Questions After an E-commerce Crash

by | August 29, 2013

Having an online storefront is a must-have for the majority of businesses – Amazon only exists online. However, when a supposedly well-oiled e-commerce machine crashes, there are significant financial and image-related factors to consider.

1. What is the immediate impact?

The holiday season, highlighted by Cyber Monday (following Black Friday), has a growing reputation for disabling major online retailers during the last few years. When websites or applications receive a giant influx of visitors — say from a really great deal being offered — they can buckle from the leap in activity and shut down.

This could impact whether data from transactions earlier that day were safely stored, the status of pending orders being placed during the crash and the future performance of the website or any integrated systems. You will also likely experience a spike in call volume or e-mails from customers with questions about what happened.

2. How will we communicate with our customers about the crash?

When a website or app crashes, it really is a digital emergency. Include a support e-mail on your social media profiles. Apps should have a link to a contact form or other way to reach a business in the event of a crash in the app notes.

The content of your messaging should be transparent. Clearly explain the situation and avoid promising a timetable for resolution before everything has been assessed. Let your community know you welcome their feedback.

3. What types of public relations efforts may be necessary to protect the brand?

Click Frenzy, an online retailer, experienced a significant backlash from customers after its website crashed and went offline for hours, just a couple of hours into a 24-hour sale.

Customers loudly voiced their displeasure on social media with many including the hashtag “clickfail.”

If you’re ever on the wrong end of a web or app crash, it’s going to take a concerted social media effort along with a plan to quickly upgrade your technology infrastructure.

Refunds, return exceptions and especially large discounts should be offered to the people who were shopping on the day the website crashed since a good deal was the original reason they visited your domain.

4. How can we prevent our site or app from crashing (again)?

Apica System offers a comprehensive suite of website and mobile app load testing tools, cloud app scalability tuning and other optimization methods.

We help businesses predict periods of high web traffic in order to prevent crashes. Contact Apica today to learn more.

Apica Product Team