Retail Web Performance Strong Despite Record Sales and Traffic
Develop | Posted December 21, 2009

With the Northeast getting slammed by record snowfall this weekend, many would-be mall-goers were stuck indoors and forced to complete their holiday shopping online instead. The result: online holiday sales on Friday and Saturday increased 24 percent year-over-year, according to Coremetrics.

On Saturday night, retail Web traffic peaked at 2.9 million visitors per minute, up from 1.9 million the year before, according to Akamai's Retail Net Usage Index.

This adds to an already (and perhaps surprisingly) successful season for e-commerce, which has seen a 4 percent increase (compared to 2008) from the beginning of November through Dec. 18. Records were also broken on Dec. 15, when single-day sales reached $913 million.

So did the rush of traffic last week and this past weekend hamper the performance of retail Web sites?

Our monitoring of Internet Retailer's Top 50 Online Retailers' response and uptimes shows that for the most part, retailers were prepared. All 50 sites were available more than 90 percent of the time, with 16 sites demonstrating 100 percent availability during the week ending Dec. 20. Even Saks Fifth Avenue, which came in last on the list, was available 91.2 percent of the time.

Response times were decent, too, with the majority of sites taking less than five seconds to load.

There are only a few days left in the holiday shopping season, but so far, we have yet to see any major performance issues or outages. Looks like online retailers are taking their performance seriously, and making the necessary preparations to ensure a profitable season.

For complete response time and availability data for Internet Retailers' Top 50 Online Retailers, click here. To zoom in, click the image.

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