Black Friday and Cyber Monday are approaching in a few months… Will your retail website and apps handle the traffic?
For retailers, Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be the most lucrative opportunities, yet, biggest threats of the year. Just last November, Cyber Monday surpassed $3B in online sales (up 16% from 2014)—marking the biggest online spending day in U.S. history. Despite the sales jump, high traffic volume managed to temporarily shut down retail sites for Target, Saks, ShutterFly, Footlocker, and Neiman Marcus—which happened to miss Black Friday, altogether, with a full-day extended outage.
Target’s 404 page after record traffic made it crash on Cyber Monday 2015
Impact of Delays and Downtime on Retailers
What we learn from these delays and outages, is the considerable impact it has on revenue. Today’s consumer wants instant gratification. Studies show that if a retailer’s site is making $100k per day, even as little as a 1 second delay can potentially cost $2.5M in lost sales every year.
If that’s not enough, the blow is compounded by intangible costs that leave a lasting impression in the mind of your customers—and on your brand’s reputation.
Damage to Brand Reputation: Outages and delays make news headlines. Customers take to social media, such as Twitter, to express their frustration and discontent.
Competitive Advantage: If customers can’t access your site or app, they take their money elsewhere— to your competition.
Loss of Staff Productivity: IT, web operations and customer service teams are left dealing with the aftermath of having to troubleshoot and quickly resolve the issue, while customer service handles irate customers.
Loss in Marketing and Advertising Spend: Efforts spent on promotions are wasted when customers reach a retail website, app or landing page, but can’t access it.
Upgrade your infrastructure, or risk losing revenue
For retailers, uptime is mission-critical. When the busiest shopping days of the year approach, you can’t afford to lose out on the opportunity. If you have doubts to whether your retail site can withstand the growing volume of holiday traffic, the time to upgrade your infrastructure is now.
Ensure Reliability and Availability
It’s important to have a plan in place to ensure reliability and uptime. Retailers can prevent downtime by using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that offers none other than a 100% availability SLA. The difference in service levels may seem marginal, but, if a provider’s availability is 99.5%—that equates to 43 hours and 49 minutes of potential downtime, while a 99.99% SLA is 52 minutes and 35 seconds of potential downtime per year. Is that acceptable—on the busiest shopping day of the year?
While there are many CDNs out there to choose from, CacheFly CDN offers features critical for retailers during the busy holiday season:
- Highest Availability—100% SLA: While downtime may occur, and it’s not always possible to deliver on 100% uptime, CacheFly CDN provides instant failover to automatically reroute to the nearest available servers to offer 100% availability.
- Fastest File Throughput Performance: Independent network monitoring tests reveal that CacheFly has the fastest file throughput performance, to deliver your website and app files fast—no matter the location.
- Infinite Scalability: Manage peak traffic on Black Friday and Cyber Monday with ease, knowing no matter how many global requests you receive, your site and mobile apps will seamlessly scale on demand.
- Instant Purge: If merchandise is out of stock, or the wrong pricing or item is listed, its important to remove it immediately. With instant purge, items can be removed easily, and CacheFly’s super-fast replication pushes updates to global users within seconds.
- Gzip Compression: Most retail sites consist of lots of product images, including large hero images, which can cause slowdowns. Gzip compression reduces file sizes ‘on the fly’, to optimize transfer over the Internet and save on bandwidth costs.
- Security: With security features such as SSL support and URL/referrer blocking, CacheFly ensures your customers confidence in purchasing from your retail website securely.
Using a CDN can help you capitalize on the busiest holiday shopping days of the year, by ensuring availability and scalability, faster delivery, and a better overall user experience to increase conversions and profits. In some cases, in can mean the difference between making the most sales of the year, versus having a complete system downtime failure. The time to prepare for it is now.
Not sure if CacheFly is right for you? Contact us to schedule an appointment with our CDN experts, who can evaluate your needs and determine a custom-fit solution for you.
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