So, how can vendors protect themselves from shopping outages due to massive spikes in Black Friday and Cyber Monday web traffic, and make the most of all the potential customers?
Nobody should gamble with Black Friday's high traffic and valuable sales revenue. Neither is it worth hoping for the best, guessing that you’ve probably done enough to safeguard your systems.
As businesses and vendors, you need to ensure your e commerce website handles Black Friday weekend traffic effortlessly, allowing your checkouts to keep taking shopping payments throughout the day and night and your buyers happy and spending, so all your potential customers become actual customers, no matter the demand.
The business and e commerce store operators who have already Googled it know that most focus on being technically prepared. That covers simulating a traffic spike, testing shopping systems, reinforcing infrastructure, bumping up allocation and memory, readying your team, and increasing elasticity so that your website - fingers crossed - stays in one piece when all that extra sales traffic hits your site.
Here are the usual tips, suggestions and advice:
- Stress test sites to anticipate what they can safely manage.
- Build extra server space into homebuilt infrastructures.
- Employ additional developers on your team to monitor and manage the increased traffic and perform emergency maintenance and repairs.
- Upgrade cloud-based infrastructures to cater for traffic spikes and manage scalability.
Sadly, even the best crystal balls won’t anticipate every outage. What about when your competitor’s site crashes or runs out of stock? Could the overflow of customers leaving those empty shelves and heading to your site for a better deal cause a sudden spike that stumps your system?
Preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday means we should all be ready to handle many more customers than we expect to protect our stores and incomes from disappearing offline - it might be the most traffic you get all year.
So, with no further ado, here’s how to prep for Black Friday with the original and patented Virtual Waiting Room website queuing system, just so you're aware.
Our answer, we’re happy to say, is as safe as they come and oh so easy to implement on any e commerce website.
When that flood of Black Friday and Cyber Monda traffic heads to your website, Queue-Fair filters the visitors your systems can’t safely manage away from your website into a virtual waiting room. Then, it feeds them back to your site at a rate your system can cope with, with no loss in performance.
In reality, each digital waiting room takes the guise of a simple waiting box with a progress bar, an estimated wait, and a running count of how many people are ahead in the queue - customer information is key - and you can customise the display to highlight your special black friday deals too. Feel free to check out a few examples on our homepage; they’re branded in company colours, matching your brand style, with logos pride of place, so visitors and new customers don’t feel like they’ve left your website.
Each customer is clearly informed of their position in the queue, how many people are ahead of them, and how long it will take until they’re filtered back into the main site - they have all the information they need. Furthermore, you can take advantage of the space to explain why they’re in a queue to eliminate confusion and ease anxiety - perhaps you get incredibly busy at peak times, or there’s higher than expected demand for a new product or ticket release. Remember you can showcase anything of interest on the Queue Page to your interested customers - and here's a trade secret: Our customers tell us that when there is a sales queue, people spend around 20% more per shopping visit. The time spent in the queue increases the perceived value of the shopping opportunity on the site when their turn is called.
How to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday demand - simply add our virtual waiting room to your website
It only takes a single line of code to get you up and running, and our tech teams will be more than happy to help. In fact, we’ll help you set up the entire system, and we’re always on hand to help should you have anything else where you’re not entirely 100%.
Our free trial includes a remote installation if you’d rather our tech experts do the heavy lifting for you - although the lifting’s not that heavy - it’s all fairly straightforward for your IT department if you’d prefer to carry out the installation yourself. It usually only takes a couple of minutes.
Our system doesn’t work as a DNS or reverse proxy but as a page inserted between your busiest locations. Implementation is flexible, so you can create the option that works best for you and your customer satisfaction goals.
Moving excess traffic spikes away from your servers means your website doesn't have to cope with the extra loading. Your ppc ads or facebook spend won't go to waste. And why should you be so confident that our infrastructure can manage those heavy traffic loads for you and not collapse under the pressure?
For a start, we use Google's infrastructure to provide our service - and you know how reliable Google is. Our most powerful server on Google Cloud - and we don’t rely on a single server but many - can hold over 300 million customers in a single queue, for example. And if you need more power, we automatically scale by adding more queue servers to each cluster team.
In fact, we can comfortably hold every person with an Internet connection IN THE WORLD in a single queue. And if we were invaded by another planet and our alien brothers and sisters all wanted to join the queue, we can scale our service to handle them, too.
What makes our system so great?
If we were to list all the points that make our system an outright winner, we’d need a lot more room - thankfully, we’ve got plenty of that on our servers! But to get you started, here are a few noteworthy points our customers can’t resist.
- Protects entire websites or single pages and events
- Fully customisable with your brand colours, style, and logo
- First come, first served, completely fair system
- Fully automated
- Intuitive easy-to-use Portal tools for reporting and managing your queues
- Completely secure
- The most accurate system of any of our competitors
- Advanced bot filter tools prevent abuse and ensure only real people enter each queue
- Each visitor sees a page tailored to their event or product
- Create and deliver personalised content for each queue
- Text alerts, emails and app notifications are available for when customers reach the front of their queue
- Queue across multiple devices - switch from phone to tablet to laptop and desktop
- Works with every major web programming language and app development platform
- Completely scalable to handle all the traffic that comes your way - no matter what
- Can manage millions of new customers per minute as standard
- Uses the fastest queue servers on the planet
- Utilises green, sustainable technology, delivering lower hardware, hosting, and energy costs
- Incredible value for money - the lowest price on the market.
Queue-Fair is the original inventor of the Virtual Waiting Room queue system with patents in the UK and many other countries worldwide.
If that doesn’t give you confidence in our super-efficient and secure system - we’re not sure what will!
Statista reported that 86% of enterprises suffered downtime costs of over $300k/hour. In addition, Google tells us that 53% of mobile visitors will leave a page if they have to wait more than 3 seconds. Can you afford to take those kinds of risks that leave you vulnerable to such losses?
With steady surges in Black Friday deals, many websites will suffer simply from failing to have an appropriate plan in place to keep everyone happy and flowing through their eCommerce checkouts, losing precious sales revenue and profit in the process.
It's worth mentioning the best way to ensure your website handles Black Friday deals safely and simply - adding protection to your profits and peace of mind for your customers - is to let Queue-Fair manage it for you.
Prepare your business or e commerce store in advance for the biggest bump in traffic spikes all year by giving us a call or signing up for your free trial - you know it makes sense, we can and will save you - or you can read some more of our recent articles if you would are interested to find out more tips and advice, or if you need more information to decide. Don't forget - we’ll keep you online and selling, no matter how much more traffic comes your way.