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Archive for the ‘Online Services’ Category

Fourth Quarter Retailer Woes

All Baseline Posts, Online Services

The most anticipated quarter of the year, retailers depend on increased shopping in Q4 more than any other quarter. While online retail shopping was up 15% over last year, topping $37B in spending, CIOs and IT managers cringe at the thought of increased web-traffic bringing down critical services. More than one large online retailer experienced problems with their web sites and credit card processing services this holiday season.

What are the ramifications of a crashed website? Ask Target.com’s former President, Steve Eastman, who resigned after the company’s site crashed in September, following their very popular Missoni clothing line launch. Best Buy received flak from customers experiencing delays during an early online sale a few days before Black Friday, due to higher than usual demand. Problems like these can spell lost sales and rolling heads.

What can IT do to prepare? The obvious answer is to ensure that your online applications are equipped handle the increased demands. For many organizations, this means ensuring that their online applications are tuned running efficiently. They also need to make sure their batch applications can are completing within their scheduled windows. Increased orders will mean increased batch processing, and organizations should be prepared for the demand spike. The last thing a company wants to see is its online order application crash due to delayed batch processing.

People don’t shop online because they like to wait. In fact, simply delaying a shopper for 4 minutes with online security measures is enough to drive them away, likely to a competitor. As an online retailer, how long do you think the average visitor will wait, trying to refresh your crashed product page? Most will be Googling your competitor’s website faster than you can say “IT resource planning”.

The moral of the story (as any good boy scout will tell you) is: ALWAYS BE PREPARED!