Internet Retailer estimates that a 20-minute outage cost Amazon about $3.75 million. Inc. went down for about 20 minutes Thursday, and that loss was costly for the largest online retailer in North America.

Looking strictly at Amazon’s online physical and digital sales, the online retailer, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, sold $98.5 billion last year. Based on those figures, a 20-minute outage would have cost Amazon roughly $3.75 million.

To put that figure in context, $3.70 million is the total 2014 web sales for Pegasus Lighting, No. 976 in the 2015 Second 500 Guide.

But $3.75 million is little more than a rounding error for a retailer as large as Amazon, which generated $107.006 billion in total revenue last year. The potential loss was about 11% of what Amazon spends, $34.2 million, on paid search ads each month, according to the new Internet Retailer “Best Search Marketers in E-commerce” report, which ranks Amazon as the No. 9 best paid search marketer in e-commerce based on a propriety algorithm. experienced a service disruption at 2:19 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, according to, a site based in the Netherlands that collects status reports and disruptions on websites.


Amazon users on Thursday received an error message stating “We’re sorry! An error occurred when we tried to process your request.” Amazon has not commented on the outage.