Black Friday Traffic Proved Too Much For Some Sites
Pessimistic onlookers believed retailers’ websites would do little more than attract tumbleweeds this Black Friday. A sort of reverse situation came into being, however, as stampede-worthy traffic levels were significant enough to cause slowdowns and at least one crash.
Sears.com seems to have been the most overwhelmed property, with Royal Pingdom reporting, "The website buckled under the pressure of the increased visitor numbers and was unavailable for large parts of the day." A maintenance page was all that showed up at other times.
There were noteworthy problems at a number of other sites, too. According to Fred Aun and Keynote Systems, Walmart.com had to throw up a maintenance page early in the morning, while slowdowns plagued it for an hour or so on either side. Even Amazon.com and Buy.com experienced problems, with response times declining.
In one sense, all of this is bad news for the affected retailers; they may have missed making a great many sales as consumers either went elsewhere or decided not to buy anything at all. But at the same time, the incidents prove that a lot of consumers are still willing to shop, which points to a better-than-awful economic situation. Businesses may find it hard to see this in anything other than a positive light.