We’ve just released our flash report detailing the successes and flops from leading retailers over Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017. We closely monitored the 124 top retailers featured in the OSHU Index, covering nearly 10,000 site visits between 12AM Thanksgiving morning and 11:59PM Cyber Monday night. We found that when performance is averaged across all stores, retailers lost around 13% of potential sales by scaring shoppers off with slow load times and frustrating technical issues. In total, retailers lost $1.88B to these site issues. Meaning the total digital sales over Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, could have reached $16.37B rather than $14.49B.
With this Cyber Monday ending as the biggest online shopping day in world history there’s a lot to celebrate. But this is also an opportunity for eCommerce companies to get better control of their sites through monitoring and optimization. And the first step is to understand what went wrong.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017: Winners & Losers
Over 2/3 of brands we monitored improved website performance and general health leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However there was a major difference between the best and worst performers.
The top 10 sites: 1) Birchbox, 2) Summit Racing, 3) Dollar Shave Club, 4) Saatva Mattresses, 5) Sears, 6) Toyota, 7) Orchard Mile, 8) Nuts.com, 9) Blue Nile, and 10) Sephora maintained performance and health gains they made leading up to Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday 2017. While the worst performers: 1) One Kings Lane, 2) LookFantastic, 3) eVitamins, 4) Pep Boys, 5) Avon, 6) John Lewis, 7) Vitamin World, 8) AllBeauty.com, 9) US Autoparts, and 10) L.L. Bean, crumbled under the pressure.
The most common severe issues we saw were fully exposed error messages and complete site downtime. While error messages pose a security risk and often scare customers away, site downtime is the worst case scenario. One Kings Lane for example, experienced a full hour of downtime on Cyber Monday during peak evening shopping hours. Our other worst performers also experienced server overload leading to outages, however they recovered far faster.
So, it’s critical that online retailers understand it’s not simply an issue of improving numbers leading up to the holidays. What’s critical is preparing for incredible load a site will be under, and to be ready to change or update your site on the fly if necessary.
$1.88B Lost on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017
By the end of the holiday weekend, retailers lost $1.88B in additional sales they could have made. And all due to technical and performance issues that could be resolved faster, or prevented in the first place. While this 13% loss is comparable to losses sites experience on any day throughout the year, its impact is far more dramatic during the holidays.
How did you prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017? Tell us about it in the comments!