Best Buy tech blunder: Site suffers outages on Black Friday

Definitely one of the worst days of the year for any retail e-commerce site to fail, Best Buy’s official retail site went down twice today. The first outage occurred around 9 a.m. ET on Black Friday morning and lasted approximately two hours. The second outage occurred around 5:30 ET and also lasted a significant length of time. In addition to the site outage for both desktop and mobile visitors, the Best Buy mobile application was also not working.

According to a statement released to Re/code, a Best Buy rep indicated that the outage was related to mobile traffic. Specifically, the rep said “A concentrated spike in mobile traffic triggered issues that led us to shut down BestBuy.com in order to take proactive measures to restore full performance.”

Best Buy customers voiced their unhappiness about the site outage on both the company’s Facebook page as well as Twitter. During both outages, the @BestBuySupport Twitter account was extremely proactive about speaking with customers about the upcoming return of the site.

While Best Buy hasn’t officially released sales numbers regarding revenue generated during the kickoff of the sales on Thanksgiving, it’s highly likely that traffic spiked over Thanksgiving 2013 as many analysts predicted strong growth in online sales this year. Since this trend is only more likely to continue as more consumers shift from in-store shopping to online shopping, it’s likely that Best Buy will have to significantly improve site capacity before next year’s holiday sales in order to avoid similar issues.

Of course, Best Buy wasn’t the only site to suffer difficulties today. Hewlett-Packard’s shopping outlet went down today for a period of time and Nike had trouble processing orders on the company’s online store. During 2013, Walmart had similar site issues on Thanksgiving Day causing some shoppers to wait as much as two hours to complete the checkout process.

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