UPDATE: Robyn Cooke, Head of eCommerce at The Foschini Group said: "TFG e-commerce has experienced massive Black Friday traffic to all its sites. We are aware that some of our customers have struggled to connect to our sites today. It is not uncommon for ecommerce sites to go down and up on big retail days. We are addressing issues and are happy to report that customers are trading on all our sites. It is business as usual on Black Friday."
Johannesburg - Surging visitor demand has crashed the websites of some of South Africa's biggest online retailers on Black Friday.
READ: #BlackFriday: The ultimate guide to over 50 online sales
One of South Africa’s largest e-commerce websites, Takealot.com, experienced erratic behavior on Friday morning with the website being down while running its 'Black Friday – Blue Dot Sale'.
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“We are aware of the problem and our technicians are attending to it. Despite the fact that measures were put in place for the site to withstand at least five times the expected amount of traffic for our Blue Dot Sale, interest in the sale this year has far exceeded our expectations, causing the site to crash,” chief marketing officer, Julie-Anne Walsh told Fin24.
“Our engineers are currently busy trying to rectify the problem in order to have the site back up and running as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
“We urge all consumers to monitor our Facebook and Twitter pages for announcements when the site is fully functional again,” she added.
Dave Blakey, founder and CEO of website load balancer Snapt, which caters specifically for website crashes, said the slower the site loads, the more potential sales are lost because of a few seconds "loading difference."
"On the other hand, a satisfying user experience (UX) leads to higher sales conversions, increased customer confidence and trust in your site, and better word-of-mouth advertising,” he said.
“The good news is that it is easy to achieve a positive UX by implementing dynamic site acceleration (DSA), enabled by extremely efficient load balancing. Load balancers are devices that increase the reliability and capacity of applications, allowing more concurrent users at any given time," he added.
Meanwhile, The Foschini Group sites reported downtime as well on Friday with erratic behavior on most of their company’s websites including Markham, Fabiani and Sportscene – all of which are offering online customers discounted deals on various items.
It has been reported that since sales on the group’s websites began on Thursday evening, sites were online and offline.
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