Black Friday – learning the hard way for many online traders

(Jonas Larson)
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Sales records for some online traders, crashed websites and unhappy customers for others. How was your Black Friday, which heralds the start of Christmas trading? Why are some stores capable of handling extremely high traffic volumes more effectively than others?

Advertisers – a nightmare for engineers?

One error message commonly seen on websites using manual scaling is "We are currently experiencing high traffic volumes and are unable to handle your order. Thank you for your patience, we hope to see you again soon". This is not a desirable situation for anyone; not for the marketing department, which aims to support sales targets and strengthen the brand with its campaigns, and not for the IT department, which should be working with development and not performance problems. Above all, this is definitely not the path to take if you want to keep your customers.

Manually forecasting demand and then adding capacity rarely predicts traffic correctly. To be able to deal with concentrated traffic peaks on days such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, companies often overdimension resources for the rest of the year as well – an expensive solution in the long run. Underallocation, on the other hand, means pathetic error messages, complaints all over social media and – in the end – lost revenues.

Autoscaling allows you to eliminate these problems by adding or removing nodes automatically when the numbers of visitors increase or decrease. As a result, IT and marketing don't need to be dependent on one another as regards uptime, they can focus on better things instead. Engineers can safely provide a site that's capable of managing varied web traffic and provide marketing staff with customer data. Marketing in turn can use this information for relevant sales campaigns that attract visitors to the online store without having to worry about the site crashing.

Compete with autoscaling

Online trading in Sweden grew by 16 percentage the third quarter and is expected to turn over a total in excess of SEK 50 billion this year. At the same time, online stores are facing increasingly tough competition from abroad (source: Postnord's online trading barometer). To win the trust of customers, the media frequently refers to the importance of being able to customise marketing, adopting an all- encompassing approach with interacting channels and a seamless logistics flow for fast deliveries.

To overtake your competitors and offer a positive customer experience, we reckon it's every bit as important to be able to offer online services with rapid response times and high levels of accessibility too. In this respect, autoscaling can help you by dimensioning the right resources according to current traffic volume, resulting in cost-effective operation, higher numbers of orders completed and loyal customers.

Get started quickly and easily

Let the geniuses at RedBridge help you with autoscaling, and focus on getting customers to your site instead. We can rapidly implement automatic scaling for you in our operating environment. The service is easy to set up, and if necessary we can adapt the code in your solution to give you an autoscaling environment in just a couple of days.

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Automatic scaling increases sales for Daniel Wellington

When the IT environment was unable to scale in line with expansion and the approaching Christmas season, this online trader chose a new way of meeting the influx of orders and demand from customers on a global level. Find out more about our partnership with the watch company.