CyberSanta seems to have arrived on time in 2001 with online book retailer Amazon reporting that it meet customer demands for nearly 40 million items by 21 December. In previous years, other online retailers have been plagued by poor fulfilment and CRM systems which have resulted in goods not arriving in time for Christmas. Most famously two years ago ToysRUs found itself threatened with legal action after being accused of spoiling Christmas for hundreds of children after its software was unable to cope with demand.
But the lessons appear to have been learnt in 2001 with few complaints emerging so far as the 2002 retail year gets underway. According to Amazon, customers used the Net to make a flurry of last minute purchases – with more than 36,000 items ordered between noon on 21st and 22nd December. The company said more than 99 percent of holiday packages ordered by noon on December 22nd arrived before Santa. Amazon UK said the same story was true in the UK with the final posting of goods on the 21st December.
Certainly most firms appear to have avoided the woes that struck down Jungle.com during December, which had to cancel 2,500 orders because it decided it wouldn’t be able to fulfil them before Christmas. At an average order value of £100, that means Jungle turned away up to £250,000 of business during the festive season.
Jungle’s problems stemmed from an order backlog after installing the final parts of a £5 million Retek information management system. Jungle's customers who had placed orders were emailed about the situation, although the company also added that the system was now working and that customers should feel confident about placing new orders.