Two of the biggest shopping days - Black Friday and Cyber Monday - have passed once again. Traditionally, Black Friday and Cyber Monday see millions of Americans head to brick-and-mortar stores or go online to find some of the year’s best shopping deals. However, the way Americans shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday is changing, due in part to how easy it is to shop online now.
Last year, Black Friday online shopping pulled in a record $6.22 billion in sales, a 23.6 percent jump from 2017. Furthermore, 2018 saw a record-setting $2 billion in online sales stemming from smartphones. While impressive, last year’s Black Friday sales numbers did not exceed Cyber Monday sales, which posted roughly $8 billion.
This year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are expected to shatter more records. A Deloitte study referenced on CNBC states shoppers are expected to spend nearly $1,500 per household during the holiday season.
Since more people have become accustomed to shopping online, it is certainly time to think about how to utilize a hyperconverged solution with built-in edge computing capabilities to ensure your site can handle the traffic on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Enhancing Shopping Experiences with Edge Computing
One thing is certain - we are living in an increasingly data-driven world, and retail as an industry has become so reliant on data that it is essential for operational success. However, many retailers still operate the same technologies they did nearly a decade ago. Some innovative retailers have digitized their infrastructures with in-store Wi-Fi, security appliances, or in-store digital promotions.
These innovative stores are still collecting, sending and processing data over networks and data centers off-site - often hundreds of miles away. So, what happens if the data center experiences an outage or network failure? The IT team needs to spend time getting it back up and fully operational as quickly as possible, which of course, means downtime.
During massive shopping days like Black Friday, IT downtime does not bode well among frantic shoppers hunting for deals. Even the most established businesses with robust IT platforms can experience downtime if too many people get on the bandwidth superhighway, or if the data center experiences a failure.
In the case of Cyber Monday, the circumstance is largely the same - a network failure can bring down an entire website, preventing shoppers from getting the deals they want and impacting your sales. Cyber Monday is still a bigger online shopping holiday than Black Friday, despite a surge in online browsing and shopping on that Friday. Deloitte estimates 53 percent of shoppers will rely on Cyber Monday discounts this year compared to 44 percent on Black Friday.
This Black Friday and Cyber Monday are expected to draw in more sales than last year, so it is important to consider a hyperconverged solution at the edge to minimize downtime.
Bottom Line: Deploy HCI and Edge Computing to Limit Downtime
Scale Computing HC3 meets these demands with simple, easy to use, scalable and affordable features that make it ideal for the retail industry. The HC3 platform provides retailers with the flexibility required to create reliable and efficient work and shopping environments.
With a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) such as Scale Computing HC3, retailers will have their own data centers in their stores. Essentially, retailers are bringing mini data centers to their consumers to enhance shopping experiences. HC3 takes up the space of a small appliance, about the size of a microwave, and combines high-performance servers and storage in a single appliance operating as an onsite data center.
HC3’s self-healing architecture allows a system to be deployed at the edge, managed remotely without downtime and with little-to-no maintenance. It also treats storage, servers, virtualization and management as a comprehensive system that automates overall IT management.
Scale Computing HC3 should be a consideration for retailers to deploy in-store ahead of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days, especially knowing that the number of online and mobile sales are expected to increase.
If you’re interested in hearing more about retail on the edge, read our whitepaper here.