It’s three months before Black Friday, and your business is already ramping up. Planning code freezes, adding hardware, 24/7 coverage and more. Unfortunately, even if you do everything right, the possibility of customer traffic overloading your commerce technology, causing pages to load slowly or worse yet, crash, still exists.
If you’re like many retailers, year after year, you accept the stress of dealing with these planned traffic spikes. There’s no “holiday vacation” for retail eCommerce executives — at least not until after the season ends. The thing is, in today’s digitally driven commerce world, an entirely new problem has emerged for retailers: The “unplanned" spike. These are the spikes that occur when an item is accidentally mispriced, a discount code is entered incorrectly or a celebrity unexpectedly plugs one of your products on their social pages. The next thing you know, the news goes viral and your baseline of 200 requests per second hits 2 million. These occurrences are happening more and more often — creating chaos for retail executives and IT teams, who often seem to find out long after the news has broken the internet.
“Today, you have to expect the unexpected. Any day, any moment, could be Black Friday,” explained Kelly Goetsch in a presentation he gave to kickoff a panel discussion hosted by CommerceNext. He pointed out this is why it is so critical for retailers to have a modern cloud-based SaaS commerce solution in place. “With cloud, everything can be unplanned. You can dramatically scale on your own without any human involvement whatsoever…that’s the whole point of these solutions: They auto-scale. That’s the whole value of them.”
Following Kelly’s presentation, Veronika Sonsev, co-founder of CommerceNext moderated a panel that included Dylan Valade, Head of Global e-Commerce Technology, PUMA and a MACH Alliance Ambassador; Deepa Shekhar, Director, Digital Marketing Technologies, Logitech; and Apurva Pangam, Principal (Partner), Deloitte Digital.
Each panelist expanded on their experiences with modern commerce solutions, built using microservices-based, API-first, cloud-native, headless (MACH) architecture. Dylan explained that PUMA has not fully transitioned all 25 of their global sites to composable, and as a result he’s been able to see the difference it makes. “What happened this year, we had launched this whole new composable headless setup… and we had such popular shoes, our new basketball shoes, that people were automating buying the product so that they could get it. This hadn’t really happened at Puma before. We finally had something that was so cool and so hot that all of our sites were just being slammed. This was across the whole globe…We got to see which ones handled it best and worst. What we saw with the composable structure, we were able to recover faster, we were able to insulate ourselves from the systems that couldn’t handle the traffic.” Now, he says, the company knows which ones can’t scale.
The unique perspectives of the two retailers, each at different stages in their transformation along with the expertise of a seasoned technology consultant not only made for an engaging conversation, but also provided listeners with valuable insights. The consensus of the group was clear — retailers need modern commerce to embrace the new normal — a world in which they are prepared for the unexpected. A world where any day, and any moment, could be Black Friday.
We as an industry are now mature enough, the products are now mature enough and the processes are now mature enough that we shouldn’t have this arbitrary thing called a 'holiday' where everyone is in lockdown mode waiting for traffic to hit.
Chief Strategy Officer, commercetools
He stressed, “It’s time to evolve. You should be using MACH. This is just the world we live in today.”
Watch the video to gain more information and guidance on how modern commerce makes website freezes and crashes a thing of the past, enabling seamless customer experiences and ensuring brands can capture every single sale on Black Friday, and every day.