How Did Major Retail Websites Perform During Black Friday?

Millions of people took to the internet to shop last weekend, were the stores prepared?

How Was Retail Website Performance on Black Friday?

Despite many viral videos (like this one, and this one, and don’t forget about this one) depicting the fights and chaos that broke out in stores across America on Black Friday, the majority of shoppers were quite subdued and peaceful. This could be due in large part that attendance was down this year because many people chose to stay home and shop online.

The National Retail Federation released data showing that 102 million people flooded the stores in the U.S. on Black Friday, but 103 million purchased online, one third of which purchased from their smart phone. Accounting for overlap between the two that adds up to a total of 151 million people spending their hard earned money in 24 hours. Between Thanksgiving and Saturday, e-commerce sales rose to a staggering $6.1 billion dollars, $2.72 billion dollars coming in on Black Friday alone.

The best selling electronics this holiday season were the Apple iPad Air 2, Microsoft X Box One, and the Sony PS4. Star Wars and Legos were also among the best selling toys, with the online doorbuster deals accounting for 40 percent of all online sales.

To see who was best prepared for the onslaught of online shoppers, we performed website monitoring on some of the biggest retailers in the United States to see how their websites performed under pressure.

Thursday 11/26 – Monday 11/30

Many great deals went live Thanksgiving day, causing people to get up earlier and do some shopping before facing their families at the dinner table. Overall, most of the websites we monitored faired pretty well in the uptime category. The only websites that experienced outages were Marshalls, Target, and Hot Topic:

Marshalls – 99.91% Uptime (6.48 minutes of downtime)
Target – 99.86% Uptime (10.08 minutes of downtime)
Hot Topic – 99.77% Uptime (16.56 minutes of downtime)

We consider optimum uptime rates to be 99.90% and above, anything lower could mean hundreds of dollars lost for these retailers. Vigilant website monitoring is important for key customer satisfaction!

How was the website performance? 

Most of the website monitoring we did with our full page checks revealed some slow load times as millions of people flooded the blogosphere. Despite the increased traffic, however, the fastest sites we monitored were able to keep load times to a minimum:

Marshalls – 3.20s
Kohl’s – 3.74ss
Newbury Comics – 3.85s
Apple – 3.92s

Other websites on the list, however, had more trouble sorting through the mass of shoppers:

Wal Mart – 8.47s
GameStop – 8.59s
Hot Topic – 9.42s

If you’re interested in receiving a free copy of the report, please contact us!

For major online resources, keeping that uptime percentage above 99.90% is important. If your online store is not available, your customers are going to do their shopping elsewhere. This will result in loss of revenue and reputation for your company. With Uptrends, we provide website monitoring from all over the world and notify you the moment there’s any downtime. This way you can rest easy knowing that your services will be available throughout Black Friday, the holiday season, and all year long.

About Uptrends Website Monitoring

Our mission is to increase the availability of websites, servers, and transactions to reduce downtime and increase performance. We have a global network of over 141 checkpoints to access your site, and we are currently serving more than 2,500 customers in 45 countries. We work hard to identify and reduce downtime. Uptrends has offices located in the United States and Europe. If you’re interested in trying us out, we offer a 30 day free trial!


Relevant Sources:

Washington Post
Business Wire

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