TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Holiday Shoppers Encounter Glitches at

Holiday Shoppers Encounter Glitches at

Lisa Minter (
Tue, 14 Dec 2004 11:03:52 -0500 (EST)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Recent technical glitches have stopped some
holiday shoppers from completing purchases at Inc. but the
Web retailer's sales are unlikely to be hurt unless the problem
persists, analysts said.

The biggest problem occurred last week, when the popular Web retailer
had an outage that lasted for more than half a day and made its site
virtually unavailable to one in five users, according to Keynote
Systems Inc.

Gomez Inc., which tracks Internet shopping, said it found sporadic
outages at Amazon the week after Thanksgiving and last week. Last
week, Gomez found it was unable to complete a transaction on Amazon
about 12 percent of the time it tried, according to the firm's data.

"There have been a number of glitches," said Donna Hoffman, a
management professor at Vanderbilt University and co-director of its
Sloan Center for Internet Retailing.

Amazon is considered "the gold standard in the industry. The concern
is that if they're having problems, then what does that mean for the
rest of the industry?" she said.

Hoffman said, however, that even if Amazon shoppers have encountered
technical problems, most of them would be likely to come back to the
site and complete their shopping after the glitches are resolved.

The site experienced an outage a week ago, Amazon spokesman Craig
Berman said. "We have very sophisticated complex systems that have
problems from time to time."

However, no further problems have come up since then, he said. Berman
declined to comment on whether sales were affected by the outage.

Stock analyst Martin Pyykkonen, of Janco Partners, said the recent
outages have "probably been more than just insignificant" but that he
does not see the problem as being a drag on the company's overall
sales at this point.

"Obviously the whole volume still remains to be seen," he said of the
holiday shopping season.

Another analyst, David Garrity of Caris & Co., said he is not
surprised that Amazon would encounter some "stresses on the system"
during the busy holiday shopping season. He said the problems suggest
many people are using the Web site.

"It indicates very strong demand on the part of consumers," he
said. "These are the growing pains of the Internet."

Industrywide, online holiday spending so far this season is
on track to meet estimates, according to comScore Networks, an
Internet research firm. The Internet retail tracker said last
week that holiday shopping on the Web, excluding travel and
auctions, totaled $8.41 billion between Nov. 1 and Dec. 5, up
23 percent from a year ago.

Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos has said that the online retailer is
poised for record holiday sales, with MP3 players and digital cameras
leading the way as this year's hot gift items.

Amazon shares rose 78 cents, or 2 percent, to close at $39.83 on

NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at . New articles daily.

*** FAIR USE NOTICE. This message contains copyrighted material the
use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. This Internet discussion group is making it available without
profit to group members who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information in their efforts to advance the
understanding of literary, educational, political, and economic
issues, for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I
believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material
as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish
to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go
beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright

For more information go to:

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Lisa Minter: "Scams Could Alter Holiday Web Shopping - Analysts"
Go to Previous message: Lisa Minter: "Software Should Not Be Copyrighted -- Lawsuit"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page