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Black Friday: is online shopping falling short of customers’ expectations?

Black Friday and its aftermath are always a major event for many shoppers who plan to pounce on good deals and get their shopping under way for the holiday season. For this ultimately foreseeable rush, paradoxically, not many e-retailers seem to be ready.

Conventional retailers not as prepared as purely e-commerce players like Amazon, Cdiscount…

As the clock struck 9 am, lots of consumers were already facing frustration online. A number of major traditional retailers couldn’t handle the influx of simultaneous connections to their platforms. Visitors found themselves waiting in endless lines and being informed only with apologies about slowness due to high amounts of traffic.

Waiting lines on congested or suddenly unavailable sites, getting disconnected… people were becoming fed up with their online experience. It isn’t good enough for a website to be a passive “victim of its success”. Big name brands must get their platforms in shape to satisfy their customers’ expectations.

Why is it imperative to get e-retail websites ready?

To secure income from online sales

Websites (or applications) absolutely have to be available and performing well at all times. It is even more important during high-traffic periods or events (sales, Black Friday, the days leading up to Christmas, etc.). Shoppers are ready to spend, and this is the opportunity for e-retailers to increase their revenues online and at the same time build customer fidelity. It’s a big deal! The loss of earnings can be colossal if the store doesn’t seize its chance to get its website ready ahead of time.

To protect the business’s image

People share their experiences and post their comments on forums and social media. This is nothing new: negative comments are more indelible than positive remarks. Either way, they can influence other shoppers before they decide to buy, and (according to a study by IFOP) 8 shoppers in 10 check the comments before making a purchase. In the event the site is down or if the user has a bad experience, those customers are unlikely to return, for the most part, and will continue to shop on the e-commerce site that best met their needs.

An unavailable site can create a permanent impression on the shopper. In a society where consumers are impatient and want to be able to buy things fast, there is no room for slow-performing websites. Services like load testing are just the thing to get sites ready for success.

Tools and services to prepare your site and monitor user experience

Load testing is a first response when you need to know whether the infrastructure of your site is correctly sized to handle traffic spikes. You can seek guidance from professionals and measure the differences in performance before/after the audience level reaches a peak.

ip-label offers turnkey solutions to help you accurately diagnose performance shortcomings. We take care to assess:

  • the platform’s maximum capacity (number of unique visitors/h)
  • the point at which user response times and platform availability are degraded
  • the weak links in your architecture and/or application (slow SQL requests, code bottlenecks, etc.)
  • your site’s breaking point and the components involved (server capacity, application, configuration…)

Get in touch to find out more!

Download our whitepaper on load testing.