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How to Keep Your Website Live During a High-Traffic Shopping Event

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The ecommerce industry changes fast — particularly when world-transforming events such as COVID-19 happen. The pandemic has had a huge impact on the industry, powering the growth of ecommerce and making businesses go online. Lockdown restrictions forced people to do most of their purchasing online, sparking an ecommerce boom. According to a study conducted by UNCTAD, global ecommerce sales rose to $26.7 trillion in 2020, making up 19% of all retail sales.

With the market shifting, ecommerce businesses face new challenges in consumer behavior. However, even before the pandemic, there were already some issues online businesses were facing, amongst them, high-traffic shopping events. Events such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, which are known for being the biggest online shopping events every year, highlight the fragility of the internet each and every time they happen. Last year, the PS5 launch caused globally known websites like John Lewis and Amazon to go down.

These types of incidents result in lost money for companies and a poor experience for consumers — which leads to losing consumers’ trust. Retailers need to improve the performance of their site and ensure they have the capacity to face demand spikes and respond to customers’ demands. And they need to do it yesterday.

Implementing High-Performance Content Management Systems

For many ecommerce sites, high-performance content management systems are used to scale and accommodate increases in traffic. But how do businesses make sure their CMS is reliable and scalable?

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  • No single point of failure platform design: Using a ‘no single point of failure’ platform design prevents the entire system from failing when a part of it stops working. Consequently, it ensures business continuity by having load balancers and firewalls configured in high availability mode. If there’s a sudden surge in traffic and the correct scalability measures are not in place, this can cause website and application failure.
  • Fast and flexible servers: When it comes to servers, companies need to ensure that these are fast and flexible. The faster and the more flexible the server is, the better. Having a reliable website that loads quickly means that customers will have a better user experience. According to Unbounce, nearly 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer.
  • Dynamic scaling of services: Scalability is a must-have for ecommerce platforms, as companies must be able to accommodate the needs of their business’ online growth. Consequently, ensuring dynamic scaling of services will cater to large traffic workloads during promotional periods or special events where there might be a spike in demand. If a business is not scalable, it will certainly struggle to survive.
  • Moving to headless CMS: Traditional ecommerce platforms are struggling to keep up with customers’ demands. In order to adapt, a headless CMS is essential as it improves speed, security and performance, which is why we are seeing more companies choosing headless commerce over traditional commerce. It’s easier, faster and more flexible to develop on as well as more scalable, which avoids any website downtime or performance issues.
  • Create a static site: The popularity of static site generators is growing in ecommerce, proving to be faster and safer. Businesses can create a static site through a global cache, which allows customers to visit the site without allowing them to make any purchases until the site is up and running again, avoiding any potential issues. 

Choosing Private Cloud to Keep Businesses Online

Having a reliable, fast and scalable CMS in place is crucial for ecommerce businesses, as they need to ensure the availability of critical systems that serve customers. When choosing a CMS, companies need to decide whether they want an on-premise or hosted private cloud solution. Most companies will not have, or be able to afford, the expertise required to manage their own private cloud, so a hosted solution makes more sense financially and structurally.

But why do they need a private cloud? With the ecommerce industry and customers’ demands constantly evolving, having a private cloud is essential as it offers full flexibility and scalability to a business. It also delivers higher security and trust by providing a secure environment to store customers’ personal information.

During times where online sales are multiplying, massive shopping events continue to happen and cybersecurity concerns increase, adopting a private cloud infrastructure offers a great opportunity for retailers that want to securely build their online presence and grow their business. As the world continues to move online with brick-and-mortar seeming to lose its presence, businesses will need to embrace new solutions to adapt to the market’s demands. And that starts with having a website that doesn’t go down during a high-traffic shopping event.


Paulo Machado is Lead Cloud Specialist at Hyve Managed Hosting. Leading a team of cloud specialists, Machado has an extensive background in tech recruitment and advises customers and prospects on a multitude of cloud hosting services. He is passionate about pursuing a cloud-first approach for all customers, helping them adopt digital strategies across global locations.

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