Black Friday marks the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, but this year shoppers didn’t wait – traffic spikes began on Thanksgiving Day, along with some surprises delivered to retailers by a small number of third-party providers that caused page slowdowns. We are continuing to monitor OutageAnalyzer for third party issues that could arise throughout the day.

As of right now, only one major online retailer had an outage – 11:30 PM – 1:40 AM EST, prompted by a timeout issue with their shopping cart. However, traffic volumes and transaction and homepage response times are starting to increase as we move deeper into Black Friday.

The big story of the shopping season so far is the the large number of shoppers using iPads when visiting retail sites, with iPad traffic to eCommerce sites up 23% from the day before Thanksgiving. While Windows and Apple computers continue as the top two visitor segments to sites on the Compuware Retail Ecommerce Real User Index, iPads were  a close third to these two dominant platforms, providing a clear sign that couch commerce is a critical component of shoppers (and retailers) holiday shopping plans.

The rise of the tablet is further highlighted by Compuware data that shows that iPad traffic for the same period has increased compared to 2011 while iPhone traffic has decreased, a trend that serves as a clear indicator of the changing dynamic in mCommerce.

As of 7:30 AM EST, the top 5 browsers for the past 12 hours were:

  1. MSIE 9
  2. Chrome (23 – Most Recent)
  3. Safari 6
  4. Safari 5
  5. Firefox 16

Our next scheduled update is at midday, and we will be examining the overnight and early day trends.