Numerous false conceptions are currently in circulation concerning e-commerce in the market. One of them is that it is completely normal for e-commerce to collapse on Black Friday due to the tremendous pressure. This is not the case. E-commerce sites that cannot cope with the increased volume are poorly designed.
According to an estimate from HUI, e-commerce will turn over SEK 58 billion in Sweden this year. The Black Friday trading phenomenon which takes place in late November has become the premier for the Christmas trade, the year's largest sales period for many companies. Black Friday is an enormous opportunity to beat previous sales records. Some e-traders do ten times more business than during two ordinary months. It is during this period in November and up to Christmas that many companies also turn around any red figures and ensure a good final result for the year as a whole.
Demands are exceptional during Black Friday. These buyers are not looking for inspiration, rather they have carefully planned their purchases. They work their way through Black Friday globally, which starts and ends somewhat differently depending on the Earth's time zones. When it falls in the relevant time zone, they log in, well prepared to get the best bargains. What is important here is fast response times and effective transactions, otherwise they leave the site and go elsewhere to shop.
Loading times are one of the critical elements in an e-commerce purchase. It is said that 49% of so-called millennials, i.e. those who were born in the 1980s and later, leave when a site or app does not load up after three seconds. Online shopping has fundamentally changed how companies have to work on business solutions. Today it's about ensuring the availability and performance of e-commerce sites throughout every hour of the day. Each individual customer expects a smooth purchasing process adapted to personal preferences. At any time, from different locations and from different platforms. Something which comes to a head during Black Friday.
Put simply, you need a solution which is robust and which can be scaled up. The difference in traffic can be unprecedented. The nightmare for an IT solution is, for example, sites which stay closed and have a “countdown”, i.e. have replaced the start page with a countdown to the premier for Black Friday. When the site opens, thousands of people are sitting waiting with their index fingers on their keyboard or mobile. What happens when the site cannot scale up ten times more than normal? It crashes.
To cope with the abrupt changes in traffic volume, the systems must be able to scale up and protect the resources that are not able to do that. You must have overall control of the flows, classify them, and have a plan for these different flows, some can be unlimitedly scaled up, others not at all. What is particularly critical is, for example, how your relational database, load balancer and document database function optimally together. There are no standard tools available for this task, you must ascertain precisely how to measure and validate, as well as use different tools to check that everything is satisfactory.
Ahead of Black Friday, RedBridge can help you to secure the site's availability, enable more orders and create stronger customer loyalty. Right now we have a highly beneficial offer where we perform a bespoke evaluation and give you a complete action plan so that you have time to prepare yourself for the year's major e-commerce event on 25 November.