Tenzing, a provider of commerce managed hosting services, has announced the success of its annual ‘Holiday Preparation Program’ for 2016. Starting many months before the holidays, the company executed a series of activities to optimize its customers’ commerce platforms to smoothly handle the extremely high traffic spikes that take place during the US Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
One of the complexities of delivering high-end commerce infrastructure and managed services is the ability to cost-effectively scale hosted environments up for peak periods and then transition them back down to their previous states.
To prepare for the year-end holiday season, Tenzing started by meeting with each client to understand their projections and system baseline metrics. Then they determined where possible bottlenecks might be and planned pre-staged upgrades in those specific areas, scheduled at the appropriate times. Many merchants worked closely with Tenzing to simulate loads that tested the optimizations performed by Tenzing’s technical teams. This was giving them confidence entering the holiday period, according to Tenzing.
“This is an intensive exercise that starts early in the summer and spans our entire organization,” said Elizabeth Scott, VP of Customer Success, Tenzing. “Each year more and more retailers, brand manufacturers, and merchants are serviced. It’s much more than just infrastructure capacity planning. Tenzing works closely with clients to share best practices that help improve communications, security, and even aspects of their marketing. Each fall, a Holiday Preparation Guide is also published and widely distributed. This last campaign was the most successful ever based on customer feedback.”
The preparation included contingency planning as well. Each customer was provided a customized emergency plan which exceeded the pre-staged capacity increases. Leading up to, and during the holidays, Tenzing increased support staff, deployed customer-specific monitoring, frozen all major upgrades and deployments, and operated on high-alert to ensure its client’s online channels stay open for business.
Each year, Tenzing tracks and measures its operating statistics related to the commerce holiday season. For 2016, some of the key highlights were as follows:
- Busiest time of day for clients was 8:00 a.m. on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday
- Some clients had 300% average traffic increases with the top spot growing by 670%
- In 2016, the number of Tenzing pre-holiday application assessments for Oracle Commerce (ATG), SAP Hybris, Magento and AWS environments had increased 380% since the program started in 2013
- Most retailers surpassed their anticipated projections for traffic and concurrent users
- One retailer saw an astounding 12,800 concurrent users when its online store opened for the holiday period
- In general, Black Friday was busier than Cyber Monday, with many of Tenzing’s retailers reporting more sales on Friday than on Monday