Virtual Black Friday a Disaster for Many
November 26, 2006 12:01 AM
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Just like retail stores during Black Friday, retailer web sites also had lots of visitors -- too many for some
Several major retailers
reportedly had issues with high amounts of web traffic
on their web sites during Black Friday. Wal-Mart's web site was difficult to access in the morning, leaving users with blank pages, delays and/or other problems. In the early afternoon, the web site just told users to come back at a later time. comScore Media Metrix says Walmart.com is the 21st most popular web site in the U.S., with almost 23 million unique visitors going to the site in September.
The possibility of purchasing one of 1,000 Microsoft Xbox 360 Core consoles for $100
caused Amazon.com to slow down
around 11AM PST yesterday. The small amount of Xbox 360 Core consoles sold out 29 seconds after the deal went live. Amazon's web site appeared to be back to normal within 15 minutes of the Xbox 360 deal ending. The additional traffic brought some affiliate Amazon sites to a crawl, such as Target.com.
Disney's shopping site was relatively okay, but still had congestion several clicks into the site, according to a spokesman for DisneyShopping.com. Even non-gift oriented sites experienced some traffic pains, as peripheral shopping engines like Shopping.com and PriceGrabber.com posted all time traffic records, and annoying load times.
A VISA spokesperson later confirmed that e-commerce sales were significantly off expectations, claiming good weather prompted customers to turn off the computer and drive to the stores instead.
Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving, has often times been one of the busiest U.S. shopping days of the year. As more retailers begin offering better deals on their web sites, they are getting better at dealing with the increased traffic. However, poor web experiences has been an alarming trend for users attempting to stay out of the lines at the brick and mortar stores.
comScore reported eBay tallied in at over 7.5M IP addresses just on Friday alone, with high expectations for "Cyber Monday" as well. Cyber Monday is the term recently coined to describe the Monday immediately following Black Friday, and has also recently been a strong shopping session.
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no problems here
11/26/2006 8:12:07 AM
I'm sure many people had different experiences depending on what they were looking for. I had no problems with any sites I visited early thursday morning or early friday morning. But then again I had only one mission this year: westinghouse 37" 1080p lcd. I was disappointed last week when black friday advertisement leak sites showed that none of the big name brick and mortars would have it on sale this year. I knew a guy who got one for like a grand last blackfri at bb. So I set my sites on the online stores like newegg and crutchfield, hoping for a sale between thurday and cyber monday. Finally at 6am sunday success! ordered it from j&r for 999! this was not advertised anywhere as far as I could tell, so it was luck through diligent searching.
So yeah maybe the internet didn't provide the instant gratification some wanted but I think a lot of people should have come away happy. I think disaster is a rather strong word here, and I wonder if 'many' would be accurate. I guess that depends on your perspective definition of many.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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