Just 10 minutes into its 36-hour bonanza of deals, Amazon was getting glitchy. The Seattle-based retailer's annual Prime Day began at 3 p.m. eastern on Monday and was scheduled to run through Tuesday, but minutes after launching, eager consumers began getting error messages.
On desktop and laptop computers, shoppers were routed repeatedly to the same page inviting them to "Shop All Deals," but clicking on popular categories such as "Electronics" sent them to the same deal homepage. Those attempting to shop on the Amazon app were treated to an image of a dog—such as a yellow Lab—and text that read, "UH-OH Something went wrong on our end."
Frustrated consumers quickly took to social media to voice their complaints.
Prime Day crashed Amazon. To be fair, they had an entire year to prep for this.#PrimeDay— Jon McBrine (@jonmcbrine) July 16, 2018
"Some customers are having difficulty shopping, and we're working to resolve this issue quickly," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.
This was the first year that Amazon scheduled its summer holiday, which it began in 2015, to run for 36 hours. The company faced ridicule three years ago for offering bargains that no one was interested in, such as, most notoriously, a tub of lube, according to reports. Amazon wised up, however: Last year, it said its Prime Day was its single-largest sales day of the year, exceeding 2016's Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and growing 60 percent year-over-year.
With the site crashes, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is in decent company. Its competitors, many of which are offering their own discounts this week in an effort to take advantage of the spending state of mind of shoppers, have dealt with website outages in the past, particularly on Cyber Monday. On that day in 2015, Target, Foot Locker, Neiman Marcus and Victoria's Secret all experienced delays or outages on their sites.