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Amazon Search Glitch Contributes to Sales Slowdown

Amazon experienced an intermittent problem with its search engine on Wednesday, and some sellers said it contributed to slower sales for their items on the marketplace, though it’s tough to measure such anecdotal reports. The issue did not impact the browse function.

Amazon issued an alert on Seller Central with the heading, “Technical Notification”:

“We are currently experiencing an issue that is impacting search results. As a result of this issue, customers are intermittently being presented with zero search results when using keyword searches from the navigation bar. The browse functionality is not impacted by this.”

A seller who notified us of the issue on Wednesday wrote, “I just did a search and got nothing. My sales this morning have really been off – hope they get this fixed soon.” On the message he forwarded, the technical notification was stamped (05/25, 06:00 PDT).

Later in the day, we saw the same notification stamped (05/25, 13:30 PDT).

There was very little discussion on industry boards, but some sellers discussed the issue on this thread on the Amazon discussion boards. We sent an inquiry to Amazon on Wednesday afternoon.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.