Retailers’ Sites Experience Slow Downs on Cyber Monday

In my last post, BlackFriday Site Performance Results and the Countdown to Cyber Monday, I asked: Are retailers ready for the online holiday shopping spree?  

Although the solid Black Friday weekend was welcomed news for retailers, the next big test was Cyber Monday.  The holiday season’s biggest online shopping day was more popular than ever as shoppers headed to their PCs, tablets and smartphones to find the best deals available.

Online shopping is certainly crowd-free, but it was not without frustration. Many retailers’ websites failed to meet the performance satisfaction demands of shoppers who expect web pages to download in two seconds or less – even during peak traffic periods.

According to the Gomez Performance Satisfaction Index (GPSI), the average page load time (response time) for the Top 50 retailers was more than 10 seconds, up 21 percent from a non-peak period and more than 8 seconds for the Top 10 retailers, up 14 percent compared to the same non-peak period.

Decreasing performance satisfaction began on early on Black Friday with GPSI scores dipping to their lowest levels on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday provided the lowest aggregate Top 50 retailers’ GPSI scores of the four days at 34.53; compared with 35.67 for Black Friday.

From 9pm to 10pm the GPSI for the Top 50 retailers dropped to the lowest point for any hour over the four days, 30.14. GPSI for the Top 50 retailers was down 12.77 percent from a non-peak period while Top 10 retailers dropped only 2.64 percent.

Mobile shopping also drove online sales on Monday, but traffic had an impact on performance satisfaction for the Top 10 retailers with the lowest aggregate scores across the four days at 44.79 in comparison to 48.89 for Black Friday.

The top ranking e-commerce web and mobile sites for Black Friday were able to deliver satisfying online experiences that met shoppers’ performance expectations. Based on our data analysis from the GPSI, the Cyber Monday top Web and mobile performers included:

Top Websites: (out of 50 participants) Top Mobile Sites: (out of 10 participants)
  1. JC Penney
  2. Apple
  3. Symantec
  4. Dell
  5. Abercrombie and Fitch Co.
  6. Saks Fifth Avenue
  7. Macy’s
  8. Best Buy
  9. L.L. Bean
  10. Overstock
  1. Sears
  2. Amazon
  3. Dell


While yesterday’s sales numbers were impressive, retailers will be expected to find ways to keep up momentum. With marketing investment focused on this critical buying period web and mobile site performance satisfaction either supported maximizing revenue opportunity or left poor performing retailers wondering what could have been.