Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Black Friday Weekend ’17 Performance: Will History Repeat Itself?

For millions of people (154 million in 2016, in fact), Black Friday weekend is all about snagging great deals on gifts for the upcoming holidays. For a much smaller subset of that population, that weekend is more about making sure their website can handle the rapid influx of online traffic so their businesses can thrive.

Black Friday weekend can make or break an ecommerce company’s revenue for the year, which is why so many of their IT teams start preparing months before the sale takes place. The techniques for web performance optimization have evolved over the years, but the goal has remained the same: provide the best user experience possible. As user expectations continue to climb, the threat of the competition puts a premium on performance; yet, even though this is common industry knowledge, many sites still fail on this fateful, several-day span and suffer the consequences.

A tried-and-true way of preventing any incident from reoccurring is examining the past. Below is our recap of last year’s Black Friday weekend and a few tips to help you avoid the same mistakes this year.

Black Friday Weekend 2016: Heavy Traffic, Elevated Load Times, Overloaded Servers 

Macy’s was one of the first digital retailers to suffer from a performance degradation early on Black Friday last year. Their website attempted to manage heavy traffic by redirecting its users to a page that displayed a 10-second counter before sending them to the homepage.

Victoria’s Secret also experienced intermittent failures on Black Friday and the following Saturday, while Zulily and Shutterfly had outages on that Sunday.

The chart below compares the document complete time of the best-performing sites with those that had performance issues during the sale. Apple, Dell, Kohl’s, Systemax, and Staples maintained good performance through the weekend and Cyber Monday – these sites took less than 2 seconds to load.

http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Screen-Shot-2017-0... 300w, http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Screen-Shot-2017-0... 768w" sizes="(max-width: 811px) 100vw, 811px" />

The Macy’s mobile site suffered some downtime, whose shoppers were redirected to a page stating the site was undergoing maintenance and that it would be back up soon.

The Newegg Mobile site was down for a few hours the day after Black Friday between 2 AM and 1 PM ET and the site was displaying an ‘Internal Server Error’ message.

Most of the IR 50 mobile sites performed well except for a few that had intermittent issues. The top five sites which included Rakuten, Apple, Amway Global, Amazon, and Victoria’s Secret loaded within 1.5 seconds.

Failing Third-Party Components, Elevated Load Time, Mini-Outages

The impact of third-party components needs to be stressed; many sites were affected during Black Friday when third-party tags and scripts failed to load. Walmart and Williams-Sonoma were some of the sites that were impacted.

Similar issues were reported on Cyber Monday. Barnes and Noble, Lenovo, Walmart, Newegg, and QVC were some of the sites that were affected on this day.

http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Screen-Shot-2017-0... 300w, http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Screen-Shot-2017-0... 768w" sizes="(max-width: 814px) 100vw, 814px" />

Lesson Learned

By now, most online retailers are aware of the importance of delivering a seamless digital experience for every user visiting the site. Some sites were offering pre-Black Friday coupons and deals days prior to the actual event in an effort to spread out the traffic flow. Many had also planned downtime in the days leading up to the sale to ensure the servers were ready to handle the load without compromising performance or speed.

Analyzing the performance of third-party components is absolutely necessary before and during a shopping holiday of this magnitude. Websites tend to add a lot of tags and scripts to track user behavior and conversion rates and to embed widgets or other components on the page. These elements can significantly affect performance so it’s best to cut down on the number of third-party components and services used on your website.

To learn more about how you can optimize your site for holiday shopping season this year, download our ebook, ‘Your Guide to a Seamless Holiday Ecommerce Shopping Experience.’

The post Black Friday Weekend ’17 Performance: Will History Repeat Itself? appeared first on Catchpoint's Blog - Web Performance Monitoring.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Mehdi Daoudi

Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.

Founded in 2008 by four DoubleClick / Google executives with a passion for speed, reliability and overall better online experiences, Catchpoint has now become the most innovative provider of web performance testing and monitoring solutions. We are a team with expertise in designing, building, operating, scaling and monitoring highly transactional Internet services used by thousands of companies and impacting the experience of millions of users. Catchpoint is funded by top-tier venture capital firm, Battery Ventures, which has invested in category leaders such as Akamai, Omniture (Adobe Systems), Optimizely, Tealium, BazaarVoice, Marketo and many more.

Latest Stories
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Transforming cloud-based data into a reportable format can be a very expensive, time-intensive and complex operation. As a SaaS platform with more than 30 million global users, Cornerstone OnDemand’s challenge was to create a scalable solution that would improve the time it took customers to access their user data. Our Real-Time Data Warehouse (RTDW) process vastly reduced data time-to-availability from 24 hours to just 10 minutes. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Mark Goldin, Chief Technolo...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busine...
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable? Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, will answer these questions and demonstrate techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances ...
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
First generation hyperconverged solutions have taken the data center by storm, rapidly proliferating in pockets everywhere to provide further consolidation of floor space and workloads. These first generation solutions are not without challenges, however. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Wes Talbert, a Principal Architect and results-driven enterprise sales leader at NetApp, will discuss how the HCI solution of tomorrow will integrate with the public cloud to deliver a quality hybrid cloud e...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.