Adapt Your Store During COVID-19
April 8, 2020
Never has there been a more telling time to stress test the efficiency and flexibility of how businesses are run. For online businesses, this also points to the flexibility and scalability of technologies deployed to deliver their digital store when the fluctuations in traffic vary wildly from one hour to the next.
We have always firmly believed AWS is an unparalleled hosting provider for its ability to give you as much or as little power as you need within minutes. It’s no wonder why some of the biggest digital service providers use it as their hosting platform, from Dropbox and Netflix to Pinterest and even GoDaddy.
At this moment in time during the COVID-19 outbreak, online businesses have had to adapt to the changing variables, with challenges arising from the limited supply chain or logistics with limited warehouse staff. Because of this, we have seen some of our clients throttle their businesses so they can meet the demand of their clients whilst also being able to work within the confines of the limitations of their circumstances.
Decorating Centre Online (DCO) is a business that has had to adapt significantly in order to continue operating their business and optimise online sales during this period.
Due to unprecedented levels of demand, DCO are operating a daily order quota and only opening their website for new orders at a specific time once a day. This leaves them in complete control of order volumes so they can ensure that all orders can be fulfilled safely given the resource, supply chain and logistical constraints.
The challenge this presents is that due to DCO’s increasing popularity and demand for home decorating supplies, they are experiencing huge spikes of traffic during the daily order opening times. At any one point, DCO are experiencing a 900% increase of simultaneous users online compared to a typical period pre-COVID-19.
In the last week, the longest our website has been open for each day is 13 minutes and during this time we have taken 3x our normal daily revenue through the website. The only reason we can make this work and continue to trade is because we have a cost-effective solution to flex our server environment, which is then expertly administered by Media Lounge. We also have fantastic third party applications such as ShipperHQ which give us ultimate control to instantly switch ordering on/off. It’s times like these we reflect on the decisions we made to invest in Magento 2, and can be confident it was the right decision and platform to operate and build our business on.
Ordinarily, this would present a huge problem from a hosting perspective – a server would quickly bottleneck and max out on resources. Hosting companies typically would not be able to react fast enough to the spikes in traffic and it would result in lost sales and brand reliability with existing and new customers. It would also be very expensive for typical hosting companies to keep giving servers more power and then reducing them back down when not needed.
This is where Amazon Web Services AWS shines from its ingenuity. We are able to make the most of autoscaling with many of our clients to give them what they need, when they need it. Thanks to the Auto Scaling Scheduler, this can be done any time of day or night. It takes minutes to go from your typical server power to a supercomputer that can run a major online retailer.
At Media Lounge, we firmly believe in partnering with market leaders that are changing the landscape of the Internet with their constant evolution of technology. It’s times like these where we are so reliant on these services that we are seeing how making these choices many years ago has been an investment well worth making.
Autoscaling is the just tip of the iceberg when it comes to the services we provide that help our clients out-compete their competitors. Please do ask us about other hosting services that range from Relational Database Servers to Simple Notification Services using SMS.