Suffering from unexpected technical issues with web sales, firms from Shutterfly to Lenox found themselves sending apology emails to customers over Cyber Monday sales that perhaps didn’t process — with offers to extend the sale 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.
The web hiccups came as record numbers of shoppers logged on and and began hunting for deals, leaving some retailers a bit behind the eight ball when it came to the larger than expected swell of shopping traffic.
“Due to higher than anticipated traffic, you might have experienced issues yesterday completing your purchase,” Shutterfly Customer Service wrote in an email.
Lenox wrote: “Yesterday we were so overwhelmed with visitors, not every order could be processed.”
Jewelry company Baublebar was a bit more complimentary to shoppers in its apology: “Your amazing response to our Cyber Monday event was overwhelming — both to us and, unfortunately to our site as well,” the firm wrote, and extended its sale until Wednesday.
Other retailers, like Old Navy, saw their sites crash wholesale, while Newegg and Walmart both experienced server issues.
Cyber Monday, all in, looks to be going down in history as the biggest day of U.S. online shopping in history, generating an estimated $7.9 billion in sales, up 20 percent from last year, according to Adobe Analytics. Black Friday was also a record day for online shopping, with $6.2 billion spent digitally.
And even for customers who did not get an extended sale offering, Woroch recommends that consumers who hit snafus try the old-fashioned method of calling customer service, as retailers will often honor sales that consumers missed by a short window due to technical problems.