Not that long ago, if the website for a retailer like Lululemon went down for a day or two, most people wouldn’t notice. But the exercise apparel store’s two-day website outage could mean significant losses, and embarrassment for a company trying to bolster its online presence.
The retailer was almost insufferably cute about the outage, putting up a notice on the site telling shoppers, “We’re usually awesome at this” or that the site was in a “temporary savasana.” The latter message was what it told customers who complained over Twitter.
Perhaps that was a useful image for yoga fans, but it doesn’t say much about the source of the problem or when customers could expect the site to return. It’s now back up, and the company assures customers that orders placed before the outage are just fine.
Bloomberg Technology reports that the outage was caused by a power outage at a server farm that hosts the site.
One analyst tells Bloomberg that these brief shutdowns could have dire effects on same-store sales for a retailer like Lululemon. Just three days of an outage would likely have cost the company nearly $425,000 in lost sales.
Lululemon is trying to expand from its traditional customer base of women visiting its stores in person, hoping to sell more clothes to men and log more sales online. It currently earns about 17% of its revenue from online sales, one analyst who follows the company estimates.
Now, though, at least the brand’s staff can take its own Twitter account’s advice: