Black Friday Traffic: Chance or Punishment?

OpsWorks Co.
4 min readOct 15, 2020
The traffic load on Black Friday

The end of November is the time when everybody tightens up their budget to save up for Christmas presents for their families, things they’ve been craving but couldn’t afford simple shopping sprees, and guilty pleasures.

Things are different for online shop owners. This is the time of the highest traffic and sales rates. But also, this is a time of stress and anxiety. “Will we handle the traffic peaks? What are we going to do if the website fails? What if customers have trouble purchasing goods? How much money will we lose if there’s one minute of downtime?” Brrrr….right?

We all will remember Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016 as days when e-commerce websites lost billions of dollars to offline shops because of scalability issues. Many websites were either completely down or loaded so slowly that people had no choice but go out and elbow their way through the crowds towards the goods they needed.

In the following years, the most prudent business owners predicted the traffic and applied some strategies to better manage traffic. Want to know what kinds of strategies?

This article will tell you exactly what to do to avoid any kind of Black Friday chaos so that your business can reap the benefits of this shopping holiday.

Latency-Free Infrastructure

Over fifty percent of shoppers prefer using their smartphones to purchase goods. These shoppers in particular have an immense need for fast transactions. It usually takes them three seconds to abandon the website and go to a competitor’s online store if the wait time is too long. Each year customers rely on their smartphones more and more. But online retailers already can’t afford an extra second of wait time or their customers simply jump shift. What is the best strategy to shorten wait times?

Speed up transactions to retain customers

Astute and forward-thinking CTOs would consider cloud solutions that allow them to deliver content across globally distributed points of presence. This would considerably shorten the waiting time and help customers instantly purchase the items they need.


According to Deloitte, for the first time in 2017 Americans were going to spend more of their holiday budgets on online shopping than buying gifts in stores. This meant that online retailers should have gotten ready for dramatically higher traffic to their websites especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Budgets on holiday shopping

It’s been three years since the challenge first appeared, but somehow thousands of online stores are still trembling when hearing ‘Blaaack Friiiiday is coming’.

Elastic IT Infrastructure to Be Up and Running

To prevent unexpected downtime, businesses can either expand their infrastructure or make it expandable on demand. Companies that host their infrastructure in their own data centers usually get ready for high peak dates by buying additional servers. Well, not just additional — they double the number of servers they usually use. This brings up new challenges — maintenance bills. The biggest issue of such a strategy is that after the high load dates finish, the company won’t need additional servers but will still have to pay for their maintenance. A good strategy when you’re not planning on making a profit, right?

What about this ‘make the infrastructure expandable’ strategy? What is that all about?

This solution relies on cloud computing and allows you to quickly add the needed computing power to the infrastructure to manage the traffic. Simply speaking — autoscaling. When the website is terrorized by customers on their shopping sprees, the system adds the necessary amount of computing power to spread the load and avoid downtime. When the demand decreases, the system regulates the required power so you don’t pay for more than you actually use. Not only does this solution prevent downtime, but the infrastructure maintenance cost may also be reduced by 40%.

Both cloud and on-premise data centers may rely on the cloud extension. Meaning, no matter where you store your data, we can always set up an auto-scaling solution for you to prevent any kind of loss.

What Is Your Strategy?

The holiday season means that e-retail businesses must anticipate the traffic to their websites and prevent downtime to not lose millions of dollars in the span of several minutes. The solution you choose will depend on your current infrastructure state and its drawbacks. You can’t afford to enter the season of gifts without a proper uptime management plan. OpsWorks Co. won’t let your website go down at its peak. Not on our watch!

For this, we have developed a ‘Black Friday Plan’ — a set of services that would prepare your IT Infrastructure for any traffic peak possible in the shortest period of time. Learn more about how to stay online during high load dates!