Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday (collectively known as Thanksgiving Weekend or Cyber 5) should not come as a surprise for eCommerce sellers or retailers. This sales period has been around for a number of years and whilst it may catch out new sellers, the larger brands and stores out there should be prepared for the often record levels of sales it brings.
Sadly this has not been the case for the Cyber 5 weekend in 2020 with a number of huge retailers having website outages or performance issues.
Every year eCommerce Technology company Yottaa monitor retail websites over the Cyber 5 period to identify those that experience performance issues and the impact this can have on eCommerce as a whole. Perhaps unsurprisingly according to Yottaa traffic this year has been much higher than ever before.
“In terms of online traffic volume on Black Friday, Yottaa saw about a 60% increase year on year in online traffic based on page views across the 1,500 eCommerce sites using Yottaa’s web performance software. This validates reporting that shopper’s bypassed stores and did their shopping online on Black Friday.” – Bob Buffone, Chief Technology Officer, Yottaa
Buffone goes on to explain how the cause of these site outages are usually the site’s inability to handle the surge of holiday traffic. Also Yottaa has seen instances of 3rd party technologies that brands put on their sites cause problems, especially on checkout pages. In some instances, causing items to disappear in carts or the carts to disappear completely.
Website Performance Issues Damaging Customer Experience
Yottaa has compiled a list of 50 well known brands and websites that all experiences outages or performance issues over the last 5 days, with the names in bold being the ones which received the most complaints.
|American Girl||HP||Pretty Little Thing|
|Apple||JD Sports||Red Bubble|
|Bait||La Mer||The Body Shop|
|Beauty Works||LEGO||Toys R Us|
|Best Buy||MAC||Two Faced|
|Cracker Barrel||Missguided||Vodafone UK|
|Curry’s PC World||Nike||Walmart|
|Dick’s Sporting Goods||Oh Polly||Wayfair|
As you can see this list is filled with well known Multi Million and in some cases Billion dollar companies that have all experienced website issues over this weekend, and some will most likely continue to experience problems throughout today on Cyber Monday.
Whilst these outages can be an annoyance to shoppers the impact can be much more detrimental to the businesses themselves.
According to Bob Buffone at Yottaa, the cost of a site outage during this period can be astronomical. During the Cyber 5 in 2018, a 3rd party technology tool used by many retail sites crashed on Black Friday, resulting in retail brands using that technology having site outages that were estimated to have cost those brands over $100 million in holiday revenue.
Along with this comes brand reputation. Below are just two examples of angry customers who had experienced site outages over the past few days.
As surprising as it may see, it can also bring comfort to many small eCommerce businesses out there that at times even the larger stores can still slip up and make mistakes and leave customers wanting in terms of their shopping experience.
Will these companies learn from 2020 in time for 2021? Will they have the same issues this Cyber Monday? Only time will tell.
We wish to send a huge thank you to Bob Buffone and the team at Yottaa for sharing their insights with us.
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