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Don’t let your site down this holiday season

The holiday season is here and we are sure you must have bumped into many Holiday Readiness Guide 2019 already. Fair enough! The holiday season, after all, does have a huge business impact and forms a chunk of our overall revenue. The shopping behavior continues to rise. It is estimated that Holiday eCommerce spending is expected to rise by 13.2% in 2019 from the previous year. The eCommerce spending in the U.S. alone rose by 16.6% to $123.73bn in 2018.

This leaves eCommerce players with no option other than to be “holiday-ready”. There are so many fronts that need to be working just fine to ensure a seamless shopping experience for shoppers. A snapshot of which you can see in the image below:

Challenges of an eCommerce store

While you juggle between fixing all these facets for a smooth online shopping experience, we at Unbxd want to ensure that you are able to scale your business without any hiccups. So that you can focus on things that matter most to your business, we looked into the 2 most ignored aspects of running a healthy site: Site preparedness and Infrastructure redundancy.

Every year as part of Holiday readiness we assess our architecture for high availability and revisit our Standard Operating Processes based on past holiday traffic and current projections. We also look at recent incidents and remediations for these incidents. We conducted a holistic analysis to understand the impact of the holiday season. We are expecting a 20-30 percent increase in traffic based on customer profile and traffic projections.” says Jayanth, Head of Engineering at Unbxd.

We conducted a heuristic analysis to understand the impact of the holiday season. We saw that there would be almost a 100% jump in QPS (Queries per Second), 80% uptick in the amount of data being indexed and 87% more backend queries being processed. We thought it to be important to communicate the steps we were taking to cater to the business needs of our customers.

We believe actions speak louder than guides (read words), so we conducted this live webinar for all our customers across the globe. In the webinar, the customers were given a walk-through into the following:

We showed our customers how our infrastructure currently operates and how it will behave and act as the peak traffic goes on to increase during the holiday season. We also showed them how increased caching capacity will solve for downstream services and middleware timeouts.

We understand that unplanned downtimes can happen anytime and we ensure that we are always prepared for that.  To ensure that the system is able to handle the increased traffic and search queries during the holiday season, how we have increased the capacity at the Proxy, search orchestration, and edge layers.  (as seen in the image)

The Layered Architecture for Site Search

We also built an Unbxd Status page that gives our customers visibility into ongoing and the previous incidents. Nothing can be more satiating for the customers than letting them know that we are working to fix their issue.

Amidst all the holiday craziness, we want the site search and site performance to be the least of the concerns for any eCommerce player. And we have worked hard in the last few months to ensure we have the infrastructure and a system in place that can cater to these exponential business needs and give our customers a feeling that they are in safe hands.

“We wanted to lay trust in our customers about our preparedness for the coming holiday season and we wanted to demo this to them live. And I must say, when we demonstrated the platform stability with test use-cases, showcasing our in-depth infrastructure architecture, the auto-healing capability of our systems – our customers were nothing less than delighted”, says Nishant Agrawal, Product Lead for Site Search at Unbxd.

The Site search plays a pivotal role in shaping the online shopping experience for shoppers. The shoppers bounce off the website in 3 seconds if they are not able to find what they came looking for. We cannot empathize any less with the eCommerce customers who work day in and day out to provide the best product/services to their shoppers but are not able to showcase the right products at the right time when they finally come knocking on the door. A poor search experience or a delay in loading the webpage can mean a loss of business to the eCommerce stores. That is what we have worked to fix for our customers and we used the webinar as a means to establish that confidence in our customers as well.

We also realize the importance of human point of contact during the times of emergency, if need be. We concluded the webinar by giving our customers a direct point of contact in case of any urgent issue or concern during the holiday period.

We at Unbxd are always working towards making an eCommerce ecosystem that is robust, reliable and resilient. This was just one of many attempts to promise the same to our customers for the upcoming holiday season and times to come.

If you have suffered the pain of a poor site search or inadequate infrastructure handling your eCommerce site during holiday season hitting your revenue or any time of the year, it is time you switch to a solution that really cares for its customers. You can reach out to us here.

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