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The hour the internet broke: Today’s collapse will have lost e-commerce retailers $1 billion

As some of you may be aware, many of the world’s largest global e-commerce retailers including Amazon, eBay and Etsy were hit by the global web outage this morning.

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Today’s collapse will have lost e-commerce retailers $1 billion

Major online stores including Amazon, eBay, Etsy and Boots were among the many sites that failed this morning, along with major Publishers and even the UK government website.

In what is being termed the hour the internet ‘broke’,  ParcelHero estimates retailers across the UK, Europe and US will have lost around £1 billion because of the international outage.

Its a huge number, but put in perspective, Amazon earns $950,000 a minute.

“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,” comments David Jinks, ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research.

“We believe retail worldwide will have lost around £1 billion. 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,” continues Jinks.

“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?”


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