#BlackFriday: Takealot's 'own-goal' to be resolved soon, says CEO

2017-11-24 12:24 - Kyle Venktess, Fin24
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takealot website. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)


Johannesburg - With South Africa’s biggest e-commerce platform, Takealot.com seeing hours of downtime on Black Friday, CEO Kim Reid has said that technicians are working to get the site up as soon as possible. 

Reid was speaking to radio presenter, Kieno Kammies, during his self-titled radio show on Cape Talk on Friday morning, when he said a massive spike in traffic caused the downtime. 

Here are Reid’s comments from the radio show below:

“We’re on top of it at the moment. We had a heck of a spike in traffic as we opened up at one minute past 12 this morning. We saw quite a number of transactions coming through. In fact, the transaction volume we had over the first hour has been larger than the first 6 to 7 hours we had last year. 

"So that is kind of the issue we are dealing with, but fortunately this has been more of an own-goal than anything else, in that we have had a service failure with a critical piece of code that really communicates with much of the site, and frankly it took us a little while to figure that out. 

"Our priority right now is to get that up and running and to make sure that the R25m of the orders that we have processed so far are dropping into our warehouses and being shipped. As we speak we are gradually bringing the site up again and you know we should be up and running relatively soon. 

"I think it is going to be one of those days where we may stutter along a bit, it is just unfortunately that time of the year for us. We prepare as best we can and one thing we say is that we are far from perfect, and unfortunately we are proving ourselves to be far from perfect today again.

"The nice thing about this is that we have five days in any event so we will extend into Wednesday next week and anything that has not been sold out so far will be extended into new deals.

"There is a lot of anger sometimes with our customers who can’t get to deals. We’re terribly sorry about that, but it is a first come first serve type of platform and if you manage to get in and take it then you’ve got that, there’s not much we can do about that.”

Takealot.com has since seen erratic behaviour coming online for a few minutes before becoming unavailable again. 

Meanwhile, Thomas Pays, CEO of i-Pay said due to the high transaction volumes, card payment systems are likely to crash too because of legacy infrastructure which cannot handle the influx of payments, particularly on days like Black Friday.

The CEO of the payment platform for numerous online retailers, said that consumers should consider an alternative way to pay via automated instant EFT, which is not card based. 

READ: #BlackFriday rush crashes online stores

This enables the traffic of transactions to be split across all banks allowing for a much more stable system. Therefore there is no bottle neck and the transactions can move quickly.

“We can expect a huge influx of online traffic today causing back-end payment systems to crash. i-Pay won’t have this problem because it is linked to each bank which runs their own systems, ensuring the payment goes through without delays or system crashes.

"Automated EFT such as i-Pay offers a quick and secure payment option which reduces the chances for system failure and ensures your transaction will be completed,” Pays said.

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