Website crashes and slowdowns hit dozens of retailers during Cyber ​​5

It’s a nightmare scenario for many ecommerce retailers: the website goes down in the middle of the busiest time of year for online shopping. During Cyber ​​5 this year, many of those nightmares have come true.

The worst known incident involved Office Depot Inc. (# 22 on the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 ​​Top 1000). According to Catchpoint, which monitors user experience on major websites. The Office Depot site was closed at 11:20 a.m. ET on Cyber ​​Monday and remained offline until 2:08 p.m., according to a post on Catchpoint’s LinkedIn page.

A spokesperson for Office Depot said in a written statement that “some of our customers experienced intermittent disruption while placing orders” on Cyber ​​Monday. As a result, the retailer has said it will extend its Cyber ​​Monday sale until Tuesday.

Office Depot was not the only retailer facing technical issues. More than 40 brands and direct-to-consumer retailers experienced crashes, freezes or slowdowns as purchases exploded from Thanksgiving, according to Yottaa, a web optimization software provider. This year’s performance issues were slightly less prevalent than in 2020, when Yottaa spotted issues across 50 ecommerce websites.

Walmart Inc. (# 2 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 ​​Top 1000), GameStop Corp. (# 53) and Boohoo Group PLC’s fashion brand PrettyLittleThing were among e-commerce retailers that experienced website crashes, site crashes, slow load times, and other performance issues. during Cyber ​​5 2021, according to Yottaa.

The cost of website outages

Site outages and slow loading speeds mean lost revenue for e-commerce retailers as frustrated shoppers look elsewhere to shop.

This year, the increase in traffic that online retailers typically see between Thanksgiving and Cyber ​​Monday began much earlier.

“With Cyber ​​5 promotions starting earlier than ever, we started to see a significant increase in online traffic to the 1,500 ecommerce sites on the Yottaa platform in mid-October,” said Buffone. At the time of going to press, this had resulted in a 20% year-over-year increase in traffic during Cyber ​​5.

Cyber ​​5’s peak online traffic has reached 10 a.m. ET on Black Friday (compared to 9 p.m. ET on Black Friday last year), according to Yottaa.

Even though traffic declines from this peak, performance issues persist on the web. The IsItDownRightNow service, which monitors major sites around the world, also detected outages on Cyber ​​Monday at Bass Pro Shops (No. 34 in the Top 1000) and at its Cabela’s brand site.

Social media and website outages

In addition to the risk of lost revenue, retailers can suffer reputational damage when a website does not meet buyers’ expectations for ongoing commerce.

Buyer frustration with performance issues was a recurring theme on social media during this year’s Cyber ​​5 period, with buyers voicing their displeasure on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere.

And earlier this month, Walmart faced social media wrath when its long-awaited restocking of the Playstation 5 and X Box Series X gaming platforms hit website crashes and glitches. which prevented buyers from purchasing the platforms.

minimum Google

Performance issues aren’t limited to peak shopping season. A report released Monday by Searchmetrics said about half of the 100 most visible sites on the web were not meeting Core Web Vitals guidelines for user experience released by Google in June of this year.

The apparel segment, in particular, is not meeting guidelines, according to Searchmetrics. “Only 24% of the top 100 fashion and clothing websites transmit Core Web Vitals to desktop and only 16% to mobile,” Searchmetrics, which measures website search performance, said in a press release.

“Fashion and travel have proven to be the worst performing segments in terms of Core Web Vitals,” said Tom Wells, vice president of strategy at Searchmetrics. “Part of the explanation is that websites in these industries – and e-commerce in general – are typically rich in images and frequently feature dynamic elements like banner ads. “

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