In the United States, Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, is the largest retail day of the year. Following a slump in sales, retailers run major promotions in an attempt to get people to shop at their stores, with the goal of bringing their ledgers into the black, or profitability. A lot of problems occur on this day, with brick-and-mortar stores creating such demand that Wal-Marts are known for people getting trampled.
One of the things that these stores do is work to make the shopping process as easy and safe as possible. In the past few years, their websites have become a huge part of that process. By shopping online, people can avoid the crowds and dangers of being in the physical stores. Is it any wonder people flock to these sites in the early mornings of Black Friday?
Unfortunately, not all retailers are tech-savvy, and do not have enough infrastructural support for their websites, causing them to go offline mid-sale. Last year, Best Buy suffered an outage of their website, causing a drop in sales. This year, 2 separate retailers saw failures of their sites during peak sales times. One was Neiman Marcus, a company not known for their technical prowess, especially following their 2014 data breach.
On the other hand, we saw the failure of Newegg.com, a company that exclusively sells electronics, mostly to tech-savvy customers. The company was active on Twitter keeping people up-to-date on the recovery process. It took a few hours to recover, but by early evening the site was back up and running.