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Black Friday and Cyber Monday outages and other issues angered customers on these 48 retail sites

Shoppers wary about the pandemic and people working from home mean Cyber Monday could see a surge in online traffic leading to even more issues.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday outages and other issues angered customers on these 48 retail sites
[Photo: Justin Lim/Unsplash]
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This year’s Black Friday to Cyber Monday shopping weekend is unlike any other in the past. That’s because it’s likely that when the final retail numbers come in, more people than ever will have turned to online shopping over the five-day period, thanks to apprehensions about going into brick-and-mortar retail stores due to the pandemic.

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However, such increased online traffic to retailer’s websites could be one of the reasons a number of retailers have had problems with either website performance or outright outages. Matter of fact, data from Yottaa, a web performance optimization software company, say that almost 50 brands have seen outages or other site performance problems between Friday and today.

“The cause of these site outages is usually the site’s inability to handle the surge of holiday traffic,” says Bob Buffone, Yottaa’s chief technology officer. “We’ve also seen third-party technologies that brands put on their sites cause problems, especially on checkout pages. In some instances, this causes items to disappear in carts or the carts to disappear completely.”

Overall, the 1,500 e-commerce sites using Yottaa’s web performance software saw a 60% increase in online traffic (based on page views) year-over-year, straining some brand’s systems. Buffone points out that in 2018 similar outages over the holiday shopping weekend cost brands over $100 million in revenue.

As for 2020, Buffone says so far the two sites with the most problems have been Petsmart and Missguided. “Petsmart had a bunch of site problems on Thanksgiving Day. Missguided’s problems started on Thanksgiving Day and have continued into today,” he notes. But in total, 48 brands have seen performance issues, according to Yottaa’s data team. (They didn’t all have outages, Yottaa notes, but did experience site issues based on data from Yottaa’s portal and/or social media complaints monitored by the data team.) They include:

  • Adidas
  • Glasses Direct
  • Petsmart
  • American Eagle
  • H&M
  • Playstation
  • American Girl
  • HP
  • Pretty Little Thing
  • Apple
  • JD Sports
  • Red Bubble
  • Aveda
  • Kmart
  • Target
  • Bait
  • La Mer
  • The Body Shop
  • Beauty Works
  • Lego
  • Toys R Us
  • Best Buy
  • MAC
  • Two Faced
  • Carhartt
  • Madewell
  • Under Armour
  • Clinique
  • Merch Now
  • Verizon
  • Coinbase
  • Micro Center
  • VistaPrint
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Missguided
  • Vodafone UK
  • Curry’s PC World
  • Nike
  • Walmart
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Oh Polly
  • Wayfair
  • Etsy
  • Old Navy
  • Zara
  • FitBit
  • PayPal
  • Zazzle

And Buffone says that some sites could continue to see issues today. “We anticipate more brands to have issues on Cyber Monday. With many people working from home due to COVID, we expect to see much more online traffic (and more site outages) this Cyber Monday as workers will have even more flexibility to get Cyber Monday deals during the day on both desktop and mobile devices without worrying that bosses and coworkers know they are shopping online during work hours,” he notes.

This post has been updated with additional context about Yottaa’s methodology and findings.