Myer's Online Store Is Still MIA

Online retail in Australia is still in its infancy, as the current state of Myer's online store demonstrates — or would, if it was actually working right now.

Business Insider notes that Myer's online store has been unable to process any online transactions since Christmas day.

On the plus side, that means that the accounting for that period — typically the busiest of the Australian retail season — will be remarkably easy. It's not that tough to count to zero, after all.

At the time of writing, Myer's site is still down for the count, with a replacement splash graphic that suggests it will be closed "until further notice", which will apparently be "once the site is stable".

It's a timely reminder that you can in theory have the finest online sale — which may not be the case anyway given Myer's frequent protests about GST on online sales — but if your back end infrastructure isn't up to the task, nobody's saving any money at all, and you're not attracting any new customers either.

Myer's Stocktake Fail: Online Shopping Closed 'Until Further Notice [Business Insider]


Comments

    The Download Catalogue link was also incorrect for at least 36 hours after it went up. It's working now I see.

    Dealing with IBM IT with another company I would suggest that most of the issue is due to low-skilled overseas contracting added to local datacentre cost-cutting.

    It's likely - if my experience holds the same - that IBM have completely under-specificed the firewall and virtualised servers so that they can't keep up with the client connections.

    Talking through my hat of course, but there is a good reason IBM are banned from contracting to the QLD Government (I am also not involved with them - another debacle)

    Outgoing CEO Bernie Brookes' comments have hardly helped Myer's credibility with this. Firstly he stated that online sales made up less than 1 per cent of the retailer's business, adding that there would be no effect on its profitability or overall sales. Hardly an endorsement of Myer's much touted "omni-channel" aspirations. At the same time he contradicted his company's spokesperson by claiming the problem had nothing to do with the large volume of traffic on the site - yet this is not the first time their website has crashed during sale periods.

      Actually, at the moment their online sales make up 0% of their business, so I guess it would be cheaper to just scrap the site since it's not making any money.......

      Never mind that typically at least a third of your customers who go to your website are actually looking for opening hours / store locations / product range etc and then go in-store to buy. (Based on another large retailers statistics)

        Yes - look up product on website to see if I can pick it up at lunch time. Then if they do have the item I am looking for then can I find another physical store that has a reasonable price that I can get a price match on so I am not getting completely ripped off by them.

        But normally the web site is so rubbish (same with DJs) that a product instore will not be on the web-site.

        If you look at the point of sales machines at Myer you can see they don't think much of IT. The registers still have dot-matrix printers! I can't imagine the maintenance bill on those.

        Here is my take on what happened:
        - Some change was made. You can see something was done in late November - why would you do that?
        - The change did something to the performance.
        - Software at front and back end was so out of date that vendor refused to help.
        - The person who actually knew how all the pieces of string was held together was out-sourced long ago.
        - Someone did a 'panic' upgrade of one of the systems that meant the one bit of the front-middleware-backend system was no longer compatible with the other. The person who was out-sourced knew this.
        - One of the systems is not able to be upgraded for some reason.

        So I think they are backing out the upgrade, and my guess is the backups are not that good.

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