The Monday following the United States holiday of Thanksgiving is called “Cyber Monday”, and is considered the biggest online shopping day of the year. Too bad Yahoo Shopping left so many merchants without the ability to accept orders.
Starting at approximately 6 AM PST on Monday, and lasting for nearly eleven hours, Yahoo Merchant Solutions, formerly Yahoo Stores, started to buckle under the stress of too much traffic. Customers could see the stores, but they were left unable to complete any possible transactions. Considering that it was expected to be the biggest Cyber Monday ever, with an estimated sales of $700 million, needless to say Yahoo! merchants are none to pleased with this turn of events.
To exasperate the problem even more, Yahoo! is being tight lipped with its merchant clients over what went wrong, if it can be prevented in the future, and offered no real updates during the event. An apology has finally been issued on their yodel.yahoo.com blog. It states that “…we are moving mountains inside Yahoo! to find out why and how this happened, and to take steps to try to ensure it doesn’t happen again.” which is small consolation to those merchants who missed out on sales during the outage.
In correspondence with Jim Goldman of CNBC, several merchants who have their stores with Yahoo! expressed their disgust with this situation. Just one of these many replies pretty much sums up the recurring sentiments you see in all of them:
Greg Tice has seven stores on the Yahoo platform and tells me had an absolutely “dismal day” yesterday. He sells fireplace screens and accessories (www.fireplacescreensetc.com) and tells me: “This type of problem is the exact reason we moved to Y! Stores over 7 years ago after having experienced an ongoing performance problem at one of their competitors. Maybe it is time to move our stores again.”
Considering how Yahoo! is suffering problems on just about every front, this was certainly not the optimal time for it to have such a massive, and public, outage. With Google Checkout gaining wider acceptance, it is not hard to foresee the search giant also entering the online shopping mall niche Yahoo! Shopping has filled for so long. It has quite frankly astounded me we haven’t seen Google enter this arena yet, but after this debacle, it’s probably only a matter of time.