Monitoring Black Friday/Cyber Monday – Winners and Losers

Last week, Panopta launched an independent monitoring campaign aimed at understanding which retailers had the most available websites during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Panopta monitored over 130 sites of the most used and highly trafficked e-commerce sites, including purely online retailers as well as brick and mortar stores with an online presence.

Among the winners were the larger retailers such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Macy’s, which had zero downtime on their respective websites. On the flipside, outdoor gear retailer, The North Face had over six hours of downtime and JCPenney, and Express also experienced significant downtime on Cyber Monday. From the looks of it, the larger one-stop-shop retailers have the most uptime while the more specialized niche players need some work.

On Cyber Monday, page load times across all sites were up an average of 32 percent over previous average load times, with some sites suffering more than others. For example, department store, JCPenney took on average more than ten times as long to load pages versus the previous Monday and discount shoe retailer, DSW, more than seven times as long. At the other end of the spectrum, a number of sites including Amazon, Apple, Red Envelope and clothing retailer Gap stores (Banana Republic, Old Navy and Gap brands) had significantly faster load times, suggesting they had ramped up resources or streamlined sites to better handle the increase in traffic.

Panopta embarked on this study because it wanted to show that even the largest retailers can experience downtime on their website and on such a busy holiday, services like Panopta are extremely important in ensuring that revenues are not lost.

Robert B.