Is Your Ecommerce Technology Scalable?
It’s not just developers, merchandisers and analysts and merchandisers who’ll feel the strain from Grey Thursday and beyond as peak trading season hits on Nov 25th.
Sites, servers and systems will also be under insane pressure.
If you don’t believe it, just look at the stats compiled using data from over 300 Crownpeak brands in 2021—after most analysts had predicted that lifting COVID restrictions would trigger a shopper exodus from online to the high street.
But this wasn’t to be. Instead, our Peak Trading Report 2021 shows that servers handled more requests than the previous year when the lockdown meant consumers had little choice but to shop online.
Over the five-day peak trading period beginning Grey Thursday—the busiest day for ecommerce brands—the 300 retailers in our study handled some 2.8 billion requests.
The number equates to a high of 9,103 queries per second at the busiest time, compared with 7,819 in 2020. This year’s forecasts suggest the cost of living crisis won’t dampen shoppers’ appetite for spending over peak season, so demand could exceed 2021 figures.
What Does This Mean for Ecommerce Brands?
For websites and the ecommerce tech that powers them, 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%.
Suppose you’re lucky enough for impatient shoppers to stick around. In that case, 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
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
Brands should adopt a speed-focused mindset by adopting systems, processes and resources to minimise latency and choosing bloat-free infrastructure that can support traffic at scale
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 ecommerce infrastructure needs to be consistently reliable
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 Perfect Peak Record
Our annual peak season trading report clearly demonstrates the importance of making sure infrastructure is ready for the busiest three months of the year.
And the stats on load times Vs bounce rates, conversion rates, and AOV shows that the need for speed never lets up.
So how does Crownpeak perform?
We’re proud to have provided 100% uptime for our global brands over peak season for six 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 by choosing to stay online despite the re-opening of high-street shops following a year of lockdown. And they could buck expectations again in 2022 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.