Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Feb 3 2016 15:19:32

Major Amazon Outage Overnight Results in Lost Sales

By: Ina Steiner

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If you weren't able to place an order on Amazon last night, you were not alone. The site had a major outage in which buyers were unable to purchase items for several hours.

Thousands of complaints poured in to sites like DownDetector.com and IsItDownRightNow.com, as well as social networking sites such as Twitter.

The problem seems to have started some time after 10 pm EST. Shoppers could order items but could not checkout. Customers could not review their order history, either. 

The Amazon system displayed the following message when users tried to checkout:

"We're sorry! An error occurred when we tried to process your request. Rest assured, we're working to resolve the problem as soon as possible. If you were trying to make a purchase, please check Your Account to confirm that the order was placed. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Shoppers could not cancel orders or request return labels either.

It's not known how many orders may have been lost due to the outage. Some shoppers said they turned to other sites like eBay to place their orders - some shoppers shared the types of items they were ordering and why they needed the items quickly, such as one customer who needed to order a birthday present for a nephew. But many shoppers likely returned to Amazon on Wednesday morning to try again.

Third-party sellers were also impacted by lost orders - and they were also unable to use certain functions. The message some reported seeing: 

"Page Unavailable. We're sorry. The Web address you entered is not currently functioning. Click here to visit the Seller Central home page."

One seller was concerned about their on-time shipping metrics: "THIS IS CRAZY! I CANT CONFIRM SHIPPING MY ORDERS CAUSE SYSTEM IS DOWN. NOW I AM GOING TO GET DINGED FOR LATE SHIPPING!!! HELP !!!!!!!!"
Another seller wrote, "imagine if a seller had a server issue. Amazon would be ALL over our metrics about it." Others were philosophical about it.

We've got a question in to Amazon about the cause and exact duration of the outage. Update: Amazon declined to comment.




Comments (10) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

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by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 4 00:37:11 2016

Yeah, well, things go down, outages occur and people make mistakes. It's to be expected. FWIW I hardly ever have problems at Amazon.  

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 4 03:15:08 2016

Perspective, people. You are not ordering life-saving drugs.  

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by: cosqueen This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 4 06:25:36 2016

All those customers affected will want "compensation." Amazon mentality....

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 4 09:53:07 2016

I would think the Amazon mentality is so much better than the Fleecebay mentality where people need to be burped and bottle feed all the time.

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by: TMoore This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Feb 4 14:18:59 2016

This kind of outage is precisely why I stopped using Amazon for anything in 2013. And their non-response is typical for them. I have not seen any of the other shopping networks go down so often as Amazon. When they grow up and learn how to run a shopping site is when my grandmother will grow teeth. She's dead, BTW.

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by: MissyS This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 4 17:53:26 2016

I tried to order some vitamins and got that message. No big deal, I'll try again.  We have an instant gratification society.

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by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 4 23:13:13 2016

Amazon Blackout for several hours: Sellers go bananas

Ebay Rolling Blackouts for several days: Sellers shrug their shoulders  

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This user has validated their user name. by: baconsdozen
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Fri Feb 5 06:21:07 2016

I feel so so sad for all those Chinese sellers who might lose out on their sales.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Fri Feb 5 14:00:18 2016

None of this matters to Sellers remaining on FleaBay 'cause no one is shopping there anyway

"EBay Inc.’s once-loyal merchants are moving more of their business to Amazon.com Inc., saying they get more for their money by selling merchandise via the Web retailer.

Amazon’s pool of merchants climbed to more than 2 million in 2014, while the number of sellers on EBay has remained flat at about 25 million in the past two years. Businesses that at first set up online storefronts on EBay say they’re surprised how quickly sales surge on Amazon once products appear on both sites.

The move to Amazon, which boasts a bigger user base and offers more ways to ship merchandise, poses a threat to EBay, which pioneered the idea of an Internet marketplace where merchants big and small could hawk wares.

“We saw sales drop 10 percent on EBay and gain 10 percent on Amazon,” said Chance Knapp, chief executive officer of Vivo Technology, a laptop parts and accessories business, about a few product lines he moved last year. “It was like customers were actually shifting from EBay to Amazon.”

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by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 5 20:18:56 2016

Really ?
You DESPERATELY NEED something...
so, you buy it ON line ?
What if we had another BIG STORM or a STRIKE ?
No packages get delivered...
OMG... catastrophe !
Really ?



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