September 9, 2016
3 min read time

Get your e-commerce site performance ready for Black Friday


Is it ever too early to get your websites and applications ready for the holiday-rush of consumers and all the promotions and deals your marketing team will run in the lead-up to the craziness of Black Friday (the day after American Thanksgiving), the weekend after and the newer craze, Cyber Monday?

As more and more consumers move online looking for deals and convenience, your e-commerce properties are more valuable - and vulnerable - than ever. Past years have shown that even the biggest, most well-known retail names (, have been struck down by Black Friday outages thanks to unprecedented traffic spikes brought on by masses of consumers trying to access the same advertised sales and deals. Not only could they not make their desired purchase, in many cases, they could not access the website at all.

It's all in the performance

First: site performance and speed of page loads, as well as presenting accurate, up-to-date information on your pages, is crucial to ensuring that consumers stay on your site and make purchases. Statistics show that milliseconds matter to consumers:

  • One-quarter of a second (an eye blink) delay in page load can drive consumers away.
  • A one-second delay in page response leads to 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and a 7% reduction in sales.
  • As a conservative example, if your site earns USD 85,000 every day, you risk losing more than USD two million annually if your site is slow.
  • Websites are growing more complex, with ballooning site size, number of pages and multiple, dynamic content fields, increasing site overloads and lags in performance – leading directly to possible negative bottom-line consequences.

Second, this performance hinges on the all-important idea that your website is actually up and running. What happens if your servers fail and your site buckles under the weight of the traffic being driven to it? You lose valuable sales and conversions, spend a lot of time and resource trying to fix the problem and get up and running again in high-demand conditions and risk alienating consumers and damaging your company’s brand, which can lead to long-term losses.

Performance and uptime matter almost more than anything: all the bargains, sales, promotions and demand do not matter if your site underperforms, which comes at a very high cost.

Black Friday - handling the stress on your site

Clearly, the holidays can put as much of a strain on websites and their backends as they can on consumers and their wallets. The stress can be too much - but you can get ready. Varnish Plus gives e-retailers and e-commerce sites the solutions for gearing up now to handle peak Black Friday traffic. Varnish Plus offers:

  • High availability: Ensure uptime for websites and applications while protecting your backend infrastructure from overload if the cache fails.
  • Enhanced cache invalidation: Take advantage of the ability to quickly update offers, campaigns and products/inventory with highly flexible caching and purging of dynamic, rapidly changing, event-driven content.
  • Data encryption and security: Integrated TLS/SSL and security-by-design features offer end-to-end security for both client and backend sides.
  • Real-time statistics and insights: Real-time insight into your site performance and use statistics are immediately available through Varnish Custom Statistics (VCS), which offers you both instant issue troubleshooting as well as instant business intelligence.

Don’t wait until Black Friday to find out how much poor web performance costs.

To learn more, download our new white paper, The high cost of poor performance.

Download the white paper

Photo (c) 2012 used under Creative Commons license.