Sainsburys.co.uk has suffered its second major outage in a month.
The website was unavailable at time of writing, and visitors have reported it has been down for at least three hours on Friday afternoon. At other points during the afternoon, the site was accessible but working slowly.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson told Computerworld UK the e-commerce part of the website was still working, even if the homepage was not. But many customers will expect to access the online shopping portal from Sainsbury’s main homepage.
Sainsbury’s, the UK’s third largest supermarket after Tesco and Asda, suffered an outage earlier this month when its shopping site was offline for two days.
It later emerged that in-store IT problems had stopped Sainsbury’s from being able to process orders for delivery, and the company had decided to close its online shopping site to prevent a large backlog of orders building.
At the time, Robin Goad, analyst at competitive intelligence website Hitwise UK, said the two days offline would have a “huge impact” on Sainsbury’s, as a number of customers were tracked moving onto the Tesco website after they couldn't access Sainsbury's.
Martin Stern, EMEA manager at web testing firm Keynote Systems, said the latest outage at Sainsbury's was “the least of its worries”.
"Visitors to the site this afternoon are not going to be impressed when they can't order their shopping - one outage can be forgiven, but repeated problems will severely test the customer's loyalty," he said.
Businesses like Sainsbury’s needed to make sure their websites could handle fluctuations in traffic, and to constantly test and measure their sites, he said.