Black Friday: a colossal opportunity for retailers to make money. Ecommerce merchants across the globe eagerly await this day of retail magic, ready to watch the orders roll in and their revenue ramp up.
However, if your ecommerce platform can’t handle the traffic, you’re in for a bumpy ride. Site downtime during Black Friday events and other flash sales will frustrate your customers, damage your reputation and ultimately cost you valuable revenue.
The solution to this annual anguish? Migrate to Shopify!
Here we’re examining some famous casualties of the dreaded flash sale crash. We’ll explore what happened to these big brand names when customers rushed to their online stores en masse, before taking a look at why huge traffic spikes are no match for Shopify.
Flash sale ecommerce casualties
The list of big-brand retailers whose ecommerce stores have buckled under the pressure of Black Friday and other highly-anticipated flash sales continues to grow every year.
The graphic below shows just a few UK retailers who have suffered during an influx of bargain-hungry shoppers:
From intermittent access and unresponsive carts, to cancelled orders and full-blown crashes, the consequences weren’t pretty. For some, estimated losses soared into the millions, not to mention the huge dent in their reputation.
Shopify: Built to handle flash sales
Don’t want your brand to end up on this infographic next year? Fear not, there is a solution to your flash sale sorrow: Shopify Plus.
Shopify Plus is built for ambitious, high-volume enterprises that attract huge numbers of visitors. Time and time again, it has proved itself to be the ideal ecommerce platform for the enormous traffic requirements of ambitious global brands.
In fact, Shopify Plus has earned its place in the record books as the platform behind one of the biggest product-drops in ecommerce history! It successfully handled over 200,000 simultaneous visitors on the Kylie Cosmetics store during her debut liquid lipstick launch.
How can Shopify handle such high rates of activity? It’s all down to the platform’s cloud infrastructure and global network of servers.
Global cloud hosting and CDN
Shopify is a fully-hosted, cloud-based ecommerce solution. All Shopify merchants are provided with a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN is a collection of web servers distributed across multiple locations around the world. Content is delivered to site visitors from the server nearest to them. This means that stores load reliably and quickly around the globe, keeping data flowing even during busy trading periods.
Thanks to this advanced technical infrastructure, Shopify is more than well-equipped to handle high volumes of traffic with ease. In fact, Black Friday 2017 saw order volume peak at 10,149 per minute!
Shopify’s cloud hosting and CDN is a clear win over self-hosted, single server solutions such as Magento. These sorts of configurations can be quickly overwhelmed with Black Friday traffic spikes. This can lead to content being unavailable for some users, as well as slower page load times in certain geographical areas. And as we saw with the examples in the infographic, this can also cause critical elements of a site to break. In turn, this can have a direct impact on sales, customer trust and revenue.
Find out more about the differences between Shopify and Magento’s infrastruture in our comparison blog post.
Join these Shopify success stories
Thanks to Shopify’s robust and reliable infrastructure, it’s become the ecommerce platform of choice for some major players in the online retail game. From fashion juggernauts like Yeezy Supply and Fashion Nova, to food and drink giants such as Red Bull and Bulletproof, some of the largest and fastest-growing brands in the world are already using (and thriving on!) Shopify Plus.
Just some of the big-name brands who trust Shopify to support their rapidly-growing businesses.
If you’re looking for some trade-specific inspiration, we’ve rounded up the biggest Shopify Plus stores by industry:
There’s a staggering amount of demand for these global brands. On a daily basis, their stores can receive millions of visitors, let alone on Black Friday when traffic soars even higher. Shopify Plus was built for large-scale pressure like this though.
Gymshark’s famous Black Friday Magento misfortune
Fitness empire Gymshark famously felt the impact of an overwhelmed Magento site back in 2016. With an influx of users trying to make Black Friday purchases on their store, it suffered a devastating eight-hour outage.
This cost Gymshark an estimated $143,000 in lost sales, as well as their reputation as a trusted and reliable retailer.
Unhappy customers took to social media en masse to complain about problems on Gymshark’s Magento-based site. (Source: Shopify)
“It was an absolute nightmare,” explained Gymshark’s Chief Technology Officer, Seb Mills.
After penning over 2,500 handwritten apologies to customers who were affected by the Black Friday crash (some seriously impressive customer service right there!), Gymshark Founder Ben Francis made the decision to replatform to Shopify Plus.
Today, this heavyweight of the fitness fashion world is thriving on a platform that can keep up with the demands of its highly anticipated flash sales.
“The great thing about Shopify Plus is the fact we fundamentally trust the platform. We can go into Black Friday and don’t need to worry about the website crashing,” explained Ben Francis, Gymshark Founder.
Find out more about Gymshark’s Shopify success story here.
Migrate to Shopify – find out more
As one of the oldest and most knowledgeable Shopify agencies in the industry, we have helped countless enterprises migrate from tired and complex ecommerce platforms to swanky new Shopify Plus sites. We could move your store from platforms such as Magento, Hybris, Demandware, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and a host of other platforms including proprietary systems.
For merchants looking to escape the fear of the dreaded Black Friday crash, take a look at our handy migration resources. There’s a migration eBook complete with checklist and expert opinions, plus an exclusive webinar recording with Shopify Plus – perfect preparation for a successful platform migration!