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BigCommerce Experiences Outage on St. Patrick’s Day

BigCommerce Experiences Outage on St. Patrick's Day

Store-hosting platform BigCommerce acknowledged the outage that hit its platform on March 17, 2023. In short, it said in a post on Twitter, “there was an unexpected load on a globally-used component, which lead to degraded performance across the platform instead of only that component.”

A retailer who hosts their store on BigCommerce issued an advisory on Twitter for its customers at 12:12 pm. “Our e-commerce platform,
@BigCommerce , is down at the moment, so you may not be able to visit our website right now. We’re sorry for the inconvenience and are in the process of getting this fixed as soon as possible.”

BigCommerce replied to the tweet at 2:51 pm:

“Sharing an update for you and your customers. This issue has now been resolved by our engineering team.

“Thanks to all for bearing with us as we worked this out!”

Separately, BigCommerce tweeted an explanation of what was behind the technical problems plaguing its platform:

“This morning’s incident was caused by a race condition in a global component in the platform responsible for resolving currencies for inbound requests. Specifically, under increased load, a component degraded non-linearly causing requests to back up significantly.

“BigCommerce engineers are immediately correcting the underlying issue and also in the process of adding a caching layer to reduce the overall volume of requests. We will perform a full cross-functional post mortem and expect additional remedial steps to be performed.

“In short – There was an unexpected load on a globally-used component, which lead to degraded performance across the platform instead of only that component.”

According to its status page, it experienced “Intermittent Availability Issues” on March 16. It reported Friday’s “Availability Issue” as “an issue impacting availability with a subset of stores. We are currently remediating the issue and will provide an update shortly.”

At least one seller reported that BigCommerce customer service was down during part of the outage, asking in a tweet why its servers and phones and chat were down – “How are business supposed to operate with no support or path of communication,” the seller tweeted.

BigCommerce reported on its status page that the problem was observed at 10:40 am and deemed resolved at 12:30 pm.

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.