think TRIBE: Blog
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Black Friday 2020

27th November 2020

Black Friday was always going to be different to every one before – Covid determined that it would be bigger than ever, against the drop in high street shopping. Even Asda said it would have Black Friday deals, having not partaken since 2015.

On the day, a range of retailers were caught out: with a range of problems.

Total failure – dead as a Dodo

Argos was reported down for 2 hours

BeautyWorks dropped off the Internet completely:

After initially being in Queue mode

Forcing online shoppers to Queue – Boots, Game and Aldi
Queuing really ought to be a thing of the past; that should only ever appear for a minute or two under extreme cases – but not for several hours, like Boots.
Boots also forced queues for Xbox buyers

Aldi’s queue reached over 70,000:
and included the use of bizarre ticket numbering that went over 10 million?

Lego online queuing

OnePlusUK – should have had a queue – better than this rejection
Not customer friendly, to show a message ‘the store is too crowded, try again later’ !

Payment problems
Many retailers’s customers struggled with payment problems Black Friday 2020. It was not always clear if the problem was upstream with the payment provider or within the eCom store; as poor coding of the interfaces there is all too easy: one of the common things the thonkTribe team discover when doing ‘How big is my store online’ load testing prep.

Asos having so called ‘technical difficulties’ at payments stage

Kylie Cosmetics –
Came back up after problems with AfterPay:

Eurostar train bookings impacted by payment problems

Marks and Spencers
Many shoppers had trouble checking out, just one:

Frustrate Shoppers see the products but can’t buy ‘basket abort’ error messages – blaming ‘too many items’

A bizarre error message occurred when adding a 2nd Lego deal, in the hope of the special deal:

“Your add to basket request was aborted because you have tried to add too many items in a short space”

Argos webstore prevented some purchases happening –
mobile app issues or underlying capacity failings?

Assorted Black Friday 2020 web store failures
Lego – some people’s accounts disappeared

For the few of us wanting to travel:

AmericanAir’s website was grounded for some time:

Pretty Little thing: shoppers advised to ‘download the app again’

And for those seeing no products in the webstore -the old ‘empty your browser cache’ was trotted out: