On Black Friday Leading Retail Web Sites Slow Way Down, Reports Keynote Systems


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* Almost All Sites on Keynote’s Market-Leading Retail Web Transaction
Performance Index Performed Slower Than Normal; Some Crumble Under Black
Friday Pressure
* However, Overall Performance Quality Improved This Year Over Last;
Fewer Sites Had Major Outages
* Best Site Performance Overall Was Delivered By Wal-Mart, Sears and
Barnes & Noble
* Of Pure Online Sites Newegg and Overstock.com Performed Well; Other
Pure Online Sites Struggled

SAN MATEO, CALIF., – November 28, 2009 – Keynote Competitive Research
, the
industry analysis group of Keynote Systems
(Nasdaq: KEYN), the global leader in on-demand mobile and Internet test &
measurement solutions for continuously
improving the online experience

, today announced the top level results of its annual study tracking the
speed and reliability of the nation’s most popular retail Web sites
beginning Black Friday and continuing throughout the holiday shopping
season. Online holiday shoppers experienced a mixed bag from a performance
perspective on Black Friday, as almost all of the sites on Keynote’s online
retail shopping index showed slowdowns on this very busy online shopping
day. Overall, most of them weathered the storm very well, but there were a
few sites (as there seems to be every year) that crumbled under the
pressure. This continues to surprise Keynote during this extremely critical
consumer shopping period and in the current economy in which every dollar

“Overall the quality of the sites tracked on Black Friday improved this year
over last, with fewer showing major outages and issues impacting a large
number of users,” said Ben Rushlo, director of competitive Research at
Keynote. “The best performing sites overall were Wal-Mart, Sears and Barnes
& Noble. Each of these sites did very well during the Black Friday period
(6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST). Overall, Wal-Mart was the most stable site,
showing not a single error (100% availability for the day) and very little
slowdown. Wal-Mart has struggled in the past with Black Friday traffic, but
this year they got it right, offering their customers a consistently fast
and reliable experience. Wal-Mart and the other good quality sites prove
that with proper planning, load testing and focus it is possible to offer
customers a pleasant online experience even when customer volume is the

Of the pure online sites (sites that do not have physical
stores), Newegg was very good as was Overstock.com. Other pure online sites
struggled. Interestingly, they seemed to have more issues later in the
afternoon, likely when shoppers shifted their focus from “brick and mortar”
to these ‘online only’ sites.

Several sites had issues very early in the morning (5:00 a.m.
EST), likely as shoppers were looking for “door buster” deals. Others
struggled more in the afternoon hours as the continued pressure on the site
began to build and cause problems.

Rushlo continued, “This year, there were a few sites that had major issues.
Keynote noted more issues in the apparel vertical than in other verticals.
This is consistent with our findings in years prior. The best site on
Keynote’s apparel index was Victoria’s Secret, as it did not report a single
error and virtually no slowdown during the critical Black Friday shopping

Keynote’s reporting is comprised of leading online shopping
sites across apparel, electronics, and books and music Web sites and
establishes a standard for retailers to measure acceptable performance
against. The Keynote Retail Transaction Performance Index benchmarks the
performance for an online shopping transaction for each leading retail site,
including product search, shopping cart and checkout process performance.

Keynote provides the industry’s most realistic and reliable monitoring
capabilities. The data used to create Keynote’s retail index is collected in
real-time on an hourly basis from 10 cities across the U.S., providing an
up-to-the-minute barometer of online consumer experience throughout the 2009
holiday shopping season. The index data is collected using Transaction
Perspective R, Keynote’s market-leading Web site performance measurement
and monitoring service that uses a real Internet Explorer browser (unlike
competitors) to capture measurements that are highly accurate and best
simulate an actual end user’s experience.

Further information on the Keynote Retail Performance Indices is available
online at:


Sites Included on Keynote’s Retail Web Transaction Performance Index–

Electronics sites on Keynote’s retail index include: Amazon, Apple Store,
Best Buy, CDW, Dell, HP, Newegg, Office Depot, Office Max, Overstock, Sony
Style, Staples, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart.

Apparel sites on Keynote’s retail index include: Abercrombie & Fitch, Eddie
Bauer, Foot Locker, J Crew, JC Penney, Kohls, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus,
Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sears, Victoria’s Secret, Zappos.

Books and music sites on Keynote’s retail index include: Abe Books, Amazon,
Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster, Borders, Overstock, Scholastic, Target, Tower
Records, Wal-Mart.

About Keynote

Keynote Systems (NASDAQ:KEYN) is the global leader in on-demand test &
measurement solutions for continuously improving the online experience. For
over a decade, Keynote has been providing measurement data and testing
capabilities that allow companies to understand and improve their customers’
online and mobile experience. Keynote has four test and measurement
businesses: Web performance, mobile quality, streaming & VoIP and customer

Known as The Mobile and Internet Performance AuthorityT, Keynote has a
market-leading infrastructure of 3,000 measurement computers and mobile
devices in over 240 locations around the world. Keynote’s 2,800 customers
represent top Internet and mobile companies including American Express,
Disney, eBay, E*TRADE, Expedia, Microsoft, SonyEricsson, Sprint, T-Mobile,
Verizon, Vodafone and YouTube.

Keynote Systems, Inc. is headquartered in San Mateo, California and can be
reached at www.keynote.com or by phone in the U.S. at 1-800-KEYNOTE.

KeynoteR, DataPulseR, CustomerScopeR, Keynote CE RankingsR, Keynote Customer
Experience RankingsR, PerspectiveR, Keynote Red AlertR, Keynote Traffic
PerspectiveR, Keynote WebEffectiveR, The Internet Performance AuthorityR,
MyKeynoteR , SIGOSR, SITER, KeynoteT, The Mobile & Internet Performance
AuthorityT, Screen Sensing Technology and Keynote FlexUseT are trademarks or
registered trademarks of Keynote Systems, Inc. in the United States and/or
other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective
owners. C 2009 Keynote Systems, Inc.


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