Despite a Chinese economic slowdown, ongoing tension between China and the US as the tariff and trade war drags on, and escalating Hong Kong unrest, there’s been no damper on another record-breaking Singles Day. You’d never guess that there was any change to consumer spending power or appetite at all.
Not long ago,The Register offered this tongue-in-cheek prediction: “What sector of tech is forecast to grow fatter than the Slovakian economy or Elon Musk’s ego in 2018? The cloud. Global spending on the fluffy white stuff is predicted by mystics at Gartner to reach $175.8bn this year.” This doesn’t appear to have been an exaggeration. Acloud industry insights report from Right Scale indicated that 96% of companies across industries have embraced cloud services, for any number of reasons, including faster, more innovative delivery and cost reductions, among others. And more than half of the companies surveyed were deploying multiple clouds for different reasons as well as any number of hybrid on-premise and cloud mashups that together make up a custom solution to suit each individual company.
The countdown is on - we’re just a week away from Black Friday, meaning that you have already prepared your website to face the traffic demands it will - hopefully - face and surmount. In previous years, we’ve written about getting ready for Black Friday because it has traditionally been a peak-traffic occasion, but it has become common for outages to occur at other random peak-traffic times because there are actually other major, but sometimes predictable, traffic jams. As it happens, major shopping days are no longer limited to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend each year - with the end-of-year shopping season beginning online earlier and earlier, and the biggest stumbling blocks lately happening in the US on Thanksgiving Day itself.
We’ve reached that time of year when most e-commerce sites are finishing up their efforts to strengthen and secure their website performance before big holiday shopping kicks off in earnest. The frenzy is unpredictable - and no retailer, big or small, is immune. As more shoppers move online for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, and the shopping season extends to become a season unto itself, there are more unpredictable factors over a longer period of time, meaning that preparation, risk assessment and stress testing are essential. Many different stumbling blocks can get in the way of site performance and, ultimately, of capitalizing on major marketing campaigns you’ve invested in. The bottom line is that you may even alienate customers with your online traffic jam (they went online to avoid the crowds!), keeping them away not only during the holidays but later, too.