The data are in! Black Friday and Cyber Monday – or Cyber Friday as we referred to in a previous post – have broken online shopping records for this year. Data from National Retail federation, Adobe Cyber week report and other sources are shown below. Here are some of the most noteworthy data:
This Thanksgiving we witnessed yet another round of spectacular crashes among online retailers. Neiman Marcus had a retailer's worst nightmare: the Neiman Marcus site crashed on Black Friday and did not recover for the whole day. Cyber Monday saw major crashes impact Target, Victoria's Secret, NewEgg and even PayPal. And these are only the big ones that made the press.
Clearly these performance failures were not what these companies had in mind: either they underestimated the impact large traffic surges would have on overall performance, made some last minute software changes that had unintended consequences, or just experienced a lot more online traffic than anticipated.
This year REI announced to the world that it would keep its 143 retail locations closed on Black Friday (and Thanksgiving day). Similarly, a growing number of stores, including Marshalls, Crate and Barrel, and many more are committing to remain closed on Thanksgiving day at a minimum.
And while REI, for one, has oriented its #OptOutside campaign as an invitation to reconnect with family and friends by getting out of doors together, there is also another underlying reality: the fact is, the vast majority of shoppers who want to shop on Thanksgiving or even Black Friday can do so online. As REI.com puts it, “The outdoors, and the website, are always open” (emphasis mine).
Black Friday is the new Cyber Monday. Or rather, welcome to Cyber Friday.
Enterprise software isn’t something you usually wrap and put under a tree. But here at Nouvola, we’re feeling very festive this holiday season, and it’s not just about the gift parties and the eggnog. We’re in a celebratory mood because we know that our cloud performance testing software is delivering real value … gifts, if you will … to any business that uses it.
So in the spirit of the season we made a list, some of us even checked it twice, of the gifts of web performance testing.
What to do if your ecommerce site keeps crashing
Third in a series looking at how well online stores are prepared for the holidays. See the first post here and the second post here.
Every retailer with a website knows that it’s best to avoid site crashes. In this post I’ll offer some tips for making sure your site doesn’t crash, but first, I think it’s important to define a crash. A crash can be a total outage like Best Buy experienced on Black Friday (link), but it can also be a server down or a slowdown that make your service essentially unavailable. If your stack cannot service requests, it’s a crash. If your site is moving so slowly that shoppers are abandoning their carts, it’s a crash for all practical purposes.
The five most common performance issues of ecommerce sites
Second in a series looking at how well online stores are prepared for the holidays. See the first post here.
Time is money, especially for online retailers.