What To Do If Your Store Crashes (Yahoo! Stores Shut Down by Cyber Monday)

Ian Lurie

WebGuild reports that Yahoo Stores have been shut down by high traffic volumes.
I just tried to use a Yahoo store. Load times were so slow I didn’t even get to checkout, which is apparently where the worst problems have occurred.
If you prepared for Cyber Monday but used a Yahoo store, you’ve definitely been hurt.
But you can bounce back. Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Don’t blame Yahoo. Yes, it’s their fault. But you picked them, probably because their store is cheap and easy to set up. That’s fine! Yahoo gave you your start. Now it’s time to move on.
  2. Set up a new store using PayPal, or Volusion, or something else. Yes, you’re in for a long night. But you probably have to do it.
  3. Send an e-mail to every past customer and newsletter subscriber apologizing for the problems, and offering them an additional discount to make up.
  4. Post the same message on your site. Write it in plain language: “I’m sorry. We’ve taken measures to avoid this in the future. I want your business. Please accept this discount”. Simplest is best.
  5. If you’re received complaint e-mails, answer them!
  6. Set up a Google Alert to track who’s talking about you. Then go and answer their posts, one at a time, via comments. Don’t be defensive. Be honest, and explain what you’ve done to fix the problem.

This is a marketing opportunity, not a catastrophe. How you respond will make a big difference.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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