Last updated: Walmart technical glitch gives customers steep discount

Walmart technical glitch gives customers steep discount


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What would you do if your brand’s retail website suddenly offered up pricey consumer goods for a fraction of their value? Would you honor the prices as they were shown?

That’s exactly what happened to Walmart this week. Items like a 24-inch high-definition Viewsonic computer monitor and an InFocus IN2124 Projector and were listed at the bargain price of $8.85, reports ABC News.

Orders placed during the glitch were being reviewed, and many were being canceled and refunds issued, along with a $10 e-gift card to put toward future online purchases. The company did not say whether or not any orders would be honored at the $8.85 price.

We ran an opinion piece earlier this week from Chris Langway vice president, e-commerce business strategist, Optaros, on how the IT department has become a crucial part of any e-commerce operation:

To thrive in today’s always-on, always-with-you digital environment and to stay one step ahead of your traditional competitors and slick new start-ups, companies need to be more nimble and responsive.

Walmart’s snafu demonstrates with chilling clarity just how much is at stake when it comes customer-facing websites.

Walmart was able to respond nimbly, indicating that the company does, indeed, have a solid grasp on integration between internal departments. A technical problem like skewed pricing can cost more than just dollars and cents. Here, a giant brand is in the position of either taking a big hit from a profit perspective—or risking an alienated customer base.

With a more siloed organization, what happened to WalMart could have easily been a disaster. What happens when IT can’t respond quickly? How many thousands of dollars could have been lost?

There are two big questions in play here: How do you manage potentially disastrous public-relations issues like accidental bargain-basement prices, and how do you maintain an organizational structure that allows for quick resolution to technical issues like this one?

Is your brand house in order when it comes to customer loyalty?
The road to retention starts HERE.

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