The 2012 online shopping season continues to be a busy one for merchants. Compuware traffic figures indicate visitor volume is up over the pre-Thanksgiving period and comScore is reporting revenues at over $21 billion for the November 1 – December 2 2012 time period.

One interesting performance event did occur in the last 48 hours – a primary provider of OCSP information (requests that ensure a site’s security certificate is valid) had a major DNS issue that actually affected the performance of tests running on Firefox. Users of Internet Explorer and Chrome would not have seen any performance degradation while this issue was occurring. While a technical issue with a third-party vendor affecting a single browser sounds like a minor issue, it affected a number of the retailers we monitor and highlights the performance problems that can occur when a third-party service outside of your direct control experiences some form of performance issue.

Another interesting interesting trend is the increasingly global nature of the holiday shopping season. In Brazil, which does not celebrate a holiday over the Thanksgiving Weekend, comScore reported that spending on Black Friday was up 368% over an average day. Even in the Compuware Ecommerce and Retail Index, which focuses on mostly US retailers, we saw traffic coming from Brazil explode on November 22-23, clearly indicating that the concept of Black Friday is now global.

Continuing the global trend December 3 was Cyber Monday in the UK, and from all reports, it was fantastically successful, for some retailers. The top three UK online retailers – eBay, Amazon and Argos –  accounted for 30% of all retail visits on that day, a day where overall revenues increased by 32% over 2011. In the UK, as in the US, the success of Cyber Monday was supported by strong web and mobile performance.

Coming up in the next week, we will be watching two items. The first is Green Monday in the US, the second to last Monday before Christmas. The second is the performance of retail sites in India as Google sponsors the first “Google Online Shopping Festival” on December 12 (12-12-2012). The Online Shopping Festival appears to have two goals: Attract people to Ecommerce through some attractive sales and offers; and inform the many people in India who may be hesitant to to do their shopping online on the benefits of Ecommerce.

Five Fastest Web – November 22 – December 6 2012

  1. Apple
  2. Costco
  3. Dell
  4. LL Bean
  5. Overstock

Five Fastest Mobile – November 22 – December 6 2012

  1. Office Depot
  2. Williams-Sonoma
  3. Barnes and Noble
  4. Buy.com
  5. Overstock