Holiday Season Slows Ecommerce Sites

December 25, 2014 by Leah Na'aman

The end of the calendar year brings the holiday season, kicked off by Thanksgiving at the end of November and leading all the way through New Years. For most of us, it’s a time of reflection and family…friendship and love.

It’s also a time for giving gifts…tokens of our affection and appreciation, meticulously picked out and wrapped for our loved ones. For shop owners, both on- and off-line, the holiday season means being prepared for all the gift shoppers. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all the end of year sales bring big business for retail.

Unfortunately, many online shops are unprepared for the uptick in traffic and may be losing sales due to lack of resources or even small technical glitches. Something else to consider is the fact that many shops implement holiday season customizations and coupons or new offerings which may contribute to the increase in issues…new features are sure to introduce new issues.

Issues Up 60%

We took a look at data from more than 1000 Magento shops over the last two months to see how everyone was coping, and we made some fairly interesting discoveries.

critical scenario issues

This graph shows the number of  issues found in critical customer scenarios (e.g. add to cart and checkout) detected by date. There is a clear trend upwards towards the holiday season with a peak on Cyber Monday and another one, about two weeks later. So we can clearly see that stores are experiencing more of these issues where it matters most…up to a 60% increase, actually. And these issues are the ones that prevent a customer from completing their transaction…leading to loss in potential sales. Sixty percent increase.

Homepage Load Time 50% Slower

The following graph maps out homepage load time over the course of the last two months. As the curve heads up, response time is longer. We can easily see that store homepage response times are becoming slower, with up to a 50% increase in the time it takes to load. It is interesting to note that there was a peak in load time lag two days BEFORE black Friday. This could be related to folks checking out holiday deals before the holiday.


In both graphs, we see that the critical scenario issues and slowness continues AFTER the big shopping day even if the peak is on dates or around them. This trend suggests that the ease of shopping online has expanded the holiday shopping season, which challenges online store systems beyond these “official” big dates.

The Right Monitoring Tools Can Help

Don’t be caught off guard during the holiday season…or anytime of the year.With the right tools, all of these glitches are easily detected and fixed so your business up-time is…all the time. Go ahead and check it out for yourself. Run a quick report now (it’s free), or sign up (also free!) for the service and a full report.



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