Amazon platforms back online after global outage

This is the second broad Amazon outage in less than a month.
13 July 2021

This is the second broad Amazon outage in less than a month. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP)

Just weeks after its biggest online event Prime Day, the platforms of leading online retailer Amazon experienced a worldwide outage late last Sunday, July 11, and into the early hours of Monday. This is the latest incident of a major online platform and services provider experiencing operational interruptions on a global scale, but this outage was restricted to a few hours and Amazon has reported that its website and country stores are now back online.

According to outage monitoring website Downdetector, more than 38,000 people reported issues related to the web platform of the world’s largest online e-tailer, largely reporting issues within the online shopping portal. But reports indicate the outage was not limited to just the Amazon e-commerce site, as the technology giant is also the parent of world’s number one public cloud computing services provider, Amazon Web Services (AWS). Reports appear to indicate that at least 280 AWS users also reported issues with cloud hosting services.

“Some customers may have temporarily experienced issues while shopping. We have resolved the issue, and everything is now running smoothly,” an Amazon spokesperson said. The spokesperson however declined to comment on the reason for the outage, the second affecting Amazon broad services for a brief period in less than a month.

The first interruption occurred on June 24, just two days after the most recent Prime Day event, where online shoppers could take advantage of massive deals on the platform between June 21 and June 22. At that time, Downdetector reported that more than 6,200 user logs had indicated issues with Amazon’s online store site, while about 1,700 users reported problems with streaming service Prime Video and more than 400 with Alexa, the company’s virtual assistant AI technology.

The cause for either interruption is not clear, making it hard to determine if the outages are part of a larger trend or if they are isolated to only Amazon platforms at this time. Newsweek reveals that the second outage occurred after Amazon reported that its recent Prime Day event saw customers spend over US$1.9 billion on more than 250 million items, with nearly all of the third-party sales coming from the 70 million small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) in the US.