RSS feed Get our RSS feed

News by Topic

BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 18, 2016

Are you prepared for Black Friday?

With a week to go until Black Friday, there are doubtless many online retailers who have yet to address the potential for a surge in online demand. Those who do not prepare for chaos risk damage to their brand reputation.

by Helen Leggatt

While Black Friday falls on a national holiday in the U.S., this hasn't prevented the bargain-bashing becoming a phenomenon in the U.K. Current predictions reveal this year's Black Friday will generate record revenues of £5 billion in the five days around Friday, 25th November.

And, retailers should already have prepared their websites for the inevitable traffic spikes and consumer demand, or face tarnishing their brand reputation, says UK firm Rackspace.

"For those that aren't prepared, the next ten days could be make or break. Retailers must use this time to do all they can to make sure their website can deliver under the strain of millions of eager consumers searching for the best deals out there," says Mike Bainbridge, Chief Digital Technologist, Rackspace. "If they can't, then it could be better to opt out this time to avoid reputational damage, and focus on preparing for next year or their next big sales peak in January or February."

Preparations for Black Friday should have included analyzing traffic from the 2015 event to identify where improvements could be made, as well as looking at the load on mobile websites. Furthermore, Bainbridge advises that intelligent performance testing - not just flooding the website with visitors but instead looking at the paths shoppers took - should have been carried out months ago.

Outages during Black Friday sales are measured in lost customers and revenues and even the most prepared and big companies can suffer. Last year Target, Paypal and even Nieman Marcus suffered outages. Bainbridge suggests caching content using a CDN to reduce the impact of large media assets and server load, but retailers might also consider the use of cloud services or routing traffic to a specific Black Friday page to reduce loads on the homepage.

Tags: Black Friday, ecommerce, holiday 2016 shopping trends, website traffic

Subscribe to BizReport



Copyright © 1999- BizReport. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of BizReport content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
BizReport shall not be liable for any errors in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.