Black Friday is Coming

What does Black Friday mean for your organization and quality assurance?

Black Friday is a critical e-commerce day which always leaves casualties in it’s wake.
Huge customer visits to a website result in the website crashing. There is a relatively simple solution to this one problem. When conducting your load testing before Black Friday, try to bring your system into the failure.
  • Run a sequence of tests while continually increasing the load and monitor the performance
  • Always set up backup servers so you can recover quickly
  • Black Friday is a day for mobile shoppers too, so a thorough testing for performance, security and functionality should be done on real devices to know the loopholes
  • As a best practice try to run the tests in production environment when the traffic is low
  • Various load testing tools like JMeter, Stress Tester, and Load Runner can be used to test website performance. Cloud Performance testing tools like Blaze Meter can be used to simulate the load from multiple geo-locations


Why is Black Friday called Black Friday?

Some say it is called Black Friday because it is a day that retailers go from “being in the red” to “being in the black.” Others say it is called Black Friday because so many people go out to shop that it causes traffic accidents and chaos. Unfortunately, violence is not unheard of on this day.  Since 2006, there have been 7 reported deaths and 98 injuries during Black Friday sales. The reasons for violence range from disputes over parking spaces to fighting over discounted items. Being caught in a scuffle or stuck in traffic could put a damper on a shopping spree.  However, if we are talking about companies, having a system failure could mean substantial financial and reputable ruin keeping them from “being in the black”.

Horror Stories

Here’s how to end up in the #BlackFriday #Fail Twitter stream

Neiman Marcus completely missed Black Friday when their website experienced a major outage. They attempted a “Black Saturday” sale, but they were never able to fully recover and had outages through Sunday.

Best Buy and Tesco (UK Supermarket giant) suffered some of the biggest losses when their websites went down for the first 12 hours of Black Friday.

Both Tesco and Best Buy (and many other e-commerce sites) made the same mistake. They underestimated the load.

These are things that have happened and people come to expect, but it doesn’t have to be this way.


  • Never underestimate
  • Recover quickly
  • Test continuously
  • Invest in QA now
  • Don’t become a Black Friday horror story

lipsa About the Author

Lipsa Rath has 7 yearsʼ quality assurance and software testing experience in both web-based and client-server applications in the retail and insurance domains.

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