For some online retailers the post Black Thursday eve, post Black Friday, post Cyber Monday analysis will be a time of joy and dreaming about a repeat in Black Friday 2013. For others it will be a tired “it was a perfect storm” excuse and finger pointing starting on Tuesday morning Nov. 27, 212. Why? Because invariably there are going to be websites that crash and burn during these peak days in the Black Friday 2012 online retail season. So, lets jump ahead, Back to the Future-style, and provide a few advance diagnostics that these soon-to-be, crash-and-burn online retail websites could have done in 5-minutes to save their 2012 seasons – before the big online shopping days actually arrive.
Dotcom-Monitor recently chose 20 midsized online companies to monitor for one week from those ranked 500-600 in the Internet Retailer 2011 ranking. We focused our monitoring on a demographic that encompasses what is considered a mid-size company, not large enough to have inexhaustible budgets, and just large enough to begin considering ways to optimize web site performance. By testing their websites at a 15-minute frequency from nine North American monitoring locations for seven days using a non-caching, Internet Explorer browser we were able to pinpoint potential areas to improve and issues to avoid.