Hitwise's Robin Goad provides a useful insight into the consequences of Debenhams' website crashing on Thursday and Friday of last week during its sale.  

According to Robin's post, the consequence of  Debenhams.com being unable to handle the extra sales traffic was that the retailer leaked traffic to its competitors' websites.

While 33.2% of the retailer's downstream traffic went to other retail websites on the 18th (the day before the sale), by the 22nd this figure had reached 46.9%. 

The main beneficiaries of its website woes were M&S, John Lewis and Next, all taking traffic and presumably sales from Debenhams. By contrast, just 25% of M&S's downstream traffic went to rival retailers last week.

Hitwise chart

Also, the Hitwise stats suggest that Debenhams, though it did experience a clear surge in visits thanks to its pre-Xmas sale, had nothing like the spike that rival M&S experienced, and was able to handle without crashing or even slowing down.

Related articles:
How is M&S handling its pre-Xmas sale online? 

Graham Charlton

Published 24 November, 2008 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

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