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Don’t be a Victim of Black Friday Online Outage

Black Friday
  • December 4, 2015
  • Kualitatem

Black Friday was in full swing this weekend in US and other parts of the globe. Black Friday is a day after Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It marks the onset of the Christmas season and many retailers offer generous promotional sales during this time. Some stores even open at midnight whereas at some places it is even observed as a holiday. The blend of capitalist and consumer driven mindset has always found nouvelle ways of commerce and retail and black Friday is a glaring example.

However, black Friday has a dark side especially for online retailers and their ill equipped websites. In Pakistan, rapidly scaling e-commerce activity seems to gear up Online retailers for the black Friday sales. However, they did not take into account the customers who want to purchase online and the load that they will bring for their websites.

Many e-commerce websites like daraz.pk, kaymu.pk and homeshopping.pk joined hands in the venture and offered promotional sales on electronics, home appliances and apparel on selected items. What ensued was total disaster, as they had not done their homework well. It was a virtual stampede as the doors opened at the designated sales time. The websites crashed in minutes as eager shoppers accessed the websites to happily click away supposedly on the best deals. This resulted in physical stampede’s seen on various outlets.

What everyone conveniently overlooked as usual is that websites are professionally tested to withstand the three pillars of mass user access of load, test and volume. A necessity when it comes to optimizing apps or sites.

In November 2014 one of the biggest global retailers based in the US, Best Buy suffered the same debacle. Heavy criticism ensued for one of the most prepared online retailers. The reason was they were not prepared enough.

The times we live in, reliable testing just does not cut it, the online retailer must go the extra mile for round the clock monitoring for a reliable and safe website for its large and growing customer base.

The sales offers could have easily been a success in Pakistan had these websites tested their apps for performance checking. Usually servers crash when too many users access the app at the same time.

Load testing is conducted to check the responsiveness of an app under a given load or stress. The performance issues of the above mentioned sites could have been easily addressed by making use of the testing services provided by software houses. This year Best Buy Canada site crashed and this is what the customers had to say about it:

  • ‘’Waiting for your site to work. Wandered over to Amazon. SAME PROMOS, and a working website! #bestbuy,” one person tweeted earlier.
  • “I bought my stuff from Walmart. Same prices and their site works,” another person said on Twitter.
  • “@BestBuyCanada you ARE a technology based online business right? This sale proves you’re in the wrong business. #WorstBuy #YOUHADONEJOB,” another shopper said.

At least one person said their credit card had been charged for several orders that failed to go through, and the company referred them to customer service.

Similarly websites in Pakistan were criticized heavily on social media for being so ill equipped and ignorant.

John Lewis in UK and Neiman Marcus experienced the same outage despite being prepared online retailers. Target online experienced the same on Cyber Monday. This is not just an embarrassment that forces retailers like Neiman Marcus to make apologies and tell customers that they are improving customer experience, it hurts brand loyalty as well.

This just does not mean you lose customers it also means losing large amount of profits. Online Ecommerce platforms need to be better prepared just in time for Boxing Day Sales. Performance testing can turn your loss into profit by assuring you that your site will withstand any and all kinds of heavy data traffic. Experts make sure that the clients can shop safe and secure online without worrying about lags or crashes experienced while surfing shopping websites.

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