I recently returned home from grocery shopping with a new loyalty card. All I needed to do was go online and register the card I was given in store. When I went to register my new card, I got the message "registration is temporarily unavailable" with apologies from the company. I tried a few more times for a couple of days and got the same message. The experience led me to think about the cost of downtime to a business.
A shopper will saunter over to the kitchen appliances section, whip out their smartphone, scan the UPC symbol on a food processor, and walk out. What just happened? Their phone just looked up that processor and told the shopper where they can get it within a three-minute walk. Welcome to the terrifying new world of retail and declining brand loyalty.