Acadia Group boss Philip Green will be spitting feathers after the websites for both Topman and Topshop collapsed following an email marketing campaign to promote the start of the group’s summer sale.
Since around 10am this morning both sites have been reporting an internal server error, meaning that shoppers can only access them intermittently.
So far, the company has managed to avoid a social media backlash, although one customer posted on Twitter that its website was “tinpot”, while on Topshop’s Facebook page, which has 3.8 million likes, another user wrote: “Hey Topshop – sort out the website. I can’t shop the sale.”
Thomas Gronbach, web performance expert at Keynote, said: “It is worrying to see that such a popular fashion site is having performance issues at a prime time for consumers looking to buy clothes for their holidays. Worse still, the fact that this coincided with an email campaign announcing a sale, will have caused frustration among potential customers, potentially causing damage to the brand and costing the retailer sales.
“This online performance is particularly worrying when considering the online performance of other retailers. With access to the site being restricted for hours, many customers may have turned to alternative sites, the vast majority of which offered almost faultless availability.
“Busy shopping seasons, such as in the run up to the summer holidays, are inevitably going to cause a higher volume of site visitors, and sites must be prepared for this strain. Regular testing and continual monitoring is vital to ensure that a site can stand up to the pressure, particularly when there are changes on the site to offer a sale or promotion.”
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