May 13, 2002, 12:00 AM

Flower and gift sites stand up to Mother’s Day demand, Empirix reports

From May 1 to 6, the average time at seven flower and gift web sites to complete a transaction was 7.4 seconds, says Empirix. Average site availability was 97.42%.

 

Flower and gift retailing web sites monitored by Empirix, a provider of integrated test and monitoring solutions for web, voice and network applications, held up pretty well under the onslaught of online shopping for Mother’s Day, although most suffered deteriorating performance as the holiday approached, Empirix reports.

Empirix used its FarSight remote monitoring product to generate thousands of tests over eight days in order to track response time, or the number of seconds it took to complete a multi-step transaction from the home page to the check out screen, and site availability, the percentage of time a site was successfully processing transactions. Empirix monitored 1-800-Flowers.com, Kabloom.com, FTD.com, MarthaStewart.com, Hallmark.com, Proflowers.com, and Justflowers.com.

From May 1 to 6, the average time to complete a transaction was 7.4 seconds. Empirix says Kabloom.com was the top performer, with a response time of only 3.5 seconds, with Justflowers.com coming in second at only 3.9 seconds. During the same period, the average site availability was 97.42%. As with response time, Kabloom.com and Justflowers.com led the way with availabilities of 99.77% and 99.02% respectively.

On May 7 and 8, however, demand began to peak. Average response time for all sites rose to 13.7 seconds, an increase of 85%. Availability also declined from 97.42% to 90.17%. "Several of these retailers developed problems with page timeouts or navigation errors just at the time they were taking in the most money," said Sean Kline, director of Application Performance Management Solutions at Empirix.

Some sites rose to the challenge, however, and improved their performance during the peak. 1-800-Flowers.com improved its availability to lead among all retailers with a score of 99.76%, while FTD.com also improved its availability during the peak and came in second with 98.17%, Empirix said.

 

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