The impact of a holiday spike in online customers on your website and sales

The Cloud. Maybe you have already embraced it and migrated business critical platforms to an IaaS provider. Maybe you are in the planning stages of such a migration. There are a lot of reasons to do so, no more racking up pizza-box servers in data centers, crawling through floors and ceilings to pull cables, testing backup generators etc. Let’s be honest, there’s a lot not to miss. And don’t forgot the flexibility, scaling your platform out horizontally or up vertically with a few clicks or API calls.

A huge user load can occur with promotion, holidays, during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but also on days like Valentine’s day. It can even span for a month, when – in a normal situation, irrespective of COVID-19 – customers book their vacation. This spike in traffic is peak load. Peak load defines as the maximum amount of concurrent users on your website within a specific time frame. This high amount of customers boosts sales. Just like producing holiday stock long before december, so is peak load testing your website for a peak in customers and sales.

Is your website ready for peak traffic during Black Friday or Holiday Sales? Get your website performance audited!

Peak load testing as part of performance testing

A peak load test is a type of performance test. How does your website perform under heavy load? During a peak load test you’re putting full load against your website or e-commerce platform, to understand whether or not it meets the requirements of the business and users. 

The most common causes of not meeting the requirements, when a website or ecommerce crashes, are: 

  1. Infrastructure and platform solution: the infrastructure is underpowered or under-architected, or poorly configured
  2. Application: the application is highly dynamic or poorly written
  3. Testing: the website was tested, but not the functions your users use most

What is the difference between peak and stress testing?

With a peak load test you test against the forecasted traffic numbers. You will not always know upfront what to expect. Since most systems are not built to scale infinitely, you’ll want to know when the system will break. In order to figure out where the breaking point lies, stress testing comes into play. In this type of test you’ll keep adding traffic until the response times become too high or abnormal levels of errors are seen.

Facts and figures about the impact of peak load

What is the impact of peak load on conversion and sales?

Source: Akamai

The indirect costs of not handling peak traffic consists of:

Sources: Gartner and Blazemeter

The indirect costs of not handling peak traffic consists of:

  • Losing brand reputation
  • Costs for recovery of lost data
  • Losing productivity of employees

Source: Blazemeter

Is your website ready for peak traffic during Black Friday or Holiday Sales? Get your website performance audited!

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Can your website beat your competitors?

Find out with our free performance audit!

Do you know if your digital performance is comparable with the fastest 20% of websites both your users and Google compare you with? Provide us with the URL of your own website and 3 competitors and receive a free performance audit.