Exact Target, the service provider responsible for Groupon’s daily e-mail deals, suffered a server outage this weekend that looks to have had a staggering effect on Groupon sales in several cities. The news was reported and confirmed by DailyDealMedia’s Boyan Josic, a blogger who noted painfully slow sales for morning deals today in Austin and Abilene, Texas, and San Jose, Calif., among other cities. This seems to play up Groupon’s overall dependence on emails, which can be a problem when things go down with a third-party provider but which also seems to indicate that people have no other pattern of interacting with Groupon outside of those e-mails.
The crux of the situation is that some of ExactTarget‘s servers went down, resulting in an inability for many Groupon subscribers to click through on the links on their daily e-mails to actually review and make purchases. Josic explained to me that customers only engage with Groupon’s servers after ExactTarget processes the initial mouse click, so if that service is down, customers never make it to the Groupon site. He said the outage appears to have begun some time on Saturday, although Groupon confirmed with him that it has been resolved as of this morning. Indeed, the low numbers that Josic cited when posting have picked up — sometimes only minimally — throughout the morning.
Read more at Gigaom