IT Departments Must Be Ready to Manage Influx of Online Shopping Over Black Friday and Cyber Monday
November 22, 2023

Gregg Ostrowski

Share this

Within retail organizations across the world, IT teams will be bracing themselves for a hectic holiday season. Retail technologists are well versed in what key holiday shopping dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday mean for them — long hours and immense pressure as they try to ensure applications and digital services are operating at peak performance and are able to withstand huge spikes in demand.

However, this year, the pressure on IT teams is set to intensify. A recent Cisco AppDynamics survey of more than 12,000 global consumers reveals this holiday season is likely to see record levels of online shopping. Compared to last year, 43% of consumers expect to do more of their holiday shopping online (through applications and digital services) on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, while only 13% expect to do less.

Source: Cisco AppDynamics

While this is an exciting opportunity for retailers to boost sales, it also intensifies severe risk. Any application performance slipup will cause consumers to turn their back on brands, possibly forever. Online shoppers will be completely unforgiving to any retailer who doesn't deliver a seamless digital experience.

With this in mind, retailers urgently need to ensure their IT teams have the right tools and insights to manage application availability and performance over the holiday season and beyond.

Technologists Must Ensure Applications Are Set to Handle Unprecedented Peaks in Demand

The research suggests the proportion of money spent online versus in-store is set to jump this year. Specifically, consumers expect 59% of their spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be online versus in-store, compared to 53% last year. People are turning to applications and digital services to find great deals and stretch their money. They prefer the ease and convenience of online shopping compared to tiring and time-consuming trips to stores.

Despite the soaring appetite for online shopping, the research also presents a stark warning from consumers for any retail brand who fails to provide a seamless digital experience. Today's shoppers don't have the time or patience to tolerate problems with applications and 64% of people admit a poor digital experience will leave them feeling anxious and angry.

Whether it's outages, slow loading or unresponsive pages or problems with payment transactions, consumers believe there is no excuse for poor online shopping experiences. In fact, 58% state they will only give retailers one chance to impress them with their applications this holiday season. If the application doesn't perform as intended, then shoppers will immediately delete it and be inclined to look for an alternative option. There is also the risk that they'll share their negative experiences with friends and family or on social media, deterring other consumers from using those services.

IT Teams Need Unified Visibility Into Modern Application Environments to Deliver Seamless Digital Experiences

Rapid adoption of cloud native technologies has enabled organizations to accelerate their innovations, but it has resulted in IT departments being engulfed by complexity and data noise from an increasingly fragmented application environment.

Many IT teams don't have visibility into containers and Kubernetes environments, and not a clear line of sight for applications with components running across cloud native and on-premises environments. This is making it incredibly difficult to quickly identify issues and easily understand root causes.

Technologists are stuck in firefighting mode, operating under relentless pressure, and constantly scrambling to resolve issues before they impact end users. They're being bombarded by alerts and performance data, but they can't cut through the noise to work out which issues they need to prioritize. Unfortunately, the situation is likely to intensify over the coming weeks with the massive spikes in traffic that we're expecting.

It is up to retailers to support their IT teams this holiday season and ensure their applications are prepared to take advantage of heightened demand. A first step will be enabling IT teams with full and unified visibility across their multi-cloud and hybrid environments.

Solutions like application observability can serve as a single source of truth for all application availability and performance data, with telemetry data from cloud native environments and agent-based entities within legacy applications being ingested into the same platform. This allows IT teams to correlate application performance data with key business metrics like conversions, so they can prioritize issues that pose a greater risk to digital experience.

With the support from their retailer and solutions such as application observability, technologists can regain their footing and adopt a more proactive approach to managing their applications. They can deliver the digital experiences that consumers now highly value and ensure their organizations are able to take full advantage of heightened consumer demand.

Gregg Ostrowski is CTO Advisor at Cisco AppDynamics
Share this

The Latest

February 21, 2024

Generative AI will usher in advantages within various industries. However, the technology is still nascent, and according to the recent Dynatrace survey there are many challenges and risks that organizations need to overcome to use this technology effectively ...

February 20, 2024

In today's digital era, monitoring and observability are indispensable in software and application development. Their efficacy lies in empowering developers to swiftly identify and address issues, enhance performance, and deliver flawless user experiences. Achieving these objectives requires meticulous planning, strategic implementation, and consistent ongoing maintenance. In this blog, we're sharing our five best practices to fortify your approach to application performance monitoring (APM) and observability ...

February 16, 2024

In MEAN TIME TO INSIGHT Episode 3, Shamus McGillicuddy, VP of Research, Network Infrastructure and Operations, at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) discusses network security with Chris Steffen, VP of Research Covering Information Security, Risk, and Compliance Management at EMA ...

February 15, 2024

In a time where we're constantly bombarded with new buzzwords and technological advancements, it can be challenging for businesses to determine what is real, what is useful, and what they truly need. Over the years, we've witnessed the rise and fall of various tech trends, such as the promises (and fears) of AI becoming sentient and replacing humans to the declaration that data is the new oil. At the end of the day, one fundamental question remains: How can companies navigate through the tech buzz and make informed decisions for their future? ...

February 14, 2024

We increasingly see companies using their observability data to support security use cases. It's not entirely surprising given the challenges that organizations have with legacy SIEMs. We wanted to dig into this evolving intersection of security and observability, so we surveyed 500 security professionals — 40% of whom were either CISOs or CSOs — for our inaugural State of Security Observability report ...

February 13, 2024

Cloud computing continues to soar, with little signs of slowing down ... But, as with any new program, companies are seeing substantial benefits in the cloud but are also navigating budgetary challenges. With an estimated 94% of companies using cloud services today, priorities for IT teams have shifted from purely adoption-based to deploying new strategies. As they explore new territories, it can be a struggle to exploit the full value of their spend and the cloud's transformative capabilities ...

February 12, 2024

What will the enterprise of the future look like? If we asked this question three years ago, I doubt most of us would have pictured today as we know it: a future where generative AI has become deeply integrated into business and even our daily lives ...

February 09, 2024

With a focus on GenAI, industry experts offer predictions on how AI will evolve and impact IT and business in 2024. Part 5, the final installment in this series, covers the advantages AI will deliver: Generative AI will become increasingly important for resolving complicated data integration challenges, essentially providing a natural-language intermediary between data endpoints ...

February 08, 2024

With a focus on GenAI, industry experts offer predictions on how AI will evolve and impact IT and business in 2024. Part 4 covers the challenges of AI: In the short term, the rapid development and adoption of AI tools and products leveraging AI services will lead to an increase in biased outputs ...

February 07, 2024

With a focus on GenAI, industry experts offer predictions on how AI will evolve and impact IT and business in 2024. Part 3 covers the technologies that will drive AI: The question on every leader's mind in 2023 was - how soon will I see the return on my AI investment? The answer may lie in quantum computing ...