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Shopper Experience

12 Cringeworthy Pre #BlackFridayFails

Last year, we published a blog about #BlackFridayFails, or, how and why angry shoppers take to social media when they encounter poor shopping experiences on the biggest shopping day of the year. We encouraged brands to read the cringeworthy public complaints, and take heed when preparing their sites for the holiday shopping season. We also analyzed the complaints, and made suggestions on how the issues could have occurred and why, and what brands could do to remediate those problems.

Site performance and speed was already an issue for retailers, one that has been magnified from the global pandemic. Online traffic has increased substantially over the last year. These high traffic levels can wreak havoc on poorly performing sites, and brands who are not prepared will suffer the consequences.

This year, however, we don’t have to reflect on angry tweets from the 2019 holidays. Due to the current state of the world, holiday sales have already begun — and so have the site performance issues and aggressive shopper complaints. We took to Twitter again to uncover how customers are dealing with what is shaping up to be a very traffic heavy and potentially frustrating online shopping season.

Continue reading to learn what you can do to avoid embarrassing #BlackFridayFails tags this year!

Pre-Black Friday Fail #1: Your party’s getting crashed

Potential Cause: Too much traffic.

Preventative Measure: Load test your web pages and internal servers to handle an influx of traffic. Have additional servers on standby in case of an emergency. When testing page load times, analyze performance at regional levels in addition to national-averages to ensure you’re identifying all potential problems ahead of time.

Pre-Black Friday Fail #2: Your customers can’t checkout

Potential Cause: 3rd party outages.

The average eCommerce site today has between 40-60 3rd party technologies. These 3rd parties can experience an outage at any time, and since they are external to your infrastructure/platform, they are completely out of your control. eCommerce sites, on average, experience 1.5 million 3rd party performance violations per day. If a 3rd party supporting payment options breaks, shoppers can’t checkout, and will likely abandon their carts.

Preventative Measure:

Cutting down on your 3rd parties is not the right way to fix this issue. eCommerce sites need 3rd parties, and shoppers expect you to have them.

We recommend working with technology to inventory and control when and where 3rd parties are loading on your site — especially on pages with access to shopper PII, like checkout and login pages. With better visibility into your 3rd parties, you will be able to identify which ones are causing issues at any given time, streamlining remediation.

Pre-Black Friday Fails #3: You’re driving shoppers to your competition

Potential Cause: Slow page load times.

We’ve seen many websites lose a large number of orders during the holidays due to a high level of inconsistencies in their website page load times.

Although 3rd parties account for 75% of slow site speed, there are other offenders that brands should be aware of. For example, heavy imagery, bad bots pinging and overloading your servers, and large amounts of rich content can all slow down site speed and ruin shopper experience.

Preventative Measure:

We recommend starting with a free site performance snapshot report to gain full visibility into what may be causing performance issues.

Black Friday Fail #4: Shoppers don’t forget

Last year, we called out Walmart for not giving shoppers the experience they needed:

Clearly, Walmart did not learn their lesson from their last #BlackFridayFails. Here is what’s already being tweeted about them a week in advance of Black Friday:

Optimize your site for a #BlackFridayWin

Don’t let your site become the subject of this year’s #BlackFridayFails tweets.

Not sure where to start? Load test your web pages to ensure they can handle an influx of traffic. Optimize and stabilize your site performance to prevent volatility and checkout issues. Confirm your IT team staffing hours and establish an emergency plan for site performance issues.

It’s not too late to prepare! Learn what’s slowing down your site before the holidays with a free site performance snapshot report today and be ready for anything.