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E-commerce sites overloaded as Christmas shopping spree begins

01 December 2014 - 11:20 by Graham Miller

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Black Friday has been and gone and Cyber Monday is underway, but it seems that consumers in the UK will have to put up with some issues with slow or completely overloaded sites, as millions of people attempt to shop online at the same time.

A number of major retailers encountered issues with their sites on Black Friday, including Argos, since there were many bargains to be had online just as there were in-store. And while chaotic scenes of high street shoppers fighting over big screen TVs made the evening news, those who used the internet to make their purchases were able to enjoy a much more civilized experience, even if it was a little slower.

Amazon revealed that 5.5 million items were ordered on Black Friday, which is a new record for the site. This is almost 1.5 million more than were ordered on Cyber Monday back in December of 2013.

Internet expert, Michael Allen told the Guardian, that when the number of visitors to e-commerce sites got too high, the problem could affect more than just one retailer, because many of the biggest firms rely on the same hosting providers.

The complexity of websites coupled with high traffic figures on Black Friday and Cyber Monday will no doubt leave some people disappointed. Although being able to carry out safe shopping online from the comfort of your own home, rather than having to battle through the crowds on the high street, is certainly more appealing for many.

Analysts revealed that more retailers are holding sales events at the moment than in any previous year at this period, suggesting that pre-Christmas discounts are now the norm in the UK and that Black Friday is not just an American phenomenon.