Retailers Need To Be Prepared For A Sales Rush

By Rory Betteridge | 02 Mar 2015

Can your website perform well under pressure? Research into brands participating in Click Frenzy showed Australian retailers fare well for endurance, but not so well for speed.

With Click Frenzy’s May-Hem promotion a few months away now, now’s as good a time as any for online retailers to take a good long look at whether their website can cope with the added demand of a sales promotion.

Figures from Dynatrace suggest that many retailers experience slower than usual load times during periods of high demand, such as last year’s Click Frenzy.

“There’s still work to be done in Australia,” claimed Dynatrace APAC Marketing Director, Dave Anderson, “Seven seconds is unacceptable in global standards, and we saw some large retailers in excess of ten seconds. In most cases we saw, the more third party hosts on site, the slower the site.”

Amongst the 140 retailers that participated in last November’s Click Frenzy and were tracked by Dynatrace, only 14 managed a response time under three seconds, considered the acceptable norm by global standards. This means a whopping nine in ten retailers in the study weren’t up to snuff.

Even more concerning is the other end of the scale, with 23 retailers taking longer than nine seconds. The data showed that two particular sites, a fashion retailer and a travel agent that shall remain unnamed, reached load times of 18 and 14 seconds respectively.

The silver lining is that on the whole the retailers studied largely maintained stability, with only a handful of retailers suffering extended periods of downtime over the duration of the Frenzy.

“Overall, we saw consistent performances for the majority of websites,” Anderson said. “There were outages, but the vast majority held up well considering the traffic volumes.”

If a retailer is expecting a period of unusually high online activity, it’s a good idea for them to contact their hosting solution ahead of time and talk about their options for making more resources available on a temporary basis, or finding ways to streamline their website to ease server demand. The last thing any retailer wants is to be shut out of a sales period.

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