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How to Make Sure your e-Commerce Site is Ready for the Biggest Black Friday Ever?

Black Friday is one of the most important days for retail in the country. Eight out of ten consumers ¹, attracted by discounts of more than 60%², are waiting for this time of year, which generated about BRL 3.2 billion for Brazilian e-commerce in 2019³.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Black Friday 2020 is expected to be the biggest in the history of electronic commerce, with unprecedented numbers of accesses to websites. Therefore, the issue for online retailers is not just about prices and flexible payment terms. To make Black Friday a success, you need to:

  • improve the performance of your e-commerce website to provide the best user experience;
  • be able to handle heavier volumes than on normal days⁴; e
  • Ensure you can keep your service up throughout the whole period. Studies carried out by Gremlin point out that every minute offline costs e-commerce websites at least BRL 18,143⁵.

When you realize that 83% of people consider the experience that the company provides as important as its products and services, and 61% get turned off when their experience is poor⁶, this becomes a really important issue.

Downtime as a problem is only getting worse, because the number of incidents due to digital threats is growing every day. The average volume of DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service) alone increased by 70% in Q1 of 2020⁷, which is a significant risk to having applications available and therefore sales revenue.

Due to all these issues facing the 900 thousand plus Brazilian electronic commerce websites⁸, many have already found that you can be ready for Black Friday and achieve incredible results by adopting the same technology as the biggest e-commerce retailers in Latin America: Edge Computing.

What is Edge Computing?

Edge Computing is where you process your data - including Artificial Intelligence applications and business rules - closer to the users, at the edge of the network. It is technology that works with cloud providers, allowing applications to have low-latency, be super-fast, secure and have great availability.

When it comes to E-commerce, Edge Computing is essential if you want your pages to load quickly, which is how you reduce the likelihood of customer rejection by 91%, compared to the bounce rates for sites that take up to 10 seconds to load⁹.

Building services using the Edge, doesn’t just increase your applications performance in any location, it also allows you to quickly and safely roll-out new developments and reduce your costs for your data center and cloud services.

Next, let's see how the biggest online retailers take advantage of the opportunities that Edge Computing provides.

How Do the Main Online Retailers use this Technology?

The largest and most advanced digital retail environment in Latin America has around 200 million hits in a typical month. Less than 25% of the traffic is paid¹⁰. E-commerce grew 182% in the second quarter of 2020¹¹. There were 1 million accesses per minute on Black Friday 2019¹².

Lojas Renner ramped up its digital programs due to Covid-19 and saw its sales increase by three digits in 90 days¹³. In the last quarter of 2019, the company made a profit of BRL 513 million¹⁴ and handled tens of thousands of requests per second on Black Friday, without any downtime¹⁵.

Apart from being successful and consolidating their market share, what these and many other retail giants have in common is that they have developed applications on Edge from Azion, to run various new developments, such as:

  • Georeferencing to provide the best offers on shipping, terms and price;
  • Large scale events to engage customers and drive online sales;
  • Customized delivery of static and dynamic content dependent on the user;
  • Conducting A / B tests without impacting on the speed of their e-commerce site; and
  • Offloading applications from the cloud to the Edge, which creates a security buffer against data theft and services going down.

These examples show how the Edge can increase the options for e-commerce, to give websites unique advantages, for example: 100x more efficiency and up to 10x less cost, compared to the use of containers*, and 30x faster processing speed, compared to cloud computing.

Online stores that run their applications on the Edge enjoy a number of unique benefits, as well as the ability to add new developments. In the next topic, we will explore the main advantages this system provides in situations like Black Friday.

* Comparison based on Azion's Edge Computing products and services.

What are the benefits of the Edge for those Key Dates and Events in Online retailing?

As we have seen already, Edge Computing can bring you incredible benefits in performance, e.g. 30x faster processing speed compared to the cloud¹⁶. However, as well as speed, one of Edge's biggest benefits when it comes to e-commerce is highly sophisticated security.

One major sports lifestyle online retailer uses Edge Firewall to mitigate the risk from complex threats without any impact on customer browsing. These include zero-day attacks and bad bots - which can lead to credit card fraud, information theft and brute force attacks, which are a concern for 80% of companies¹⁷.

Unlike conventional technology, such as CDNs and WAF, which run in the cloud, Edge Computing enables security operations that are programmable and run in real-time. The Azion Platform, for example, provides products and services that make automatic monitoring and blocking using advanced algorithms easier and enables a system to score requests, rather than focus on attack signatures.

Another indispensable resource for any online store is the ability to identify insights. With Azion's Edge, data can be collected and sent in real time to feed SIEM and big data platforms. The analysis enables you, among other useful tools, to be able to recommend products to help the customer during their buying experience.

With Edge, high performance is standard, regardless of geographic location or type of device being used. This is very important, since more than 80% of accesses on e-commerce sites come from mobile devices¹⁸ from various parts of the country where the internet structure is hostile, and which only gets worse during time like Black Friday.

Now you know what is involved in Black Friday and what the leading industry players have been doing to increase their revenue, why don’t you take advantage of these options for your e-commerce site too?

Over 70% of the top 50 online retailers - and another 60,000 e-commerce sites worldwide - rely on Azion to deliver an unprecedented level of customer experience. Get in touch with one of our advisors and discover the range of options from the Azion Platform!