Could Your Site Have Handled Shopocalypse 2012?
"...Is it over? Did the Internet die? Is my favorite Pinterest board still safe?! Okay, good." Even though we didn't have any reason to be worried about our own site over the last few days, we were a little concerned with how the Internet as a whole would handle all those crazed, zombie-esque shoppers. And, overall, everything seemed to go pretty well! So, congratulations on surviving Shopocalypse!
All those Web monitoring posts we did leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have sounded like rubbish and balderdash at the time, but the numbers don't lie. As predicted, this was by far the largest Black Friday the Interwebs have ever seen. Even more notable is that Cyber Monday was also the most mobilized shopping day in America.
Let's face it, the Internet and mobile devices have completely changed the way consumers satisfy their holiday shopping addictions. Ten years ago everyone rushed out to their favorite store the day after Thanksgiving. Five years ago everyone used their work computers to search for deals on the Monday after Black Friday. Now, everyone uses smartphones and tablets to meticulously hunt down deals throughout the entire week.
Let's take a second look over a few of the Web shaking statistics from what I'm now calling Cyber Friday and Cyberer Monday:
So, why does this matter to you?
Specific retailer's sales stats from yesterday aren't yet available, but considering Amazon's history as a Cyber Monday top dog - they sold 158 items per second in 2010, and increased that by 52% in 2011 - we're estimating that Amazon had (roughly) A LOT of traffic hitting their site yesterday.
If you have an online business, were you a casualty or a success during the traffic line-up on the Web? And if you're not working for an online retailer, are you using this as a free lesson in Web monitoring in general? Because you should be.
Amazon successfully handling such huge amounts of traffic is just another example of how important it is to be aware of how your site, or your app, will handle huge spikes in traffic. For example, look at how Twitter handled Hurricane Sandy. How about the way Youtube survived 8 million viewers during Felix Baumgartner's live space jump?
The numbers are even more staggering if you supply APIs for other people’s sites – ponder for a moment the number of API calls Twitter handles daily from sites around the world - oh, that would be an average of 13 billion (billion with a B) per day. I bring up these examples to show that, no matter what your product is, if you want it to be successful, you have to be able to nod confidently when someone asks you: “Can your app do that?”