Are you digitally ready for Black Friday?
Remember, remember, the 23rd of November. The end of the year usually means big consumer spending, although Black Friday has created another frenzy of retail activity just before December.
Last year's Black Friday saw the British high street continue to lose footfall, as online shopping brought in a record £1.4bn in sales, up 11.7% on 2016. It's no longer news to state that ecommerce is replacing brick-and-mortar stores, it's the new normal.
However, calamity is just around the corner for online retailers who fail to prepare for Black Friday. An immense amount of customer traffic is generated on this date, more than any other date of the year. Retail websites can expect significantly more than double their usual number of visits.
It's more than just this date, there's also Cyber Monday to consider, which lands on the Monday after Black Friday. Its rather dated name comes from a 2005 marketing promotion in America, encouraging people to shop online, when such activity was not so prolific in everyday life.
Of course, there are also the long-established shopping frenzies that have been around for all living memory. Boxing Day and the January sales are smaller echoes of the Christmas spending season.
Don't be no-platformed
Last year, John Lewis, GAME, Ted Baker and others experienced website outages on Black Friday, costing them hugely as shoppers turned to other outlets.
While spending will of course continue at high levels right into late December, it's no wonder most retailers now see Black Friday as being more important than Christmas.
Therefore, it's essential to have the right compute capacity to take on this peak trading period. Blue Chip Cloud is already being used by big-name retail chains in the UK, for its powerful scalability.
It's become more than just the Friday, many consumer brands have branched out into 'Black Friday Week', putting out exclusive bargains in the lead up to the big day.
These tactics are useful as the 'slow burn', but you can't ignore that Black Friday will now reign supreme, with some retailers reporting sales volumes being at least three times higher than December's peak day of the 14th.
Slow is the new downtime
Another crucial factor is this era of the mobile device. The magic black rectangle in everyone's pocket makes Christmas shopping a lot easier but increases the fickle nature of each consumer. Responsiveness is paramount.
You must remember "slow is the new downtime", so even if your website isn't suffering an outage, people can simply skip to a competitor if they must wait a few seconds longer during this day when discounted offers are flying thick and fast.
Dreaming of a right Christmas
With a matter of weeks to go for this year's Black Friday, you can be assured of resilience over this trading period if you're using Blue Chip's expertise in digital agility.
Even if you're not currently a Blue Chip customer, there is still time to embrace our advantages by contacting us. We are geared towards rapid deployments, with delivery of a built environment made possible in under 48 hours. We're already the digital home of choice for many famous retailers.
Here are a few reasons why our services are optimised for Black Friday.
- Security. We're regularly audited and certified at the highest international security levels for managed services, which includes SOC2 and PCI. These independently-certified standards underline our commitment to IT security, with our PCI Level 1 service provider status meaning we've reached the highest level for handling payment card data.
- Connectivity. Our hybrid cloud service lets businesses do more with their cloud, with speedy connections to public cloud providers widely available.
- Pay as you go. Busy trading periods don't last forever, so you're not always going to need high computing capacities. We're ready to scale up or down when needed, so our charges to you are aligned to your requirements.
- Bespoke. Choose only the service and technical elements that your business requires.
All these facets are ideal for any online retailer who is gearing up for the year's most hectic shopping period.