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The importance of stable networks over Christmas

18 · DEC ·2015

Christmas Day isn’t just a time for reflection and celebration, these days it’s also one of the busiest online shopping days of the year. In 2014, UK shoppers spent more than £1.3bn during Christmas Day and Boxing Day combined. Experian predicts that the combined total for 2015 will rise to 1.5bn. Forrester Research has found that shoppers start to become impatient when pages take longer than two seconds to load. What’s more, Amazon reports that each 0.1 second of delay resulted in one per cent in lost sales when it analysed its own systems. Shopping online during Christmas is likely to make people more unwilling than usual to hang around websites waiting for pages to load or baskets to update. Retailers cannot afford to have customers experience issues with their website. They have to be able to update stock information and ensure that theirs systems don’t crash – potentially taking customer’s orders with it (Argos had a similar issue in November). At Fluidata, we’re used to working with businesses that are in high demand come Christmas time. Our work with Wensleydale Creamery provided a stable, improved network for the business, ensuring that it could keep its website updated with all the latest information during its busiest Christmas to date. Meanwhile, the websites of some larger brands have been known to buckle under the load (in 2014 M&S, Waitrose and ASOS all had significant issues). The festive period isn’t just notorious for the demand people place on online retailers, it’s also a prime time for hackers to try and take websites down. Host, Moonfruit recently chose to take its customer’s sites offline while it made changes to ward off a threatened attack.

Enhanced level of service

Fair or not, people expect an exceptional level of service from online retailers in the run up to – and over – the Christmas period. They need it to be easy to find, order and have gifts delivered on time. If the site takes too long to bring back results, or if it says something’s in stock when it really isn’t, they are much less likely to be forgiving.

Online retailers need a strong, stable network in place to deal with the load, and they need to not only provide excellent service to their customers, but have comprehensive service level agreements in place with their own suppliers to ensure that, should the worst happen, their systems will be back up and running as soon as possible.
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Posted by Sanita Karra