Amazon’s Freedom Sale Crashes Website In First 2 Hours; An Embarrassment For AWS service?


Amazon Great Indian Freedom Sale

Cashing on the patriotism sentiments, Amazon India’s much hyped and advertised “The Great Indian Freedom Sale” finally started today, August 10, which will go on for the next 2 days till August 12, 2015.

Amazon had left no stone unturned to create a mass awareness about their special sales program, as full-page newspaper ads were published all over the country, and some interesting video ads launched (in one of the ads, the parents decide to postpone their son’s birthday to enjoy shopping at Amazon India)

However, Amazon India received a rude shock when their website crashed within first 2 hours of the opening of sale, as millions of Indians descended on the website.

The issue was first spotted on Reddit India, where users shared screenshots of the error messages received, when they attempted to open Amazon India’s special section wherein the sale was actually happening.

Amazon freedom sale crash

This section is now opening fine, and there seems to be no issues. But yes, the loading time is definitely long and while clicking few products, the site takes considerable much time to respond.

Here is an interesting Reddit discussion going on concerning the sale.

Some customers were wondering that despite having best in class cloud hosting : AWS (Amazon Web Services), Amazon India website crashed and failed to respond to the surge in traffic.

Has ‘The Great Indian Freedom Sale’ overtaken Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales days in US in terms of traffic and page views? As one Reddit user pointed out, it was indeed quite embarrassing for World’s biggest ecommerce portal and World’s most advanced cloud hosting provider:

Amazon embarrassment

There seem only two possibilities: Either Amazon India took the expected traffic lightly or the traffic explosion was higher than US. (Amazon India is India’s most visited ecommerce portal, overtaking Flipkart)

Another Reddit user even pointed out that they need to upgrade their Cloud hosting plan! This was ofcourse, a satire, as Amazon owns the Cloud hosting company and there should have been no issues as such in the first place.

Amazon bigger aws

On the other hand, Snapdeal has also opened their ‘Freedom Week’ sales starting today, powered with a catchy hashtag: #AzadiKeFaide. Unlike Amazon India, this campaign wasn’t much advertised, but equals them on deals and offers. Snapdeal’s Independence Day sales will run this whole week from August 10 to August 16th.

The goof-ups experienced by Amazon India remind us of Flipkart’s previous such attempts. Last year, Flipkart’s ‘Big Billion Day’ sales was a huge disappointment, as customer’s first found the website unable to handle the traffic, and then later the promised products at special prices were suddenly removed, even after placing an order. Even brands were disappointed with Flipkart.

Earlier in 2013, even Google’s GOSF wasn’t able to handle the sudden spike in traffic, and their website crumbled under the onslaught.

After the goofups experienced by Amazon, Google and Flipkart, it is clear that no matter how strong the hosting is, how scalable the cloud is; when there is a sale, nothing can control the Indian crowd.

Have you shopped at Amazon India’s The Great Indian Freedom Sale? Do share your experience by commenting right here!

  1. Hari says

    Amazon should use auto scalable cloud of ESDS Software Solution Pvt Ltd name eNlight Cloud. Based on traffic load eNlight cloud automatically scale up and scale down CPU and RAM resources. For more details check-

  2. Deepak Kanakaraju says

    I am sure that they would have got more traffic than expected. That’s why it crashed. Looking forward to news about this.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      @Deepak I agree they may have got more traffic than expected. But the point is that AWS can scale on-demand – they could obviously increased the capacity…and thats why we said it is embarrassment for their AWS service.
      In fact, thats what they advertise for AWS, that we can scale to unlimited levels…

      1. Harish says

        Its really a big shame.

  3. Aditya Nath Jha says

    Nothing can manage the Indian crowd. Literally!! :P

  4. Martin says

    Seems unlikely, but maybe this is connected with the current AWS outage in US-East?

    1. Abhijeet says

      @Martin , Do you really think they might have used the EC2 instances of US East instead of using APAC EC2 instances?

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