Amazon Is Least-Buggy Retail Site, Says Report

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2009-12-07 Print this article Print
  has fewer bugs on its Website than Wal-Mart or Target, according to a study by software-testing company uTest, which had 600 testers scour the sites in November. Out of the over 500 bugs discovered across the three sites, 94 were found on, 150 were on Wal-Mart's site and 261 were on Target's site. was the most-visited retail site on Cyber Monday, according to a report by Experian Hitwise, with and coming in second and third, respectively. is looking likely to have a good holiday 2009. Not only was the online retailer's Website the most-visited retail site on Cyber Monday, with an estimated 15.53 percent of U.S. visits to the top 500 retail stores, but a study from uTest suggests it may also be the least buggy of the major shopping Websites.

In a late-November contest hosted by uTest, which makes use of crowdsourcing to test software, a pool of testers that included "nearly 600 software professionals from [more than] 20 countries" spent a week patrolling three popular retail sites-those of, Wal-Mart and Target-for bugs, uTest said in a news release Dec. 7.

According to uTest, the testers eventually found 505 bugs. Out of that number, 94 bugs were found on, 150 bugs were found on and 261 bugs were found on

About 11 percent of the bugs found on's site were "showstoppers" in need of immediate attention, while 43 percent were classified as high priority and 47 percent as either medium or low priority. About 67 percent of the bugs were functional, 21 percent were technical and 12 percent affected the site's GUI.

By contrast, 50 percent of the bugs found on Wal-Mart's site were considered by the testers to be either high priority or showstoppers, uTest said. About 54 percent of the bugs were functional, 23 percent were technical and 23 percent affected the GUI.

About 49 percent of the bugs on Target's site, as reported by uTest's testers, were either high priority or showstoppers. About 56 percent were classified as functional, 20 percent were technical and 25 percent affected the GUI.

Overall, 74 percent of the testers reported that was the most trustworthy "e-tailer," followed by Wal-Mart with 16 percent and Target with 10 percent. They ranked highest in the Price Competitive, Ease of Use, User Reviews & Ratings and Product Comparison Tools categories, while ranking Wal-Mart higher in the Product Search Capability category and putting the company almost even with in the Price Competitive category.

More information about the uTest survey can be found here., and also placed at the top of Experian Hitwise's list of the most-visited retail sites on Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving that represents the traditional start of the holiday online shopping season.

According to Experian Hitwise, received 15.53 percent of the U.S. visits to the top 500 retail Websites, followed by Wal-Mart with 9.54 and Target with 5.16 percent.

Best Buy was fourth in that survey with 3.56 percent, and then JC Penney with 2.59 percent. The report found that traffic on the top 500 retail sites was down 9 percent compared with Cyber Monday 2008.

However, in what could be interpreted as good news for the nation's retailers-at least those with an online presence-research company ComScore found in a separate report that Cyber Monday online sales totaled $887 million, a 5 percent increase from Cyber Monday 2008. Furthermore, the ComScore report found that Cyber Monday 2009 matched the heaviest online spending day on record, Dec. 9, 2008.

Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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