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Ensuring Smooth Operations: Peak Load Handling in Omnichannel Commerce

May 24, 2024


Peak Load Performance Management for Ecommerce Platforms

While omnichannel commerce retail platforms maximize customer reach, are you prepared to handle peak traffic volumes? Here’s what you should know.

While Amazon makes $1.2 billion per day, during peak sales, this increases revenue manifold. An eCommerce platform is bound to witness heightened traffic during sales and holiday seasons. Preparing your platform and inventory to handle additional volumes is critical. However, maintaining a massive technology stack for select days can be financially unviable for the rest of the year. In the age of agility, adopting scalable omnichannel eCommerce solutions is paramount for sustainable business growth. Here are the tried and tested ways to manage peak load in omnichannel commerce

Amazon dubbed the 11 days from November 17 to Cyber Monday of 2023 as the “biggest ever” event in online shopping history as US shoppers spent $12.4 billion on Cyber Monday alone!

Omnichannel Commerce to Ace the Peak Season

The modern customer wants personalization, prompt communication, expedited delivery options, hassle-free returns, and much more. Omnichannel commerce allows businesses to sell and deliver everywhere, while meeting such demands. Customers may want to purchase online, offline, and choose to receive in a parcel locker or pick up an online order from an offline store. Managing all this, especially during the peak season, is possible only with integrated digital technology that shares customer information from disparate channels. It can also enable customers to make payments through preferred modes. Omnichannel commerce is key to handling all kinds of requests at scale and reaping the rewards of technology integration, especially during the peak season.

Prepare Your Infrastructure for Peak Traffic Season

The peak season for your domain may overlap with popular holidays or it may be different for different regions you operate in. Preparing your infrastructure in advance is critical to ensuring smooth operations as the load may increase abruptly.

Predict Your Needs

The best way to prepare for the high volume is to estimate it as accurately as possible. Adopt a data-driven approach to assess traffic requirements, compared to the current week, the last 12 weeks, and the last few months. The previous year’s peak season data is also useful. However, if you don’t have this data, predictive analytics and market data can help you make estimates. The key here is to put cutting-edge analytics technology in place. Also, consider events such as the pandemic or recessionary fears to predict a shift in consumer purchasing behaviors and its impact on your digital storefront.

Expand Digital Capacity

The one hour of downtime during the 2018 Indian Prime Day is estimated to have cost Amazon between $72 and $99 million.

Peak season translates into heightened transactions, chargebacks, and refunds. Sustained performance is of utmost importance during peak traffic. In addition to using proactive inventory refill notifications to act swiftly during the peak season, you must increase your database, transaction, and server capacity. Cloud-based omnichannel solutions can be game-changing for eCommerce platforms. These platforms provide the flexibility to scale up or down as required. Distributed servers enhance speed, preventing user attrition and maximizing uptime. They also facilitate load balancing to prevent overloading of a single server.

Bolster Security and Fraud Detection

Peak traffic times are also the windows to malicious activity. Strengthen security across channels, databases, and payment modes to reduce the risk of fraud. Assess backup and switching delays to identify bottlenecks and optimize transition, in case of an incident. Machine learning-enabled network monitoring can help you detect and mitigate unusual user purchases and AI-based monitoring can avert threats in real-time.

Conduct Quality Assurance Testing

Comprehensive load and stress testing is critical to ensure uninterrupted performance. Simultaneously audit the compliance and legal liabilities to prevent penalties. Adopt sophisticated testing automation solutions to accelerate validation. Leverage AI-powered simulators to uncover performance bottlenecks. Configurable test stacks enable accelerated testing while mature practices with ready UI, API, and integration frameworks that cover all business functions can improve overall testing quality. Spike and endurance testing are also critical to gauge how the system performs under extended periods of peak loads of users and payments in progress.

Monitor Your Performance

Performance monitoring across applications, digital communication channels, and payment operations in real-time is essential to gain a competitive advantage. A consistent overview of system health and emerging bottlenecks can help accelerate incident prevention. Further, it can offer valuable insights for post-peak analysis and preparation for the next peak season. Identify the areas for improvement and implement changes to ensure even better performance during future peak seasons. Performance testing also fuels brand reputation, facilitates intervention before customer satisfaction levels drop, and assessment of efficacy of performance enhancement measures. This is especially important for smaller and medium-sized players with limited capital and resources.

Integrated Omnichannel Performance to Lift Your Revenue

Omnichannel eCommerce integrates CRM (customer relationship management), POS (point-of-sales systems), digital payments and order management systems. They allow you to offer personalized and seamless experiences across touchpoints. Managing unified experiences during heavy traffic can be challenging. Scalability and flexibility are paramount for an exceptional omnichannel eCommerce business.

Here is a roadmap to achieving omnichannel success:

  • Define the target experience for various customer personas across channels.
  • Develop an integrated strategy, aligned with organizational objectives to optimize channel success.
  • Leverage data in real-time to gather insights through unified data lakes and channel economics.
  • Make seamless payments, chargebacks, and reconciliation a part of your omnichannel strategy.
  • Develop an omnichannel maturity model to assess and improve your omnichannel eCommerce strategy.
  • Choose an experienced technology provider to orchestrate technology migration and augmentations for scaling, testing, and predictive analytics.

With over 27+ years of experience in the money movement and omnichannel eCommerce space, Opus Technologies helps its clients deliver customer satisfaction, build loyalty, and amplify revenues. Our comprehensive omnichannel retail and ecommerce solutions help you maintain consistent performance across touchpoints through scalable infrastructure to manage performance peaks and troughs effectively. Schedule a call with our experts today to discover how our technology expertise can transform your omnichannel operations.

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