E-Commerce Sites Still Haven't Figured Out The Holiday Rush Issue

from the taking-their-time... dept

Remember a few years back when everyone was predicting huge sales for holiday shopping on online stores - and the end result, instead, was massive disappointment as the stores couldn't handle the rush? There were articles everywhere talking about how e-commerce was never going to make it because it couldn't handle such problems. However, in the following years it appeared that most sites figured out how to deal with the problems. Perhaps not. The latest studies from Keynote Systems shows that many big name e-commerce sites haven't been able to handle their traffic. Many customers appear to be having trouble completing orders. The big problem is that they're receiving too much traffic and the sites just weren't prepared for it. You would think, of course, that a site from a big company designed to take orders that are likely to come during this season would have thought through and tested for such heavy loads.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Mark, Dec 15th, 2003 @ 5:42am

    Traffic forecasting

    "You would think, of course, that a site from a big company designed to take orders that are likely to come during this season would have thought through and tested for such heavy loads. "

    You'd be surprised at how much trouble companies have forecasting that traffic. I worked at a relatively high-profile dot-com (our launch was pretty big news), and on our first day the traffic hit crashed our servers and took us offline for a couple months. In retrospect we were left with a good-news bad-news scenario: good that we had generated so much interest, but bad that our tech services had a) underestimated traffic by 90%; and b) somehow convinced themselves that they didn't need to build capacity for more traffic than their initial estimate. Not only were we unable to handle that first spike of traffic, we would also have been unable to handle even moderate traffic growth over time. Just really, really poor planning from people you would have expected to be on top of those things.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Canadian P2P, Dec 15th, 2003 @ 7:13am

    Not all their fault

    You have to take a look at two different things when evaulating this story:

    1) A failure is designated as "... when Web pages only download partly, or their download times for a transaction exceed an average of 12 seconds a page on a high-speed Internet line.".

    2) Some of the sites did plan for growth, just not enough.

    If a site is slow, it may lose customers, but it may not. People may look at the long lines at cashiers in a store and think that the overal process is actually faster. In addition, sites like OfficeMax projected a 50% increase in traffic. They got 100%. Considering the less than rosy economic forecasts that have been hanging around for the past few years, can you blame a company for not anticipating a 100% growth in web traffic?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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