Some retailers were not prepared for Cyber Monday this year.
Companies including the photo printing site Shutterfly
and the fine China company Lenox sent emails to customers on Tuesday apologizing for not processing all Cyber Monday orders, and extended their sales another day. “Many retailers are experiencing tech issues with their servers, perhaps underestimating how many people would shop online,” said consumer-savings expert and personal finance blogger Andrea Woroch.
See: Beware of hackers who impersonate your favorite brands this holiday season
Shoppers hit the internet in record numbers looking for deals and retailers were apparently caught off guard by the sheer volume. “Due to higher than anticipated traffic, you might have experienced issues yesterday completing your purchase,” Shutterfly Customer Service wrote in an email. Lenox said, “Yesterday we were so overwhelmed with visitors, not every order could be processed.” Jewelry company Baublebar said, “your amazing response to our Cyber Monday event was overwhelming — both to us and, unfortunately to our site as well,” and extended its sale until Wednesday.
Some retailers’ sites crashed as orders were being made. Old Navy’s
website displayed a landing page saying something wasn’t right on Monday, though the company resolved it quickly, according to AdAge. Macy’s
emailed shoppers on Friday apologizing for the site being intermittently down on Black Friday. QVC, Walmart
and tech retailer Newegg also experienced server issues, AdAge reported.
Cyber Monday was the biggest U.S. online shopping day in history. The shop-a-thon generated $7.9 billion in sales, up more than 20% from last year, according to Adobe Analytics. Black Friday saw $6.2 billion in online sales, up 24% from last year. More than half (54%) of site visits were done via mobile devices.
Other retailers were taking advantage of Cyber Monday’s momentum. Numerous stores, including Gap,
Modell’s and Loft, emailed consumers about extended sales. Some referred to Tuesday as “Cyber Tuesday.”
Also see: 4 mistakes you’re probably making when you shop on Amazon
Not all companies may have sent an apology and extended sales, but any shoppers who experienced problems should still ask for a discount, Woroch said. “I’ve had luck calling customer service,” she said. “Often times, they are willing to give or extend the deal.” Even if there wasn’t a tech-related issue, some companies are willing to honor a deal shoppers missed by a few hours or day, she said.
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Alessandra Malito is a personal finance reporter based in New York. You can follow her on Twitter @malito_ali.
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