Google: Cyber Weekend is coming, are retailers ready?

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Google: Cyber Weekend is coming, are retailers ready?

By Dan Berthiaume - 11/21/2019
Black Friday online shopper

A new survey of retail executives reveals preparation outstrips confidence in Black Friday and Cyber Monday plans.

According to a survey of 203 U.S. retail executives from Google Cloud and Harris Poll, respondents have been preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in many ways. Popular actions include increasing cloud capacity (66% of respondents), offering additional fulfillment options (61%), or spacing out offers and promotions to balance traffic (53%). Nearly nine in 10 respondents (86%) said their company has a clear system that maps each process or system with its potential to degrade website performance.
Despite high levels of preparation, many respondents are still not fully confident and express areas of concern. For example, only half (52%) of respondents said they were very confident in their company’s overall peak readiness. Well less than half said they were very confident in their website speed (42%) or scalability (45%) going into Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And more than 80% said they were at least somewhat concerned about the efficacy of their supply chain during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with 44% saying they were very concerned.

Other interesting findings include:

•    Survey respondents expect digital sales to account for about half of their overall sales this holiday weekend, with 26% coming from their websites and 22% coming from their apps. According to Google, this is higher than the regular season store vs. online mix for most retailers.

•    Nearly half (46%) of respondents anticipate that online traffic this Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be significantly higher than in 2018. 

•    When respondents were asked how they’ll measure Black Friday and Cyber Monday outcomes, 55% pointed to traffic growth, just below the traditional sales volume metric (60%) and just above customer satisfaction (54%).

•    More than four in five (81%) respondents say they take special measures to prepare for Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday, and a big part of these preparations is making sure their tech infrastructure is ready to display, process, and fulfill customer orders.

•    One in 10 respondents reported that their company’s website experienced an outage during Black Friday/Cyber Monday in 2018, and 40% said they experienced an outage within the past three years. 

•    Respondents expect to see a 38% surge, on average, during Black Friday and Cyber Monday compared to their company’s normal online traffic.

•    Nearly one-quarter of respondents (24%) do not have a plan in place should their website go down during this time. 

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