Consumer Payment Card News

Black Friday

Nearly one-third of thirty major retail sites experienced significant slow-downs on Friday that impacted their product search and check-out processes. Yesterday (“Cyber Monday”) heavy holiday traffic resulted in outages for about 40,000 merchants using Yahoo!’s payment system. Online shoppers also found that popular items such as the “Nintendo Wii” and “Zune” mp3 players were sold out. Keynote, which monitors retail site performance, found a definite slow-down in site performance over the course of “Black Friday.” The worst performing sites on “Black Friday” were showing up to a 400% slow down and well-known brands such as Buy.com and Lowes experienced significant slow downs. However, Keynote noted that none of the leading sites it monitors appeared to go completely dark on Friday, whereas several leading sites experienced periods with complete outages last holiday season. Meanwhile, eBay companies, including Shopping.com and PayPal, reported that Shopping.com traffic to merchants in the “Gifts/Flowers” and “Clothing/Accessories” categories throughout the “Thanksgiving” holiday grew by 57% and 52% respectively year-over-year. Overall, Shopping.com’s traffic to merchants increased 61% over last year’s “Black Friday,” November 24, 2006. eBay noted that, based on the previous five years of PayPal’s online shopping research, data show that Mondays are the busiest day of the week for online shopping and the second Monday in December is solidifying its place as the actual busiest online shopping day of the season. In 2006, online shopping activity on PayPal was 96% higher on the second Monday in December than on “Thanksgiving Day.”

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