Could your business handle a Black Friday spike?

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Date Posted:
9 November 2018

Black Friday chaos could cause website downtime for many retailers

Black Friday
With Black Friday weekend coming up on November 23rd, retailers are preparing for one of the busiest periods of the year.  Over these peak shopping days, online stores can expect up to three times more traffic than normal. With the future of retail firmly placed online, Black Friday sales over the internet grow year on year, with shoppers choosing to make their purchases from the comfort of their home or office.

Consumer frustration
For consumers, site downtime and slow page loading speeds can be extremely frustrating, as they attempt to make purchases online. Retailers need to have strategies in place for dealing with these issues, and to avoid having to use the dreaded ‘experiencing technical issues’ announcement.

What effect will Black Friday have on retailers’ technology and applications?

Be prepared
Site downtime not only means that your site is unavailable, but that you are losing out on valuable sales. If your website was down or slow to respond, customers might take their custom straight to a competitor.

Designer and high street stores have all suffered at the hands of the Black Friday online frenzy.  A lot of retailers use online queuing systems for payments, which aims to reduce the strain on the website as well as frustration for shoppers. But year after year, websites seem to have the same issues over the Black Friday weekend.

“Your provider should be prepared for a huge influx of website traffic over Black Friday weekend. They should provide scalable options and promise peak performance during this high-traffic period. If you’re a retailer, it’s unacceptable to have downtime during busy periods, as your provider should continually run tests on the website beforehand, mimicking the rush of traffic and adjusting the resources to make sure the website can hold up.” – James Annetts, Infrastructure Manager at Hyve Managed Hosting.

Scale up
All retailers need to prepare for the increase in traffic by scaling up their infrastructure to deal with peaks in traffic.  Hyve’s cloud services are ideal for eCommerce sites, so that your business can dynamically add compute and storage resources as traffic increases. These resources can be added on to cover this period of peak activity so that you’re not paying for them for the rest of the year.

Having a high performance platform will improve your site and page loading speeds, as well as the option of using a CDN to serve content based on locality during spikes in traffic.

Rebootless scaling technology also means that you can increase CPU and memory without needing to reboot the server, avoiding any disruption to the site. Similarly, loadbalancing spreads the load of web applications over multiple servers to improve performance.

Managed host
Having a management layer for your infrastructure is also a very practical service to have during a peak traffic period. Without a support team being responsive to requests, your business might not be able to upgrade resources quickly or remedy any potential outages. You also need to ensure that you have unmetered bandwidth without hidden charges or restrictions.

If you would like to discuss how to prepare your infrastructure for Black Friday weekend, please get in touch with the sales team on 0800 612 2524.

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