News doesn't get worse than this for a company like Yahoo. On a day that's arguably one of the most important for online shoppers during the holiday shopping season, the so-called "Cyber Monday," Yahoo's shopping and transaction algorithm appears to be down.
For a company that hosts three million small and medium online businesses, this is a problem that could send sizeable ripples through the online economy.
I spoke with Yahoo just minutes ago, and the company confirms the outages, telling me they are due to "heavy holiday traffic" and the company is "investigating" the problem. I have noticed that the original warning on the Yahoo Merchant website was updated at 11:54 am PST, saying the company is continuing to investigate the problem. We do not have a clear idea just how wide a problem this is since Yahoo is providing no details on the scope of the outage.
Merchants I have spoken to say they noticed a problem with transaction completion beginning at 6 am PST today. At 8:31am, Yahoo posted the first message on its Merchant Solutions website: "Some merchants are reporting that shoppers are receiving an error message indicating 'system unavailable' during the checkout process. We are aware of this issue and are currently investigating. More information will be provided as it becomes available."
John DiFrenna runs sandboxcouture.com, one of the Web's top destinations for online baby clothes. Go to Google and type in "baby clothes" and his site is the first one listed. He called me today to tell me that not a single transaction was completed since 6 am today, going through Yahoo Shopping.
He's trying to get answers from the company, but hasn't gotten anything useful yet. He says transactions going through Amazon have experienced no problems. But Yahoo accounts for 60% of his business, and he typically does "tens of thousands of page views a day."