Costco’s website crashes on Thanksgiving, experts estimate up to $11M in losses
By Catherine Thorbecke
ABC News – Costco’s site experienced some technical trouble on Thanksgiving, potentially costing the company millions of dollars in lost sales.
The retail and deals site Love the Sales estimates the loss could reach $11 million. Love the Sales analyzed data from the amount of time that the Costco site was down and the total online sales revenue from last year, as well as other factors such as traffic and seasonality to come up with the $11 million figure.
“We calculate how much they make a day online. We also bring in things like seasonality. On Thursday it would be a much a higher sales period than say mid-April or something,” Liam Solomon of Love The Sales told ABC News on Friday. “We go by how many sales they should be making on that day per minute, and then we obviously times that by the amount of outage time and that is where we got the $11 million loss in sales.”
The website outage took place for 9,019 minutes, or approximately 16 hours, according to Solomon.
Costco promised steep discounts on laptops, TVs and more on Thursday only, and social media quickly lit up with angry Black Friday shoppers in the wake of the site crashing.
Costco did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment Friday. In response to the outages, Costco said in a banner on its website that it was extending one-day Thanksgiving sales into Friday.
“The website is currently experiencing longer than normal response times,” the website stated. “Please note that all Thanksgiving Day-only promotions have been extended into Friday November 29th, WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Some other major retailers reportedly experienced technical bumps on the key shopping holiday, including Nordstrom Rack, which was promising discounts of 50% off sale items and more.
“Nordstrom Rack went down, the only problem is there is not as much information on Nordstrom Rack as there is on Costco,” Solomon said, noting that it was harder to calculate how that online crash impacted Nordstrom’s bottom line.
More than 165 million people in the United States are expected to shop on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and through Cyber Monday, according to an annual survey released this month by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.