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Cyber 5 Shopping

2019 Cyber 5 Recap: Hit for Some; Miss for Many

The Holidays are here, and it’s no secret that this is the time of year when retailers make a hefty percentage of their sales. For brands, this can be the most exciting and promising five days for revenue (Black Friday through Cyber Monday, AKA “Cyber 5”). However, it can also mean complete devastation for others.

How much are we talking?

Last year, shoppers spent $6.2 billion online on Black Friday, $3.7 billion on Thanksgiving, and $7.9 billion on Cyber Monday, making it the most revenue made in one day of sales ever.

This year, Black Friday sales grew substantially, reaching $7.4 billion, while Cyber Monday sales hit a record $9.42 billion. Across the entire five days, U.S. shoppers spent a whopping $28.45 billion on retail sites, a 17.7% increase from last year.

Want to learn more? Register for the upcoming webinar 2019 Holiday Cyber 5: Winners & Losers on Dec. 5 at 2pm ET.

While revenue keeps growing, so does the frequency of site failures. This leaves some brands missing out on the annual, lucrative opportunity of Cyber 5. “It makes sense if you think about it — the more people are shopping online and the higher amounts of traffic causes sites to perform inconsistently  — or not at all. Brands just aren’t preparing for the traffic we all know is coming,” says YOTTAA CTO, Bob Buffone.

Last year, J. Crew, Walmart, and Lowe’s experienced site failures during this time, and shoppers were not happy. The amount of revenue these brands and more missed out on was detrimental.

This year, with record setting sales during Black Friday, there were still many ill prepared eCommerce casualties.

Black Friday is over — but some retailers are still picking up the pieces

The biggest loser goes to Costco. While it seems to have gotten its site together for Cyber Monday, Costco missed out on an estimated 40% of their Thanksgiving sales, according to Bob Buffone, CTO of YOTTA. Why? Their site was completely down for more than 16 hours:

Costco Site Failure

Other brands that experienced major issues during this time were Eddie Bauer, Nordstrom Rack, Levi’s, H&M, and Debenhams just to name a few. The YOTTAA team was first to notice in many instances, as we were constantly monitoring eCommerce site performance across the board. Here are just a few of the screens we were met with (as were many shoppers) during the Cyber 5:

Levi's Site Failure
Debenhams Site Failure
HM Site Failure

Nordstrom Rack Site Failure

Massive amounts of revenue was not the only hit these brands took. Unhappy shoppers took to social media to call out the poor shopping experience they were having, many dragging brands’ names through the mud in the process:

It’s more than “worth it” to optimize the performance of your eCommerce site. It’s a necessity.

At the end of the day (or days in this instance), traffic is only going to be increasing year over year. eCommerce brands should learn to prepare ahead of time by optimizing their sites far in advance, test for influx in traffic, and have a solid back up plan if anything does go wrong. For the retailers that missed this opportunity, the Holidays won’t end up being too happy.

Missed your Black Friday sales goals? It’s probably your site. Get a FREE eCommerce site performance evaluation today