Which websites struggled on Black Friday weekend 2014?

The dust has settled on Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2014, and the website uptime and performance results are in. The verdict?

Despite pre-Black Friday/Cyber Monday planning, many retailers are struggling to keep up with online shoppers swarming their websites and barraging it with requests. We monitored 40 popular websites comprised of both online-only retailers and brick-and-mortar retailers, for website uptime and performance starting on Thanksgiving Day through the end of Cyber Monday. Website uptime was monitored from 129 checkpoints located throughout the world, using theUptrends Website Monitoring HTTP probe type, every 5 minutes.

Of the 40 retailer websites that we monitored, 27 maintained a perfect 100% uptime rate. However, that means that 67.5% of the total number of websites monitored did not suffer from downtime. If we were a student at a university taking a course pass/fail, that percentage is just barely passing.

A quick glance at the percentages representing total website uptime listed below may make it seem as though the downtime was low, and the impact would be negligible. But the reality is thatany amount of website downtime, especially during a highly trafficked time like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, can cause an enormous loss of revenue, and affect consumer confidence.Remember Amazon back in 2013?

So who had the lowest website availability from 11/27 – 12/1?

  1. Apple Store (96.6% total uptime, 1.24 hours lost, or 74.4 minutes)
  2. Kohl’s (97.3% total uptime, 1.23 hours lost, or 73.8 minutes)
  3. Target (97.62% total uptime, 1.22 hours lost, or 73.2 minutes)
  4. ThinkGeek (98.7% total uptime, 1.21 hours lost, or 72.6 minutes)
  5. Victoria’s Secret (99.3% total uptime, 1.20 hours lost, or 72 minutes)
    Woot (99.3% total uptime, 2.10 hours lost, or 72 minutes)

Lowest website availability on 11/28, Black Friday:

  1. Apple Store (83.19% total uptime, 28.8 minutes lost)
  2. ThinkGeek (93.34% total uptime, 25.7 minutes lost)
  3. Kohl’s (96.75% total uptime, 24.8 minutes lost)
  4. Woot (97.24% total uptime, 24.6 minutes lost)
  5. Overstock (97.74% total uptime, 24.5 minutes lost)

Lowest website availability on 12/1, Cyber Monday:

  • Kohl’s (95.04% total uptime, 25.2 minutes lost)
  • Target (97.69% total uptime, 24.5 minutes lost)

Most of the retailers who suffered from website performance problems seemed to right the ship just in time for Cyber Monday sales, with 95% of the total 40 websites monitored maintaining100% uptime.

Testing Method:

If any one of our 129* global checkpoints was unable to reach a website, a second checkpoint was contacted to check from a different location. If the website in question was still unavailable, the website was confirmed to have an error.

During the span of research, only front page availability was monitored, and scheduled maintenance periods were not factored into the results. For the period when a website was available, it was registered as “uptime.” During the period when errors were generated, it was registered as “downtime.”

*Disclaimer: We now have 130 global checkpoints, but only 129 were available during the testing period.

Did you experience any website downtime on Black Friday weekend, or Cyber Monday? Tell us about it by tweeting @UptrendsMonitor!

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