Hiccups On Black Friday

Pulls the plug after crush of mobile orders
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Pulls the plug after crush of mobile orders
Best Buy’s e-commerce site was temporarily down on the busiest shopping day of the year.

Minneapolis — Best Buy’s e-commerce site was temporarily down on the busiest shopping day of the year.

For several hours this morning the retailer’s landing page read “We’re Sorry is currently unavailable,” and advised visitors to "check back soon."

The company said it needed to pull the plug on its website after “a concentrated spike in mobile traffic triggered issues” that required “proactive measures to restore full performance.”

The site was up and running by lunchtime on the East Coast.

According to e-commerce consultancy Custora, mobile shopping comprised one third of all online sales yesterday, up from one fifth on Thanksgiving 2013.

While the crash reflects increased traffic for Best Buy – the company’s online comp sales rose 22 percent during the third quarter – it comes at one of the worst possible times for a retailer. Custora said cyber sales were nearly 2.5 times greater on Black Friday than on Thanksgiving last year industrywide, and despite a 20 percent spurt in e-commerce orders yesterday, the trend appears no different this holiday weekend.

Only Cyber Monday is greater in terms of online revenue, the firm reported, coming in nearly three times ahead of Thanksgiving Day’s 2013 haul.

Best Buy recently upgraded its website functionality with a faster checkout process and more precise delivery dates, president/CEO Hubert Joly said last week on an earnings call.

Meanwhile, other retailers are already turning their attention ahead to Cyber Monday. At least three companies –, Sears and RadioShack – have extended the online sales day into a weeklong promotional event.

Amazon’s eight-day long sale, which begins tomorrow, will include 40-inch Samsung and Sony LED TVs for $298 and a 49-inch LG 4K/UHD set for $999, among other CE promotions. Similarly, Sears and Kmart will jumpstart their seven-day cyber sales on Sunday with deep discounts on CE and major appliances.

Elsewhere, RadioShack, backed by a newly redesigned website featuring on-the-fly price adjustments, will be offering new deals each day of “Cyber Week,” including discounts on mobile accessories, headphones, Samsung Galaxy tablets, and Bluetooth speakers.


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