23 November 2018

UKFast data centre

Inside one of the UKFast data centres – our network has already received 30% more traffic compared to Black Friday 2017.

The day that retailers plan for throughout the year is finally here: Black Friday. Drawing crowds once reserved for the January sales, Black Friday has jumped across the Atlantic. It has fast become the shopping day of the year – a win for businesses and consumers alike.

Black Friday has been a staple of the British shopping calendar. It has been that way since the chaos that hit the headlines in 2014. I’m sure we all remember the scenes of shoppers rioting over the best deal in supermarkets across the country. Already today we’ve seen 30% more traffic on our network than last year’s Black Friday.

Whilst Black Friday is now undeniably the online shopping day of the year, this year has seen many retailers trying to get the jump on bargain-hunting shoppers. Many big retailers have run discounts throughout the week, with ‘member specials’ and build-up deals. It’s unsurprising. Figures showed that £1.4bn was spent online in the UK, and $5bn in America, during Black Friday 2017.

Interestingly, The Springboard Group collects footfall data on 4,500 retail locations across the UK, and they’ve published information expecting footfall today to decrease in high street stores by 3.7% compared to last year while online activity is expected to increase by 4% versus the previous year.

Supporting behind the scenes

It’s an incredible opportunity for online retailers to offer their best deals but preparation is key. There’s nothing worse than spotting a product that you like at an amazing price on social media. Then clicking through to the website and getting stuck in a queue or on a website that’s too slow to load. Not having the proper infrastructure in place to cope with an influx of traffic is the number one mistake retailers make at this time of year.

We’ve often been called in to save the day at the last minute. Whether that’s installing web acceleration tech or bolstering a solution to cope with the increased demand. Speed is absolutely essential when it comes to eCommerce success. Particularly so when you consider that 53% of mobile customers abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. That equates to a 22% conversion loss. Consumers want products and services fast.

For the UKFast team, today means all hands on deck supporting those retailers behind the scenes. Black Friday and the cyber weekend is guaranteed to be a busy time for our team. We’re on hand as businesses push their online presences to the limits, enabling customers to really make the most of the best deals.

Whether you’re a customer, a retailer or supporting behind the scenes, this weekend is certainly going to be a busy one!

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