Downtimes in Top-100 German Online Shops - Black Friday 2020

It can be surprisingly hard to keep online shop up and running under high load, especially in the volatile climate of pandemic year 2020. I've been there: Three years ago, in 2017, I spent Black Friday in a war room watching in horror as shop systems slowed down and failed again and again, while one set of engineers restarted systems and another group hatched emergency plans in breakout rooms ... it wasn't pretty, but it served as a catalyst for "cleaning up" the shop architecture over the course of the next months, and I made sure that my client's Black Friday promotions in the following years went flawlessly.

In 2018, I started monitoring the shops of the top-100 German online shops (ranked by e-commerce revenue) in order to benchmark availability. Here are the largest outages over the Black Friday weekend picked up by monitoring, to remind us that even the best-run shop systems can get unlucky from time to time: was serving "404" responses instead of search results - Monday, November 30th 2020, 16:40:15 – 21:25:20 CET

Not an outage in the strict sense of the word, but definitely a shop that wasn't making revenue: took its website down the day before Black Friday in order to create some excitement (and do some technical behind-the-scenes work?). Thursday, November 26th 2020, 15:00:20 - 18:55:30 CET

Technical issues, Sunday November 29th 2020, 17:16:05 – 17:21:21 CET

Our monitoring was unable to connect to the shop, Thursday November 26th 2020, 18:20:41 – 21:25:16 CET. Sometimes our monitoring agents get similar responses when shop systems blacklist them, but here it was only a specific interval of 3 hours in which that happened - the shop was likely down. was showing a "sorry" page for a couple of minutes on Thursday, November 26th 2020, 13:16:15 – 13:32:03 CET.

Not strictly a Black Friday / Cyber Monday outage since it was detected on Wednesday, December 2nd 2020, 15:05:08 – 16:07:10. seems to have been placing visitors in a waiting room due to high demand. was showing error messages on "Cyber Tuesday", December 1st 2020, 09:07:16 – 09:39:36 and 09:55:43 – 10:01:21 CET.