Downtime on Black Friday is not an option for businesses

Credit: ID 163504614 © Volodymyr Bushmelov | Dreamstime.com

 As we enter the busiest time of the retail year, the pressure is on for businesses to ensure their services are kept always-on and available. Intelligent handling and analysis of data in real-time is a necessity for a modern business as we gear up to Christmas.

Today on Black Friday as 71% of Australians rush to catch the best sale items, businesses will need to handle the surge in online traffic in order to survive. And this isn’t only the front end online systems but also the backend interconnected ecosystem delivering the end to end services. 

According to PayPal’s 2019 trends report, Black Friday is now the third most popular sales period in Australia after Boxing Day and end of financial year sales. The report also revealed that for gen Z and millennials, Black Friday is already the most popular sales peak. With this in mind, we can assume that Black Friday is only set to increase in popularity as Gen Zs buying power increases over the next five years.   

With 13.8 million Aussies1 set to jump online today to shop for the best deal, it is imperative that organisations are able to handle the increase in sales traffic and avoid an outage. 

The 2019 Veeam Cloud Data Management Report found that that on average, organisations have experienced four unplanned outages in the last 12 months with the average length of outages at just under an hour. The impact of outages for Australian organisations includes loss of customer confidence (50%), damage to brand integrity (35%) and loss of employee confidence (36%). Almost a third of those surveyed (31%) saw loss of consumer confidence as the most concerning potential impact. 

Last year, Australian e-tailers once again experienced downtime during this peak shopping period, leaving shoppers frustrated and disappointed.

Credit: ID 103803145 © Wavebreakmedia Ltd | Dreamstime.com

Consumers care about “EXPERIENCE”, not the backend that is providing it.

They care about and expect a seamless experience from browsing, through ordering, tracking and fulfilment of the transaction. They need to have confidence and trust that services will work as they are supposed to, every time, all the time – while protecting their personal data. 

If a site is not available when a customer wants to make a purchase, chances are he or she will simply move on to the next one. And with new e-commerce platforms taking on incumbents, competition is heating up. 

An hour of downtime can have dire consequences on a retailer’s bottom line any day, but during Black Friday and the December holiday period, the impact is even more severe. The same is true for transport and distribution companies, with demand for next-day and even same-day delivery services significantly higher than average. 

If organisations have an outage, they need to restore data with a sense of urgency. We have already established that consumers need, and demand, an always-on service that works. The recovery process needs to be able to protect personal information so that the company remains compliant, all the while protecting the organisation and its processes from security threats, such as malware or ransomware. 

Given the growing importance of Black Friday, the stakes are too high for retailers to sit on their laurels when it comes to safeguarding their online infrastructure. Retailers must look at what investments they need to make in their digital platforms to ensure they are open and available at all hours on Black Friday. 

Data is vital to a modern competitive organisation and so any investment in the cloud must focus on reliable data availability and mechanisms to protect data. The intelligent use of data unleashes a superpower of competitiveness. On the other hand, downtime, non-compliance and security threats pose a very costly risk to businesses. 

If you have experienced only 3 unplanned outages this year, don’t let Black Friday be your 4th for all of the wrong reasons.

Credit: Supplied

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