Can your technology scale to meet peak demand?

28 Sept 2023
Can your technology scale to meet peak demand?

It’s not just developers, merchandisers and analysts who’ll feel the strain during peak season when it hits on Thursday 23rd November. Your infrastructure will be under pressure to perform.

The stats compiled using data from over 300 Crownpeak Product Discovery brands in 2022 show that servers handled only 1.37% less number of requests than in the same period in 2021. Considering COVID restrictions were in force in 2021, and footfall for in-store shopping is back on the rise, shoppers still love to shop online for their holiday bargains.

Over the five-day peak trading period beginning Grey Thursday—the busiest day for ecommerce brands—the 300 retailers in our study handled some 2.86 bn requests. So your infrastructure has to be able to cope with such high fluctuations in demand effortlessly.

What does this mean for you?

Milliseconds lost to sluggish systems, slow page loads, and poor latency can equate to £millions in lost revenue.

Recent research by Deloitte looked at consumer behaviour across ecommerce, travel and luxury brands. Of the four segments, the report found retail consumers to be the most sensitive to speed and showed a stark correlation between page load times and customers’ willingness to bounce (leave the site).

It found that a moderately slow page load speed of 1-3 seconds increases bounce probability by as much as 32%, while a wait of up to 10 seconds increases the likelihood by 123%.

If you’re lucky enough for impatient shoppers to stick around, page load speed has an even more drastic effect on KPIs. Deloitte’s report says an improved load time of just 0.1s results in an 8% boost to conversions and a 9.2% increase in average order value (AOV).

Lessons for e-commerce brands

Lesson 1: Time really is money—a split second time-saving in page load speed equates to a £92,000 boost for a site generating £1m of turnover

Lesson 2: Brands should adopt a speed-focused mindset by adopting systems, processes and resources to minimize latency and choosing bloat-free infrastructure that can support traffic at scale

Lesson 3: Having the fastest page-load speeds in the business doesn’t count for anything if sites suffer from regular downtime—especially during peak season. So e-commerce infrastructure needs to be consistently reliable

Lesson 4: Speed and reliability aren’t just peak season challenges. Brands need to be confident that their infrastructure is reliable, future-proof and ready to scale with them

Crownpeak’s peak report

Our annual peak season trading report clearly demonstrates the importance of making sure infrastructure is ready for the busiest three months of the year.

So how does Crownpeak perform?

We’re proud to have provided 100% uptime for our global brands over peak season for seven consecutive years and counting—effortlessly handling product inventories of 25+ million items across multiple sites and languages for some of the world’s biggest brands.

Shoppers defied the forecasts in peak season 2021 and 2022 by choosing to stay online despite the re-opening of high-street shops following a year of lockdown as well as the cost-of-living crisis which hit shortly after. And they could buck expectations again in 2023 by spending despite the worst economic conditions in decades.

The message is clear: Online shopping isn’t going anywhere, and there are competitive benefits from investing in and future-proofing e-commerce tech.

Prepare for Peak Season & Beyond with Crownpeak

To discover how Crownpeak can give your e-commerce brand a competitive edge over peak season, get in touch to arrange a demo.