Keeping your website online for Black Friday

Bargain hunters spent a record $7.4bn online on Black Friday 2019, snapping up computers, tablets, smartphones and smart TVs at discounted rates. However, 2019 was also a record-breaking year for website outages, with businesses unable to handle the surges of shoppers hitting their virtual stores.

Most online retailers receive a spike in website traffic of 10x normal levels. As a result, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers break sales records year after year, fueling longer flash sale periods spanning the week prior to the traditional one-day Black Friday event. It also brings danger and disruption as many websites do not have the infrastructure to support such huge surges of traffic.

Poor website performance can be measured in terms of lost customers and revenue, that’s something that eCommerce brands simply can’t afford during the biggest sales event of the year. Consumers typically set out with the specific intent to purchase a big-ticket item and will readily seek an alternative if their first port-of-call fails to deliver, therefore doubling the damage of downtime when money is put directly into the hands of a competitor.

What can we expect from Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020? Total internet use increased by 70% in March as millions of citizens around the world were told to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many who had limited experience shopping online, were driven online for most of their essential retail needs and as a result, eCommerce organisations were required to assess their infrastructure to accommodate ongoing large volumes of traffic.

We can predict that this shift in consumer behaviour will lead to more bargain hunters heading online and away from physical stores for their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals than ever in 2020.

Without proactive and pre-emptive solutions in place, spikes in inbound web traffic can put additional strains on the website experience when website and app infrastructure cannot support the additional visitors. This leads to a poor customer experience, website or app failure, and of course impacts revenue, customer satisfaction and brand reputation.

This paper will highlight the risks traffic spikes pose to your eCommerce website and provide you with best practice strategies for ensuring website uptime and high levels of performance during busy shopping periods.

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