Last week, customers trying to order groceries from New York-based delivery service FreshDirect were met not with the usual homepage but with a stock website from Network Solutions LLC. FreshDirect had let its domain name, FreshDirect.com, expire, leading to a service outage that prevented customers from placing orders online, according to Bloomberg.
Primarily an online business, FreshDirect simply forgot to renew its domain name, resulting in a lapse in service. Although regularly scheduled deliveries continued, and customers could place orders via phone, the outage certainly cost the business significant revenue during the holiday season.
While Network Solutions would not comment on FreshDirect specifically, a spokesperson did explain that the company has several methods, including reminder emails and automatic renewal options, in place to prevent service lapses.
FreshDirect's site is back up and running smoothly once again, and it has renewed its domain name through 2024, but this outage shows how crucial it is to stay on top of domain name contracts. For companies like FreshDirect that rely primarily on web orders to drive revenue, outages like this one can result in both lost revenue and traffic and negative press. FreshDirect has certainly learned its lesson, but this should be a reminder to other brand owners to keep tabs on domain portfolios to avoid similar issues.
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