Holiday E-Commerce Still Suffers Growing Pains

Net surfing window shoppers blamed for crashes, meltdowns
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2007 10:14 AM CST
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(Newser) – As online retailers post record sales this year, holiday e-commerce meltdowns show that stores still don't have the kinks ironed out of their sites. Despite increased capacity on retail sites, crashes such as's eight-hour Black Friday crash and Yahoo Shopping's 10-hour Cyber Monday outage continue to plague holiday online shopping, Wired reports.

The culprits in crashes aren't people making purchases but rather online window shoppers, people who eat up bandwidth browsing around sites. Such browsing becomes problematic because retailers increase bandwidth in parallel with sales growth, failing to take into account the impact of non-purchase traffic. The Flash ads and high-res photos that clutter many sites also cause problems.