Costco Thanksgiving Day Site Outages Cost An Estimated $11 Million

Costco’s e-Commerce site went down for more than 16 hours on Thanksgiving Day, according to outage tracking web site Down Detector. The outage impacted an estimated 2.65 million customers who were trying to access the web site, according to data from LovetheSales. The retail aggregate, which works with more than 1,000 retailers, estimated that the cost of sales lost due to the online outage is $10,924,650.

Later that day, Costco posted a banner on its home page informing customers that its web site is “currently experiencing longer than normal response times.” It also extended its Thanksgiving Day-only promotions into Black Friday. “We apologize for any inconvenience,” the company displayed on the site.

Beyond the revenue loss, the Costco downtime risked creating a rift in customer relationships, according to Mario Ciabarra, CEO of Quantum Metric. 


“For Black Friday shoppers specifically, nearly half of consumers (49%) say they will abandon their cart if they received any sort of error message upon checkout that prevented them from completing their purchase online,” said Ciabarra in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. “Furthermore, nearly one in five (17%) say they will immediately go to a competitor’s site to find the same or similar product. Though Costco’s site is back online, they are continuing to fight long load times that will frustrate shoppers over Cyber Weekend until the issue is fixed.”

Both Nordstrom Rack and H&M were some of the other high-profile retailers to experience site issues throughout the weekend. H&M’s web site was down for a short period, less than five minutes, on Thanksgiving morning, according to web site performance monitor Catchpoint. The site had intermittent outages again on Friday morning.

As for Nordstrom Rack, while the site crashed for a brief period on Thanksgiving Day, shoppers had reported other issues, including items disappearing from their carts, problems with the login process and the inability to complete their transactions.

Shoppers who have to wait six seconds are 50% less likely to make a purchase, and 33% of shoppers will visit a competitor if the site they are on is slow to load, according to data from Quantum Metric.

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