From camping outside shopfronts, to grappling over goods and wading through the herd of high street shoppers, we have all experienced enough Black Friday’s to cure any desire to experience its phenomenon once again. Thank goodness, then, for online shopping; the hassle-free world of e-commerce where you can purchase all your discounted Christmas gifts, slouched on your sofa, in your fluffy winter socks.
In 2018, Black Friday and Cyber Monday produced online orders of $6 billion. Black Friday is set to be, once again, one of the biggest shopping events in the UK calendar. Falling on the 29th of November this year, it is soon followed by Cyber Monday on the 2nd of December, with both events offering consumers chances of large savings on their purchases.
The term Black Friday was historically used to describe car traffic that would occur at the beginning of the pre-Christmas shopping season in the US. The transformation of the digital landscape, including the increased use of the internet and the rise of online retail websites rapidly changed the nature of Black Friday. What was once an annual traffic jam across the pond, became an adopted marketing strategy that took the UK high-street by storm. Today, due to significant technical developments and changing market environments, Black Friday is an essential e-commerce event that no online retailer can afford to miss.
Black Friday is now one of the largest seasonal spikes for online retailers. Online firms sales in November have more than tripled from average weekly sales over the past ten years alone. A whopping £1.49 billion was spent on online sales in the UK on Black Friday 2018. Over 194 million visits were made to UK retail sites alone and over 1.2 billion visits were made by online shoppers over the Christmas period. Love it or loathe it, there’s no denying the unstoppable force of Black Friday. It comes as no surprise then, that e-commerce sites are keen to capitalise on the event and the volume of potential sales it can bring.
An obvious concern for retailers is ensuring they can perform efficiently and competitively online. Outages and even website performance issues due to high traffic volumes can be disastrous for retailers, and could lead to significant losses, as well as resulting in frustrated customers.
With the e-commerce market expanding and increased market competition in the sector, it is vital for online retailers to be prepared and take full advantage of calendar events that bring traffic influxes, prioritising online engagement and efficiency through a reliable, secure hosting provider. With consumers planning to spend more of their Christmas budget online than in stores this year, a right-fit cloud platform can help e-commerce businesses meet this demand.
The importance of being online 24/7 in the retail landscape has never been more critical or demanding. Due to significant seasonal traffic spikes, the ability to quickly and easily scale up website resources to meet demands is essential. Reports have found that 53% of shoppers will abandon a page that does not load after just three seconds, a figure that stresses the importance of keeping websites and applications performing optimally.
Flexible cloud hosting solutions can enable e-commerce businesses to add more compute and memory resources for seasonal events such as Black Friday, then scale down when the demand decreases, helping to ensure consistent uptime and site performance. This kind of flexibility can help massively with planning for future influxes in traffic to web services, ensuring performance can be matched to demand and revenue will not be compromised.
Here are some e-commerce hosting features that you might want to consider when choosing a hosting provider to support your online shop.
Pay-as-you-go and resource-based pricing is ideal for e-commerce companies when coping with seasonal peaks. Only paying for the cloud resources that are needed enables scalability in line with revenue, so you can scale up when needed, and then reduce these resources following a peak.
Online shoppers are all after the best deals online, but they need reassurance that the site they are purchasing from is secure and that their personal and financial information will be safeguarded. Secura’s cloud services are protected by the latest enterprise grade security technologies. On top of this, we also offer full disaster recovery replication and backup, allowing you to protect your business and customer data should any problem occur.
Around the Clock Support
It is vital for e-commerce businesses to be online around the clock – shoppers never sleep! If an issue needs resolving, or something is affecting your platform usability, then having fast, expert support at any hour is invaluable. Choose a hosting provider that offers friendly, knowledgeable, 24/7 support to help resolve any issues or requests you may have, to give you peace of mind – especially during the busy seasonal periods.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday becoming increasingly popular with consumers, it is vital that online retailers take the necessary steps to prepare their website and application platforms to capitalise on these types of seasonal events.
When choosing a hosting provider, it is essential they can deliver a secure, reliable, high-performance platform around the clock. Ensuring your hosting provider can satisfy business requirements and deliver e-commerce scalability is essential to the success of a Black Friday campaign or any seasonal spike – choosing a trusted provider will make all the difference.
If you would like to find out more about our specialist e-commerce hosting solutions or want to get a feel for what you should be looking for in a cloud provider, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Image credit: GoodStudio/Shutterstock.com
Hannah is the Marketing Assistant at Secura, helping the team deliver campaigns and events, and our resident social media specialist.
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