The hour the internet ‘broke’: Yesterday’s internet collapse cost retailers $1bn

Amazon

Amazon

Many of the world’s largest global online retailers including Amazon, eBay and Etsy were hit by the global web outage yesterday morning. With Amazon earning $950,000 a minute, today’s meltdown may have lost retailers worldwide around $1bn, says ParcelHero.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says: “Amazon alone currently turns over $950,000 a minute. It was one of the quickest sites to get back online but some organisations were down for around an hour.

“We believe retail worldwide will have lost around £1bn. Time really is money in the era of e-commerce.

“According to the BBC and other sources, the content delivery network (CDN) run by Fastly has admitted responsibility. Many e-commerce and media companies use the service, which helps sites speed up loading times. When such services fail, it impacts on the whole site.

“The problem also hit the UK Government’s website and payment provider PayPal. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was also down, which impacted on other retailers using its cloud services who may not use Fastly directly.

“It is believed the problems were localised, affecting specific locations across Europe and the US. Fastly was quick to restore services and implement a fix, but the problem does underline how vulnerable retailers are if major international cloud computing services fail. Where possible, retailers need to have a Plan B to bypass various systems and keep trading if they hit a problem. Imagine the money Amazon and its marketplace traders would lose if this had happened on Prime Day or Black Friday?”

Amazon outage: Revenue losses revealed

With most sites up and running again after the Fastly internet outage that brought down major websites from around the globe, including the official UK government site, it won’t go unnoticed to the e-commerce sites that will be no doubt deeply affected by this.

Among the big names sites that were affected, Amazon stood out on the list due to being one of the most popular sites in the world with millions of online visitors daily, suggesting the outage would have definitely affected their sales.

The Ecommerce SEO Agency Reboot were keen to investigate how much Amazon potentially lost in the brief outage. To do this they utilised Amazon’s recently published financial statements from the first quarter of 2021 and Downdetector.co.uk to predict how long the site was down for.

Amazon’s Forecasted Loss Predictions:

Q1 Online Store Sales Month Day Hour Minute Second
$52,901,000,000 $17,633,666,667 $587,788,889  $24,491,204  $408,186.73  $6,803.11

With Amazon forecasted to have been down for roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes (80 minutes), the data compiled together by SEO Agency Reboot shows that Amazon could have potentially lost a staggering $32,654,938 in sales.

If the e-commerce site was down for 12 hours, it could have potentially lost $293,894,444 in sales, for a whole day it could have taken a hit of $587,788,889!

Naomi Aharony, Managing Director for Ecommerce SEO Agency Reboot, said: “The Fastly issue that left a widespread internet outage today (June 8) made headline news within minutes due to the big names that were affected by this. Sites such as Gov.uk, Reddit and Amazon were among the many that were down, and although it seems they weren’t down for long, the impact it would have had will be huge, especially on ecommerce sites. With our research estimating Amazon could have potentially lost $6,803 every second it was down, it’s clear an investigation will want to be made to find out what happened.

“It’s important to be aware of when sites go down, especially when its affected huge domain sites such as Gov.uk, which holds vital national information such as Covid-19 guidelines and data breach guidance, as well as visitors using the site to submit important documents like renewing passports and driving licenses. With big sites being down, top of the search will be ads for copycat sites posing as the real thing and could charge unnecessarily!”

Industry reaction

Ivan Ericsson, Head of Quality Management at Expleo said: “The mass-scale internet outage we witnessed yesterday shows that no one is ever too big to fail. With millions of businesses relying on the internet for their operations, such events, even if they occur for a short time, can have significant effects. It is therefore important that all is done to ensure networks continue to operate in a fast and smooth manner at all times.

“This is why quality needs to be built into technological infrastructure and supporting networks through quality engineering. By including quality assurance in the planning of any major infrastructure work and ensuring it is an integral part of ongoing operations, businesses can limit the risk of blackouts, which increases their resilience to external threats. Additionally, having testing built in enables businesses to be more agile and make changes quickly if required. This allows networks to ultimately be better built for a world filled with unpredictability and constantly evolving security threats.”

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