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Performance Tracking  > 2013 Holiday Season  > Introduction

WebSitePulse 2013 Holiday Retail Performance and Uptime Report

Weak holiday season for retailers this year

The 2013 Holiday Season is expected to be tough for retailers this year. In fact, analysts at Morgan Stately predict sales growth will be the weakest since 2008 – only 1.6%, money.cnn.com reported. For comparison, sales in 2012 grew with 3.5%.

Experts say sales will be sluggish due to low consumer confidence and despite low gas prices and a rising stock market in the United States. Another factor is that people will have less time for shopping this holiday season, as late Thanksgiving means six fewer days to Christmas than last year, explained Bill Simon, head of Walmart’s US business, for The Financial Times.

Retailers, therefore, will be forced to reduce prices drastically in order to attract buyers. This holiday season is even said to bring “the most intense promotional environment since 2008,” according money.cnn.com.

Considering that promotions are expected to flood online and walk-in stores this year, we are led to believe that some of the most popular online stores will reach such high online visitors’ traffic that they may not even be able to handle it without any outages. Out of pure curiosity and the belief that websites should be well-prepared to bear heavy traffic load, we decided to monitor 10 of the most popular websites during the whole holiday season – from Nov 21st, 2013 until Jan 6th, 2014. We will be closely watching their availability and performance, and report their statistics on a daily basis.

As always, slow websites or such that experience availability interruptions during transactions will cause nothing but revenue losses and disappointed customers who would likely seek the products and services of their online competitors.