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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 29, 2008

Black Friday takes its toll on e-commerce sites

Black Friday madness is taking its toll on popular online shopping websites, with some large e-commerce sites already falling victim to the huge spikes in online traffic.

by Helen Leggatt

keynote_logo.gifKeynote Systems is monitoring the performance of many e-commerce sites during the holiday season, starting with Black Friday. While Cyber Monday is generally the day known for online shopping, Black Friday is becoming increasingly popular.

Even top online stores, who should have learned from their experiences on Cyber Monday last year, were sagging under the strain of this year's Black Monday crowds. Keynote Systems reports a slowdown on sites such as Amazon, Target and, although they weren't unbearable. According to Shawn White, director of external operations at Keynote Systems Inc, at the slowest point on Friday a transaction that took 25 seconds last week took around 40 seconds.

Yet Sears, who suffered several hours of downtime last year, has again fallen victim to overloading and was offline for a couple of hours on Friday morning.

Similar scenes of gridlock have been played out in bricks and mortar stores across the U.S. In Long Island, a 34 year old Wal-Mart worker was trampled to death in the stampede for bargains while trying to hold back crowds of shoppers.

Tags: Black Friday, downtime, e-commerce, Keynote Systems, online shopping, Sears, traffic spike, transaction time

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