The website of online retailer Missguided has suffered technical problems after announcing a sale leaving many of its customers unable to complete orders.
An offer for 50 per cent off appears to have left the retailer, which counts Asos and Boohoo.com among its rivals, struggling to cope.
Shoppers turned to Twitter to express their disappointment and frustration on Monday morning.
Whoever is on Missguided could you not please?! I want to buy my stuff!!!!! For the love of God just let me do that!!!! ????— Rachel ?⚰️ (@Hel_Laufeyson) March 14, 2016
Missguided Tweeted that high demand had led to problems and it was working on a fix.
Really sorry – our site is gettin' a bit cray. Please bear with us while we get things back up and running! ? pic.twitter.com/L1Bl4HsqRZ— Missguided (@Missguided) March 14, 2016
A surge in demand can often leave websites struggling to cope. A rollover National Lottery jackpot in January resulted in the Lotto website crashing as it struggled with sales of hundreds of tickets per second on the Saturday evening of the draw.
Big shopping days such as Black Friday often create a surge in demand and can leave some retailers' websites struggling to cope.
Tens of thousands of people can be on a website at the same time during peak events such as sales, according to IT consulting firm Capacitas. Difficulties often arise towards the end of the transaction on ecommerce sites when there is more intensive activity such as processing payment and transferring orders from the basket to fulfilling the order.
Capacitas technology chief Danny Quilton said the rise of mobile shopping, particularly among young people, has created a greater chance of these crunch periods occurring, for example during the morning commute, when everyone has greater access at the same moments.
Retailers can expect as much as five times their average daily revenue on peak days, he added, but technical difficulties can reduce this by around 10 per cent for every hour of down time. It can also have a longer-term impact, affecting its reputation among shoppers and even slow page load speeds can have similar effects, according to research by Google.
Missguided could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.