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Black Friday sales kick off early, resulting in website crashes



Black Friday
Black Friday sales are
starting earlier than ever — and that’s creating some


Black Friday sales are starting
earlier than ever.
And, that is creating some technical
difficulties for retailers. 

The website crashes began before Thanksgiving. Shoppers
on Walmart’s website dealt
with technical difficulties on Wednesday evening. GameStop shoppers complained about similar tech
 on social media.

According to Bob Buffone, chief technology officer at web
optimization software company Yottaa, companies’ problems were
likely rooted in not having the infrastructure to handle the
increased traffic. 

“If you have not load tested your site at five times normal
traffic volumes, your site will probably fail,” Buffone told
Business Insider on Thursday.

And, Wednesday’s online shopping traffic was hitting record
highs. Shoppers spent $2.4 billion online on Wednesday, a
whopping 31.8% increase from 2017, according to Adobe Analytics

Read more:

Shoppers using smartphones under the dinner table have made
Thanksgiving one of the biggest days for online shopping

The increase in online sales — and websites’ technical
difficulties — continued into Thanksgiving Day. 

By 10 a.m. Thursday morning, shoppers had spent another $406
million online. By 5 p.m., they’d spent $1.75 billion,
representing 28.6% growth compared to last year.

Lululemon’s website crashed soon after the company
kicked off its Black Friday sales on Thursday
 Later in the day, makeup seller Ulta’s website
due to high
 UK-based brands were not immune to technical
difficulties, with JD Sports and GAME crashing on Thursday
evening and Debenhams encountering problems on Friday

“Despite Black Friday not being a new phenomenon to the UK
anymore, some retailers still haven’t taken the necessary steps
to prepare for it,” Sam Rutley, managing director at e-commerce
agency PushON, said in an
email to Business Insider. “Both GAME and Debenhams suffered the
same fate last year, showing that little has been done in
anticipation of the Black Friday surge.”

Not being properly prepared for Black Friday can have even worse
consequences for retailers than having a website crash on any
other shopping day.

“It’s easy to go to a different site and spend their holiday
money elsewhere,” Buffone said. “Depending on how long the site
is down, it can cost retailers a lot of money and also result in
damage to the brand as shoppers take to social media to express
their frustration.”

Here is just a small sampling of that frustration: 

Technical difficulties weren’t the only outcome of Black Friday
sales shifting earlier. 

With massive spending, some of the biggest deals of the holiday
sold out before Thanksgiving Day had ended
.  By Thursday
evening, the Nintendo Switch sold out at Target and GameStop,
according to Walmart, Target, and GameStop
quickly sold out of the PlayStation 4. And, Instant Pot sold out
from Walmart and Target.

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