Cyber Monday Bloopers Cost Sales

Lexington, Mass. Several high-profile retailers experienced Web site problems on Cyber Monday, considered one of the most important online shopping days of the year.

According to Gomez, Inc., whose services test and monitor the performance of Web sites, merchants such as Dell, Victoria’s Secret and Williams-Sonoma experienced Web site issues on Monday morning, causing them to lose sales opportunities and frustrate shoppers.

“Even the largest brands in retailing are not immune to Web-performance issues,” said Matt Poepsel, VP at Gomez. “The issue is that retailers are trying every trick in the book to wring sales out of their Web sites, but when Web site complexity meets volume of shoppers, there’s just more opportunity for things to go wrong. The math is quite simple: Web site down, revenue lost, shoppers go elsewhere.”

Problems recorded by Gomez tests included shopping-cart page malfunctions on the Victoria’s Secret site, payment-page delays on Williams-Sonoma’s site, and account-information errors at Dell.com.

As well, reported Gomez, Costco and Sears experienced site-availability problems and Overstock.com was running far slower than the norm.

Monday reports also revealed that J. Crew’s Web site was unavailable for a substantial portion of Cyber Monday. Bloomingdales.com was also down on Monday morning and afternoon.