What lessons should retailers learn from Black Friday outages?

As Black Friday continues to gain in popularity and increasingly moves online, it has never been more important for retailers to make sure websites can handle huge influxes of traffic.

Even performances from retailers that had a successful Black Friday have room for improvement. John Lewis may have had its biggest day’s trading on the day but website outages led customers to vent their frustrations on social media.

Paul Heywood, managing director EMEA at internet performance company Dyn, says: “With revenue and reputation at stake, retailers need to take a hard look at their existing online infrastructure ahead of peak days like Black Friday.

“With visibility of the global infrastructure and how customers connect to your site, retailers are able to spot ways to improve their website performance during peak trading which, as Black

Friday continues to gain momentum, will only become more essential.”

Improvements can be as simple as monitoring performance of online stores and balancing traffic between different computers or servers during spikes of activity.

“Understanding how users connect to your brand internationally will also allow retailers to carry out remedial actions much more efficiently,” says Heywood.

“Furthermore, managing traffic enables retailers to take preventative action to avoid downtime or slow-loading pages.”

However divisive the day may be, Black Friday is becoming a firm fixture in the retail calendar and ensuring its online capabilities are fit for purpose will be an essential part of a retailer’s success.