Black Friday infrastructure checklist: what not to miss on your website
Instabilities or loading delays on a website can compromise the shopping experience and make them abandon their purchase, but have you ever thought about going through this during Black Friday?
According to the monitoring firm Sofist, in the first 12 hours of last year’s Black Friday alone, these problems resulted in a loss of BRL 8.1 million in e-commerce.
Marketing and sales efforts can be lost if something like this happens in your e-commerce. So, in order to avoid this kind of problem, it is essential to take double care of your website infrastructure.
If you’re a first-time virtual entrepreneur or still haven’t figured out where you went wrong last Black Friday, check out the complete checklist below to get your business ready.
Working with service redundancy
In order to keep the website running, there are a number of services running in the back office, such as e-commerce platform, server, ERP, means of payment, among others.
If one of these technologies goes down, the entire functioning of the site is compromised. Therefore, one of the main points of attention for Black Friday, which is a date known for starting the digital world, is working with redundancy.
In general, redundancy consists of having copies of elements that are essential for the functioning of the business infrastructure. For example, an e-commerce ERP is an essential service – and it allows for a constant backup of your data in the cloud, ensuring the safety of your historical data.
In the case of fraud protection, if it stops working while the purchase is being made, the entire operation may stop working or may stop working.
Therefore, part of the backup plan for that opportunity is to have a “backup service”, that is, secondary providers of infrastructure and services that are ready to act in case of instability at the first player.
Do load tests
Availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week is a basic assumption for anyone selling online. After all, consumers can choose to shop at any time of the day.
During the promotional season, the most common scenario is that many users access the site at the same time.
That’s why load and stress tests are so important. They make it possible to recognize the operational capacity of a website when it receives an increasing number of users at the same time, thus checking whether there is enough infrastructure to absorb the peaks of seasonal changes.
This information is crucial for making strategic decisions, enabling the identification of bottlenecks to redirect investments.
After testing, scale resources
If your Black Friday is an absolute success and, as a result, your site receives more visits than expected, you need to be prepared.
Scaling the infrastructure with the provider works right there. Its goal is to provide the necessary resources in case of a rapid expansion of the number of accesses, freeing up space at the service provider for this growth.
Work on capacity management
Between load testing and the need to rapidly expand your space with a service provider, you need to check resource availability with your infrastructure provider in advance. This procedure guarantees that your customer will not have to deal with interruptions and, consequently, does not jeopardize your sales.
Management capacity therefore consists of understanding the numbers obtained in the load tests and already providing what is needed to avoid the rush and loss on Black Friday.
It has already been proven how much cyber attacks and social engineering scams increase on Black Friday. This is because opportunists tap into the emotions of promotions to trick shoppers into looking for special offers and cover up their actions amid hundreds of purchases received by retailers.
That’s why you have to be extra careful when it comes to security. Protect your website data by encrypting it with an SSL certificate. Also use digital security solutions such as Web Application Firewall (WAF). This tool filters, monitors and blocks requests that may cause problems on the site or with customer data.
Also, have safe business partners. In this sense, it is essential to have good fraud protection and a payment method that works with data encryption and the PCI DSS security standard.
It is also important to instruct and warn your end customer about the communication channels and types of data your business requires. Guide it to prevent it from falling for social engineering scams, for example, clicking on suspicious links or passing data to opportunists who can impersonate your company to steal user data and access.
According to Google, more than two seconds of loading time is enough for a user to give up browsing a website. That is, everything should be done almost instantly. After all, online shoppers want convenience and agility.
So you need to assess whether all the extensions used in your e-commerce are necessary, whether the images are resized properly or whether there is a request to an external service that could burden your shopping flow.
Action plan for incidents
Even with all these preparations, we know that unforeseen events do occur. Therefore, it is also important to have pre-established incident recovery plans. That way, if a problem occurs, you’ll know exactly how to act and restore service as quickly as possible.
You can, for example, train your team on what to do if any component goes down.
Black Friday 2022: What’s Next?
Black Friday 2022 takes place on November 26, and expectations are already high for the occasion. Purchase intention is 50%, which is 3% higher than last year. In class A, the number rises to 65%. The data is from the Behup survey commissioned by Globo.
Knowing that half of the Brazilian population will use the opportunity to buy, it is necessary to prepare your website and your promotions to welcome customers and ensure good sales. If you want to know more about what you can expect from the occasion, also read the article “Black Friday 2022: eight trends and points of attention for more sales”.