Black Friday and Cyber Monday are back and the websites of online retailers are expecting their largest spikes in traffic yet. Let's just hope the internet is around to handle it all.
It's that time of year when manufacturers and retailers all push back their pricing in a bid to win our wallets. And, while the "sport" of Black Friday shopping is still alive and kicking (and screaming and hair pulling), a growing amount of shoppers are making the decision to avoid the melee and take their holiday shopping to the more controlled confines of the internet. Savvy retailers have responded to this trend and are now pushing more and more doorbusting deals online to quell our insatiable hunger for stuff at great deals. What started as Cyber Monday is now bleeding over into the largest shopping day of the year, with some analysts predicting a 2.5% increase in online retail traffic between Thursday and Monday from the year prior. People's growing comfort with internet shopping has resulted in growth from $4.2 billion in 2012 to $7.45 billion in 2015, as more and more customers ditch their shopping carts and flock to smartphones and computers to snatch up the special savings during this holiday weekend.
This surge of online traffic and the dependency on digital domains got me thinking though. We fellow online consumers would be pretty distraught if all of the websites of all of our favorite merchants suddenly became unavailable. If some massive event brought all online traffic to a halt. In light of the recent DDoS attack on DNS provider, Dyn, and other major hacking news throughout the world, that hard-to-imagine reality is becoming more and more tangible for the average person. But what would it actually take to bring down the internet? Is it even possible? What sort of costs would be involved in something like this and what would be the effects of the world suddenly loosing it digital tether to each other and our beloved consumable products and services?
For answers to these questions and more, take a look at the graphic below (click to enlarge). It paints a pretty sobering picture of our online universe not being as fortified as we might think. While I know where I'll be doing my shopping this holiday weekend, I'm just going to hope that nothing breaks my beloved internet or prevents me from clicking my way into cyber savings.