Imagine that you’ve prepared a perfect Black Friday marketing campaign. You’ve been planning all the actions for months – banners, texts, ads, return on investment calculations. You launch everything a few days before Black Week. Everything is working, and orders are slowly coming in. As the culmination of your preparations, you have a special promotion for Black Friday. You add it to the website, send out notifications on social media and in the newsletter. You watch as the traffic to the store grows. Satisfied that your calculations are proving right, you step away from the computer and tend to your daily tasks. Suddenly, you receive a call from your Customer Service department, reporting that the website is not working, orders cannot be processed, and all the recent orders have disappeared from the system.
You think it’s a joke. This can’t be happening; there has never been such a situation before. You check the website’s functionality. It doesn’t load. An error #500 suddenly pops up. You call your server provider, and you’re 10th in line on the helpline. Without wasting time, you submit a support request, indicating that you need assistance. You receive an automated response, saying that the response time is extended to 2 business days due to the peak season. You realize that you won’t get a response until Monday, long after the shopping frenzy has passed, and users have made their purchases at other stores. You feel horrified. The server has crashed. There’s no sales, and the financial losses are mounting.
Can it get any worse? Of course, it can. There are various scenarios known to us. Sometimes, even the store owner might not be aware that something isn’t working. Server failure is one thing, often the same server houses email services and other applications responsible for communication and sales. What are the chances of you realizing something is not working after business hours?
What would you do if I told you that you can predict and plan specific actions to secure your servers against high traffic, just like ads and special promotions?
Don’t lose potential customers. Check how our client protected their business from a Black Friday disaster.
One of our clients is an e-commerce company that specializes in selling electronic products and is a leader in the industry. They approached us a year ago, precisely two months before Black Friday. They noticed that during major marketing campaigns, their servers significantly slowed down. They were afraid that during Black Friday, their systems wouldn’t handle the high volume of users visiting their website.
Therefore, our client was looking for a solution to fix the technical issues that arose and prevent them from recurring.
Larger sales campaigns executed on Black Friday or before Christmas are periods during which e-commerce companies must ensure the reliability of their infrastructure to accommodate a high number of customers interested in promotions.
The primary problem is always the SERVER. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution that will work for every e-commerce business. In our client’s case, we focused on three solutions, each with a different goal but aiming to create a reliable IT environment that can handle significant temporary loads caused by the interest in electronic products while not incurring excessive costs when traffic significantly drops.
To address these issues, we took the following actions:
We conducted a thorough audit of the client’s IT infrastructure, identified weaknesses, and proposed optimizations. The areas we initially highlighted included:
As part of the audit, we also verified system logs, which indicated unusual events related to planned campaigns. Through a detailed analysis, we proposed migrating video and image files to cloud computing, reducing the need to purchase additional server resources and speeding up the backup creation and recovery processes.
As you can see, an infrastructure audit involves more than just changes to the infrastructure itself. It also includes additional actions to comprehensively secure the IT environment. Our recommendations were implemented through the following steps:
As part of the audit, we identified server loads caused by files. We suggested migrating these files to cloud computing. We chose the AWS S3 service, responsible for storing and managing data in object format, enabling customers to store, organize, and access various types of data, including files, images, videos, documents, and other information. The service provides faster data loading and relieves the load on the main server. Additionally, this solution reduced overall IT environment maintenance costs.
The final step in the changes we introduced was the implementation of server administration services, including monitoring and management of server crashes and technical issues in the client’s environment. Thanks to continuous analysis, the client is assured that the server operates reliably, and any problems are resolved promptly. Furthermore, we can identify slow-performing elements of the application, allowing developers to improve the website’s speed.
After implementing our solutions, the client achieved significant results:
In summary, our timely response to server issues before the Black Friday campaign led to significant performance improvement, reduced infrastructure maintenance costs, and enhanced server availability. This case is an excellent example of how leveraging IT audits and cloud computing can yield positive results in the e-commerce business. Additionally, the later introduction of server administration allowed for the minimization of such recurring problems.