Best Buy Website Crashes During Pre-Holiday Sale
Just days before the biggest shopping day of the year, Richfield-based electronics retailer Best Buy’s website crashed Monday morning, reportedly due to a glitch in the site’s sales tax calculator.
For about an hour, a message on the site read: “We were expecting snow but we got a blizzard. . . .Our site is incredibly busy! Please be patient while we shovel you a path,” according to several media reports.
Best Buy spokeswoman Lisa Hawks told Kare 11 that the problem was not related to capacity even though the site experienced “unprecedented” traffic due to online Black Friday deals that were offered early to its Reward Zone loyalty program customers. Instead, the site’s tax calculation system reportedly failed, which resulted in some customers getting stuck online waiting for purchases to go through. To help resolve the delay, Best Buy reduced the flow of traffic into the site, and most shoppers were unable to access the site during the time, Hawks said.
Best Buy reportedly has about 40 million customers enrolled in its Reward Zone loyalty program. The company said that the problem was fixed within an hour and that it offered expedited shipping to customers who placed orders and experienced a delay, according to KARE 11. The site was up and running as of late Monday afternoon.
“We have a team devoted to overseeing operations this holiday season,” Best Buy spokeswoman Amy von Walter told the Pioneer Press. “This allows us to detect and identify any glitches before or as they occur, so they can be resolved quickly and with minimal impact to our customers.”
Nevertheless, online shoppers quickly filled social networking sites with angry posts.
“Can’t believe they didn’t prepare for this. Ridiculous!” one shopper wrote on Best Buy’s Facebook page.
The Monday crash wasn’t Best Buy's first significant website problem. Last year, customers reportedly faced similar delays on the site during pre-Black Friday sales, and the company struggled to fulfill orders for several customers who made purchases online during Black Friday and the following Monday—a popular Internet shopping day known as Cyber Monday.
Meanwhile, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly—who took the reins in September—told investors last week that the company has been slow to capture its “fair share” of the online market, and his priorities for the retailer include putting the “pedal to the metal” in terms of investment in the digital space.
Best Buy is Minnesota’s third-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $50.7 billion for the fiscal year that ended in March. To view Best Buy’s doorbuster deals for this year, click here.