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Don’t let Black Friday darken e-commerce capabilities

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Black Friday, the annual retail shopping bonanza, falls on Friday 25 November this year, followed by Cyber Monday on 28 November. The question all e-commerce retailers need to ask themselves is whether their websites are resilient enough to withstand the shopping frenzy.
While Black Friday began in the US as a way of getting more people into stores, this has changed in the past few years. Now, more shoppers than ever are buying their goods online – which means it is critical that your company’s website does not fold under the pressure of too many visitors.
This is no idle warning either. Black Friday 2015 was the biggest one yet, and there can be little doubt that this year promises to be even bigger.
Research suggests that slow load times are having an increased impact on e-commerce websites – in the UK, two-thirds of online consumers cited sluggish websites as the main reason they would abandon an online purchase. Companies therefore need to ensure sites are quick and responsive during this busy week.
According to Snapt CEO Dave Blakey, you are potentially faced with an increasing number of shoppers visiting your site during this period – many of whom exhibit dwindling patience when websites take time to load.
“The slower your site loads, the more potential sales you will lose – all because of a few seconds’ loading difference. On the other hand, a satisfying user experience (UX) leads to higher sales conversions, increased customer confidence and trust in your site, and better word-of-mouth advertising,” he says.
“The good news is that it is easy to achieve a positive UX by implementing dynamic site acceleration (DSA), enabled by extremely efficient load balancing. Load balancers are devices that increase the reliability and capacity of applications, allowing more concurrent users at any given time.”
Blakey explains that Snapt is able to provide next-generation load balancers, known as application delivery controllers (ADCs), to enable DSA for its customers. ADCs are network devices that help sites direct user traffic. This removes excess load from two or more servers, and directs users to the best performing, most accessible server whenever a user request comes in.
“With Snapt’s load balancing technology, you can ensure that your website is running optimally, regardless of how many visitors arrive seeking Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargains. Decreasing the load times of your site will undoubtedly drive an increased number of sales; but more critically, it will also improve the user experience for your customers. And happy customers are not only repeat customers, but they also tell their friends about their wonderful experience.”
“Effective load balancing is therefore profitable for your company over these two massive online shopping days in 2016, and will also inevitably create an even greater awareness of your site for next year,” he concludes.