burns, Nov 27th, 2006 @ 7:11am

    I had ReloadEvery running a 5 second refresh. Up until about ten seconds before the sale started it took only 3 seconds to refresh the page where I could buy the XBox. After that, Jesus himself couldn't have hoped to load the page. There's got to be a better way to run a sale like this than letting millions of people all try to open the door simultaneously.

    From a logistical standpoint, you need a lot more resources to run a deal like this on the internet than you do in a brick and mortar store. If your local Best Buy was offering 10 Xbox 360's for $100 you'd have a better chance of getting one than if Amazon offered 10,000 - you just have to be one of the first 10 people in line. The online option just tries to get millions of people to try and rush in through a tiny door in just a few seconds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Nov 27th, 2006 @ 7:32am

    It's all about hype...

    The web sites are just as guilty as the brick and mortar stores. Stores offer an intentionally small supply to an overwhelming supply so they can brag about being sold out. Sites offer an intentionally small supply over intentionally weak servers (weak in regards to bandwidth) to an overwhelming supply so they can brag about being sold out and the bonus of being "the future of retail".

    Look at the PS3. For as hyped as the system was Sony didn't have the foresight to create a bigger supply to meet the demand that they everyone saw coming? And mind you most of the PS3 units sold on launch day were bought by people trying to make a quick buck on ebay.

    Now I'm not trying to say the every single case of a sellout is intentional but sometimes you should be able to see it coming.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Charles Griswold, Nov 27th, 2006 @ 2:07pm

    Heh

    That's like having a huge after-Thanksgiving sale and giving half of your employees the day off.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Nismoto, Dec 4th, 2006 @ 4:14pm

    Re: It's all about hype...

    "Now I'm not trying to say the every single case of a sellout is intentional but sometimes you should be able to see it coming."

    Don't get them wrong; they saw it coming. If they didn't see it coming then it wouldn't be intentional.

    I have a theory:

    Sony is keeping the "frenzy" alive by keeping the demand ridiculously out of this world and using the early purchasers and beta testers (AKA guinea pigs). 500,000 potential recalls is more easily digestible than 2,000,000.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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