You may be familiar with the concept of a virtual waiting room, perhaps when shopping online for a sought-after item or when buying tickets for a big event.
But what is an online queue (or virtual waiting room), and how are retailers (and other businesses) using them to maximize their online revenues?
Virtual waiting rooms are also referred to as online queues or virtual queues. They are commonly used by online retailers, ticketing businesses, government agencies, or any kind of business that experiences large peaks in interest to their websites or apps.
Just like “real life” or in-person queues and waiting rooms, virtual waiting rooms maintain order and fairness when there is exceptional demand for a product or service. Without them, these sites risk crashing at pivotal moments such as during sales, product launches or ticket drops.
A common use of a virtual waiting room is to allow eCommerce sites to always be able to trade, no matter what level of demand hits their servers. Overwhelming web traffic can cause performance issues, lost functionality, errors or even crashes. All these scenarios lead to a drop in sales and revenue, and most commonly occur at the site’s busiest times.
Virtual waiting rooms also generate hype for products and services. Demonstrating that something is popular or sought out by many others makes that item more desirable and encourages visitors to place an order sooner rather than later. This is a strategy used by many retailers to improve conversion rates in a controlled manner.
At TrafficDefender we recognize that not all online queues are created equal, and a carefully designed virtual queue page improves the overall user experience, aligning with omni-channel strategies. Delivering a positive experience to customers whilst queuing also protects customer loyalty and boosts lifetime customer value.
Virtual waiting rooms provide value by adding an extra layer of control over web traffic in otherwise unmanageable situations.
As standard, TrafficDefender is implemented via a simple DNS change, which is fully secure and cannot be bypassed.
This means that all traffic hits TrafficDefender before being sent either into the virtual waiting room or directly to the target website, depending on current traffic levels.
All requests pass through to the eCommerce site as encrypted HTTPS traffic without being stored, making TrafficDefender PCI and GDPR compliant.
Once set up on the retail website or app, TrafficDefender’s virtual waiting room is managed through a browser-based portal.
The portal allows businesses to control the amount of traffic they wish to allow into each part of the website, which would be set to a level at which the site can perform comfortably without stressing servers. Beyond this threshold, new visitors will be placed into a queue, entering the site as others leave in a first-in, first-out basis.
TrafficDefender’s dashboards show the volume of visitors visiting each part of the site in real time, providing unique and valuable insights that can be used to tweak site capacity and optimize visitor throughput to the eCommerce site on-the-fly.
You need to make a great impression with your virtual queue page, so think of it in the same way as with any high-volume page on your website such as a landing page. You should ensure your brand is front and center to instil confidence in the experience.
Consider any creative techniques to increase interaction or engage visitors while they wait will reduce queue drop-out, increase conversion rates and maximize eCommerce revenue. For example, video content, product showcases, live updates or even games, quizzes and surveys are well received by customers.
Read more about creating engaging virtual waiting rooms in our whitepaper, “The Art of the Online Queue”
Prepare for your next big sale event to maximize your eCommerce revenue. Start talking to us today about how TrafficDefender can not only protect your site against unexpected outages, but also boost UX and boost revenue.
Book a demo today and we would be happy to get you started with a virtual waiting room for your retail website.