Amazon had a dodgy hour during Prime Day when their website was unresponsive and it looks like it potentially cost them around $75 million in lost sales. It was pretty much an Amazon invited DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack.
Those who are older will remember the days when the entire Internet used to run slowly in the UK late afternoon – just about the time that both the West and East coast of America all came online. Those days are gone as Internet capacity increased, but Amazon runs on their own private infrastructure (which they also rent out as Amazon Web Services) and it looks like, with the massive hype they created about Prime Day, that they broke their own website.
It’s not much difference to a DDOS attack which is where a hacker gains control of millions computers and fires requests at a single website flooding it with traffic so that genuine users can’t log on, except in this instance Amazon invited millions of consumers to effectively do the same thing a hacker would do. When they all logged on together the Amazon website couldn’t handle it and in Amazon’s words ‘some customers’ had difficulty shopping.
Love The Sales is a website that tracks sales events for over 850 retailers in the UK and around the world and naturally they were keeping a close eye on Amazon Prime Day. They’ve calculated what the outage cost Amazon in terms of revenues, although of course we don’t know how many of the affected customers may have come back later in the day… if the deal they were trying to buy hadn’t finished by the time they managed to log on and re-attempt a purchase.
All in, Love The Sales reckon the total in lost revenue for Amazon tots up to £75,833,333.
Calculating how much Prime Day Amazon invited DDOS attack cost the marketplace
Projected Prime Day sales
£2.6 billion (Source Coresight Research)
Length of Prime Day
2,160 minutes (36 hours)
Sales / per min
Amazon site down
63 mins (Source Downdetector.com)
Projected sales lost