Which websites crashed on Black Friday?

Find out which retail websites were able to cope with Black Friday demand and which ones suffered service outages.

Posted on 30 November 2015 -
Tibus BY Tibus

There were no television pictures of brawls over TVs or stampedes to get into shopping centres, which gave the impression of a very quiet Black Friday. In fact, according to retail analysts, it was simply the case that most people had chosen to do their Black Friday shopping online.

We had been urging retailers to prepare for that trend by ensuring their websites were ready to cope with an influx of Black Friday traffic. So, which retailers were able to cope with the flash crowds and which websites crashed?

This tracking tool was monitoring the websites of the UK's top 50 retailers during Black Friday. It suggests that websites including those of Boots, Boohoo, John Lewis and Argos suffered service outages during the day. Boots seemingly led the way in that regard, with the stats showing it was unavailable to customers for 2 hours 43 minutes of Black Friday (which equates to 88.68% uptime). 

Other websites, such as those of BHS, British Airways, Game, House of Fraser, River Island and Tesco, are reported to have suffered less serious disruption.

Amazon, Apple, Marks & Spencer and B&Q were among the biggest retailers to emerge from the day totally unscathed.

An update from The Guardian earlier in the day had actually cited the Boots and John Lewis websites, along with Amazon, as examples of sites that were coping well under the strain. The same report picked out Argos as a website that was performing particularly poorly, claiming it was taking almost four seconds to load between 12noon and 1pm and was unavailable for at least 20% of the time.

If your website failed to perform to the required standards on Black Friday, our tips are twofold:

  1. Learn as much as possible from the data you have from any problems you encountered.
  2. Put these measures in place.