Retailers are paying a heavy price for incidents where their technology stacks go down.
The median annual cost of IT outages for 173 surveyed retailers is $9.95 million, according to the first “State of Observability for Retail” report from unified data platform provider New Relic.
The study also shows that retailers experience high-business-impact outages at a higher frequency than other industries, with 37% of respondents reporting these outages at least once a week compared to the overall average of 32% across industries. In addition, more than half (55%) of respondents noted it takes at least 30 minutes to detect high-business-impact outages and 61% indicated it takes at least 30 minutes to resolve them.
Retailers also spend more on outage observability technologies than most other industries, according to the survey. Almost half (49%) of respondents said they spend $500,000 or more, and 31% said they spend $1 million or more per year on observability.
More than four in 10 (43%) of respondents said they have improved their mean time to resolution (MTTR) since adopting an observability solution, while close to six in 10 (57%) of respondents noted more than $500,000 in total annual value, In addition, 43% said the total annual value is $1 million or more, and 21% estimated they receive $5 million or more per year in total annual value from observability solutions.
A look ahead
By mid-2026, almost all (98%) respondents are expected to have deployed alerts, as well as network monitoring and security monitoring (both 97%).
In the next one to three years, more than half (53%) of respondents are expected to deploy synthetic monitoring, 42% are expected to deploy mobile monitoring, and 39% are expected to deploy browser monitoring.
By mid-2026, 90% of respondents are expected to have deployed browser monitoring, 85% expected to have deployed mobile monitoring, and 79% expected to have deployed synthetic monitoring.
Seven in 10 (69%) respondents toggle between more than four observability tools in an effort to understand the different aspects of their business.
More than four in 10 (42%) of respondents said their organization is likely to consolidate tools in the next year to get the most value out of their observability spend.
The top observability solution architecture preference among respondents is a single, consolidated platform (46%).
“If a retailer’s website goes down for even 30 minutes on a high-traffic day like Cyber Monday, it could cost them millions of dollars, not to mention negatively influence their brand perception,” said New Relic chief strategy and design officer Peter Pezaris.