What happens when there are so many people that want to buy products that it becomes a problem? Amazon, the online superstore, held its annual Prime Day on July 16th, when consumers can find some pretty good deals. Well, things didn’t go quite as planned for Amazon. Just as millions of people logged on, the site started experiencing technical issues. Many reported that they couldn’t even log in to the site, and others were caught in a loop of error messages. How does a problem like this happen? Well, websites—just like stores—are designed to accommodate traffic, and they prepare for excessive traffic by making their sites stronger and increasing their bandwidth. But sometimes, when the number of visitors far surpasses expectations, websites can experience technical issues. Despite the glitches, Amazon reported having its best Prime Day so far.
Build-A-Bear, a store that sells teddy bears and other make-it-yourself stuffed animals, had a similar problem this month. Their recent “Pay Your Age” sale meant that you could go into one of their stores, build a stuffed animal, and pay your age in dollars. So a four-year old could build a bear and pay just four dollars! What a sweet deal! Well, we weren’t the only ones to think so. The company failed to anticipate the huge crowds and actually had to close their stores because they could not accommodate so many people. Customers got angry and impatient, which is never good for a store, but Build-A-Bear offered them vouchers to return at a later date. Hopefully the company has learned its lesson!