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Black Friday: Proof That Ecommerce Uptime Truly Affects The Bottom Line

I’m not much of an artist, but let me paint a scene for you.

It’s the day after Thanksgiving (the infamous Black Friday) and you’re trying to buy someone the most incredible Christmas gift ever: Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 award winning film, Point Break: Pure Adrenaline Edition on DVD.  Rather than dealing with the craziness of going out and fighting moms over this year’s all-the-rage gift, you decide to do all of your shopping online this year.

So you do a search on ecommerce sites to find the best price to order it online, but there’s a problem. Due to the high demand for such an amazing movie, the first site is out of stock. The second site only has the original edition, which is completely missing the exceptional bonus material included on the Pure Adrenaline Edition. You won’t settle for some b-side DVD, so you decide to check a third site.

As you click the third result, the page doesn’t load after three seconds. You refresh but much like the surfers in Point Break, you only get adrenaline when the site loads fast. Bored and growing discouraged, you move on to the fourth site.

Two of our account reps — Michael Smith and Tommy Denniston — both attended eTail in Boston recently and ended up snagging me a book of the top 500 retail web sites in the United States.  The book included some awesome stats like 2010 revenue, figures on their performance, the percentage of website availability and more.  With the help of our Business Analyst Raj Vysetty, Mike and Tom’s data crunching and some true grit, we were able to conclude some pretty alarming stats that helped us draw some incredible conclusions.

Here are some key highlights from 2010 that illustrate exactly how important website uptime is for your ecommerce business. (Here’s an infographic if you’re more of a visual learner.)

Our sample size was 412 of the 500 companies as that is what our source had site availability data for. Data is for 2010.

Point Break

Lost Time

  • The median length of downtime for those 412 sites was 840 minutes.
  • On average, each of these sites experienced 3291 minutes of downtime last year.
  • The total amount of downtime they experienced all together was 1,343,643 minutes — a combined 2.5 years of downtime!

These numbers all reflect time. Now let’s look at what really matters to these ecommerce sites.

Lost Revenue

  • On average, each of these 412 companies lost $800,099 in revenue due to downtime.
  • The total amount of revenue lost due to downtime of all 412 companies was $329,640,928!
  • To put that in perspective, for that amount of revenue, I could buy 25,356,994 copies of Point Break: Pure Adrenaline Edition (retailed at $12.99) on DVD. This would ensure nearly everyone in the great state of Texas or continental Australia could own their own copy.

The Holidays Are Approaching

The holiday season will be here in a few months and with October knocking on our doors, now is the time for ecommerce sites to make sure their sites will not only perform fast, but stay up. While I can’t measure the individual causes of downtime, DynECT Managed DNS can definitely decrease the length and chances of that happening.

When Johnny Utah was saying goodbye to Bodhi near the end of Point Break, he yelled, “Vaya con Dios.” We’d hate to see sites say the same thing to their revenue. Let’s talk and figure out how much downtime affects you so we can help you keep that potentially lost revenue.


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Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Interact on Twitter and Facebook.