Cyber Monday Website Performance Play-by-Play: The Ruling on the Web Stands
Test and Monitor | Posted December 01, 2014


Here we are on Cyber Monday afternoon, and right on cue, the holiday shopping web performance-themed articles and blogs continue flow.   And it’s not just APM companies filling up our twitter feeds with attempts to spin up a Marketing angle—technology, business and retail organizations of all shapes and sizes are stirring the conversation.   In an article this morning, Arstechnica, called out some big ecommerce players for having some big website issues, meanwhile, Gigaom featured an IBM report that mobile web traffic outpaced laptops and desktops for the first time ever on Thanksgiving Day, accounting for 52.1% of all online traffic on November 27. Both are really interesting articles, and also drops in an ocean—with as many as 40,000 #cybermonday tweets per hour pouring onto the interwebs today.

While 52% of the online world was surfing the web on their smartphones on Thanksgiving Day, I was watching football.  Speaking of which, you know the replay guys “upstairs” the referees call when everyone is arguing about what happened during a football game? Well, that’s a little bit like how we feel when people are talking about what happened with web performance during Cyber Monday.

So, we thought we’d check-in at halftime to share a quick high level update on how things are looking from our perspective:

  • We can see that our customers performed well over the weekend and appear free from any widespread outages and so far seem to be weathering Cyber Monday well.
  • Our benchmark data does corroborate with the reports of issues related to third parties and general content delivery.  We are seeing some site slowdowns and response time spikes starting at around 9am EST this morning and some of the problems we see are specifically related to ecommerce third party components.  We identified one problem specifically with a third party ecommerce vendor that supplies call center integration.
  • The take away seems to be that generally retailers are weathering the storms but it is still a difficult task.  The continued increase in online traffic generally as well as the increase in mobile device usage, means that retailers need to be ever vigilant.  A policy of reviewing what they are monitoring in light of what customers are doing should be part of the plan, and coordinated with the testing plan.  It will be important to use this year’s data to improve, and it’s not too early to be planning for next year.

It is too early to tell if everyone is out of the woods for this Cyber Monday--As of this posting, the west coast has just gotten started on their day. A major retailer also commented to us last week that Cyber Monday is no longer Cyber Monday but rather goes until Wednesday.  We will be keeping a close eye on the web this week so we will be back later with additional comment.

To monitor your website performance for free this holiday season, start a free trial of AlertSite UXM today!

And in the meantime, check out this fun, new Cyber Monday-themed Slideshare and video we put together to learn some shocking industry statistics on shopping cart abandonment rates, holiday season eCommerce, online spending, the impact of web performance on revenue and more!



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