With Black Friday over, the focus for retailers now turns to the all important Cyber Monday. With 24 percent online growth on Black  Friday compared to the same period last year (according to IBM), this is no time for slow sites or down time.

Are retailers ready for the online holiday shopping spree?  

If Black Friday is an indication, the answer would be, not quite. Based on the results of the Gomez Performance Satisfaction Index  (GPSI), some of the leading retailers are leaving shoppers frustrated with slow websites and periodic outages. For the Top 50 retailers, page load times spiked by 21 percent and 11 percent for the Top 10 retailers.

What does this mean for online shoppers? They are experiencing less than satisfying web and mobile site performance when compared to a similar non-peak period.

Black Friday also witnessed the arrival of the mobile deal seeker who embraced their devices as a research tool for in-store and online bargains. Mobile traffic increased to 14 percent on Black Friday 2011 compared to 5.6  percent in 2010. Mobile sales on mobile devices surged to 9.8 percent from 3.2 percent year over year.

Leading retailers are faring better with their mobile site home pages, providing an increase in performance satisfaction on Black Friday compared to a non-peak period. Mobile websites for the top retailers held their own with only one retailer’s site showing a decrease in performance satisfaction on Black Friday.

Many retailers launched smartphone applications for shoppers who prefer to search for deals and shop from their Smartphone. Mobile users also using tablets for holiday shopping this year. Streamlining web content by dropping unwanted features and unnecessarily “heavy” content like graphics and other images may be the key to retailer’s mobile site performance success on Black Friday.

The big winners were those retailers that delivered a satisfying online experience that met shoppers’ performance expectations. Based on our data analysis from the GPSI, the  top ranking  e-commerce web and mobile sites for Black Friday include:

       Website (Last Mile)                                                        Mobile Site

Rank

Participant

1

JC Penney

2

Apple

3

Dell

Rank

Participant

1

Sears

2

Amazon

3

Best Buy

JC Penney really stood out coming in #1 for Last Mile (data from desktop computers at the “edge of the Internet” on local ISPs) while actually improving on the GPSI during the Black Friday period.

Who will be the weekend ‘winners’? We’ll be monitoring the leading retailer’s sites throughout the weekend, so be sure to check back on Monday.