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Walmart, Lowe’s face new Black Friday nightmare: tech issues



black friday
The new Black Friday
nightmare for retailers like Walmart and Lowe’s is a website

Yana Paskova/Getty

There’s a new Grinch in town this holiday shopping season. 

Retailers’ Black Friday shopping nightmares are no longer simply
overcrowded stores or running out of stock. Instead, there is a
new fear to keep executives up at night in the days leading up to
Thanksgiving: websites crashing. 

One after another, major retailers faced tech issues as they
kicked off Black Friday sales. 

Shoppers on Walmart’s website dealt
with technical difficulties on Wednesday evening. GameStop shoppers complained about similar tech
on social media.

Lululemon’s website crashed soon after the

off its Black Friday sales on Thursday

 Later in the day, makeup-seller



 UK-based brands were not immune to
technical difficulties, with JD Sports and Game crashing on
Thursday evening.

J Crew Black Friday
Crew’s website crashed on Black Friday.


Troubles continued on Black Friday. J. Crew’s website
technical difficulties due to high demand.
Lowe’s website was
down for
many customers mid-day on Friday.
 It was difficult or
impossible for Hollister shoppers to
check out online.
And, a deal
from Cards Against Humanity
drove too many people to
Applebee’s website, which briefly crashed.

Applebee’s aside, the reason for all these crashes is
relatively straightforward. More people are shopping online on
Black Friday, and they are beginning their shopping sprees
earlier than ever. 

Online shopping spend is expected to grow 33% compared to
2017, according to GlobalData Retail. For comparison, in-store
sales are also expected to increase — but only
by 1.9%. 

Shoppers spent $2.4 billion online on Wednesday, a whopping
31.8% increase from 2017, according to Adobe Analytics data.
Thanksgiving Day online sales hit $3.7 billion, 28% growth
year over year. Black Friday is shaping up to be similarly
impressive, with online sales reaching $643 million as of 10
a.m. ET, an increase of 27.8%.

While shoppers spending more is a boon for retailers, an
inability to handle traffic can turn a holiday shopping dream
into a nightmare. 

“It’s easy to go to a different site and spend their
holiday money elsewhere,” Bob Buffone, chief technology officer
at web-optimization software company Yottaa, told Business Inside
on Thursday.

“Depending on how long the site is down, it can cost
retailers a lot of money and also result in damage to the brand
as shoppers take to social media to express their frustration,”
Buffone continued. 

For example, Walmart’s technical issues impacted an
estimated 3.6 million potential shoppers, according to analysis. The retail aggregator estimates that
the tech problems, which lasted about 150 minutes, cost the
retailer an estimated $9 million in lost sales. 

More on Black Friday 2018: 

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