Prime Day 2018 outage is a huge, expensive headache for Amazon

Chris Davies - Jul 16, 2018, 4:22pm CDT
Prime Day 2018 outage is a huge, expensive headache for Amazon

Amazon Prime Day is proving memorable, but for all the wrong reasons as site-wide downtime leaves the online retailer unusable for many would-be shoppers. The annual sales event has been wildly successful for Amazon over the past few years, but 2018’s started with a fizz and a pop, not a bang.

The issues began as soon as the Prime Day sales opened, at 3pm ET on Monday, July 16. Various different problems were observed, including product pages refusing to load and instead showing dog-related error messages, and search pages repeatedly refreshing before any products could actually be shown. Maybe most frustrating, some users report being unable to actually add items to their basket, even if they can get the product page to load in the first place.

It’s not like Amazon didn’t have an idea that Prime Day would be popular. The retailer has been hyping the sales event for some time now, extending it to a full 36 hours so that it lasts all through Tuesday, July 17, and even beginning some of the promotions in the days ahead of the official launch.

“Some customers are having difficulty shopping,” Amazon admitted in a statement today, “and we’re working to resolve this issue quickly.” However, the retailer countered criticisms of its downtime by insisting that, for some users, there are no problems. “Many are shopping successfully,” the company insists, “in the first hour of Prime Day in the US, customers have ordered more items compared to the first hour last year.”

The knowledge that other people are busy snapping up deals – some of which are time- or stock-limited – is likely to be little consolation for those who had their eye on a product but are unable to actually purchase it. We’re gathering up the best deals around in our full Prime Day rundown, including smart TVs, Alexa smart speakers, IoT and home security hardware, smartphones, laptops, and more. Some of the deals have already run out, but there’s still plenty left that’s up for grabs.

Amazon hasn’t said when it expects the outage to be over, though is presumably hard at work on it. Prime Day 2017 saw sales grow by more than 60-percent compared to the previous year, with Amazon’s own Echo Dot the best-selling product globally. With customers apparently eager to gush cash from their wallets and purses, every minute they can’t complete a purchase – or even see the deals themselves – is dollars missing from Amazon’s bank account.

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