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Posted by Peter Sheldon on October 24, 2011
With the holidays rapidly approaching, eBusiness executives face many a sleepless night as their eCommerce infrastructure comes under attack from hordes of festive online shoppers. These customers are buying online to avoid the crowds, queues and stress of the mall and they demand nothing short of an exemplary online experience. Slow pages, site outages, and checkout problems will at best cause frustration as loyal customers switch channel to the call center or brick and mortar stores, however most customers will simply take their business elsewhere. These customers will end up buying online from your competitors, but before they do, you can bet they will express their dismay on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and even through your own online reviews. The damage will extend beyond the online channel and the impact on brand reputation will be widespread and long lasting.
Target has not been the only online retailer to suffer from embarrassing online outages recently. Domino's Pizza suffered a multi-hour site outage in September after a successful campaign to give away 100,000 free pizza's created an online frenzy that ultimately overwhelmed the site infrastructure. Then last week Disney's online store ground to a halt after unprecidented demand for a new range of designer dolls. Disney were quick to react with a series of statements on Facebook, but the damge was done with over 1,300 upset customers venting their frustration.