How Retailers Can Exceed Customer Expectations on Cyber Monday (& Beyond)

How Retailers Can Exceed Customer Expectations on Cyber Monday (& Beyond)

As retailers gear up for Cyber Monday, they are preparing for unprecedented traffic given the new ways people are shopping due to COVID-19. It’s already predicted ecommerce sales will hit over $10 billion USD on Cyber Monday alone. And although retailer’s online strategies are shifting, customer’s expectations remain the same. They want it cheap, and they want it now. 

According to one report, 62% of consumers say that no amount of safety measures would persuade them to shop in person. So for the first time ever, in-person Black Friday shopping deals became a thing of the past with many retailers shutting their doors and encouraging online shopping instead. So not only do retailers have to factor in the influx of traffic to their ecommerce sites, but they also have to consider that certain items (i.e. PlayStation 5, iPhone 12, etc.) will be in high demand and shipping/distribution will be a major concern.

Retailers are taking new approaches such as shifting to a “Cyber Month” in order to promote deals early to avoid logistical nightmares, and developing lottery systems (like Nugget) to set expectations upfront. Some companies (such as Peloton) are even saying they won’t have a sale at all.

Regardless of your strategy, Cyber Monday and associated holiday peak shopping periods will put pressure on your infrastructure. How are you going to handle massive traffic to your ecommerce site and prevent an outage? Will you survive a region failure? Are you confident when giving customers accurate pricing and shipping information? How many transactions can you process in an hour?  

In this post, we will cover three strategies retailers can employ to exceed customer expectations this holiday shopping season and beyond. 

#1 Website: How to handle massive site traffic with no downtime for your customers  

We will start here because if your website isn’t up and running, we can’t get much further. The backend of your ecommerce site should be able to withstand fluctuating traffic patterns without incurring latency for customers. 

Because CockroachDB offers inherent high availability you can ensure your apps and services are always on and available with 3x data replication. CockroachDB is literally (and ironically) impossible to kill. It’s architected on a node based system and is geo-replicated, so if one node fails, it automatically distributes the data evenly between all nodes. 

It’s also important to note that CockroachDB can process and store 10s of millions of transactions per day and accommodate peak performance insert rates with ease. CockroachDB is built to withstand fluctuating workloads without incurring latency. Additionally, it provides automatic rolling upgrades which results in 0 downtime – making developers very happy. 

Several retail and ecommerce companies use CockroachDB as a Point-of-Sale (POS) system of record for their brick-and-mortar stores and ecommerce sites. Because CockroachDB guarantees consistent transactions (more on this below), there’s never a problem with inconsistent data. Retailers can rest easy knowing that their website will maintain stable performance with CockroachDB.

#2 Shipping & pricing: Guaranteed inventory and pricing for your customers 

Today, it’s absolutely crucial to be able to quickly and easily access your inventory so you can provide accurate purchasing and shipping information. It’s also important that you provide accurate pricing that reflects the continuously fluctuating deals. 

CockroachDB delivers correct data with a durability you can trust in any environment at local or global scale. It’s not eventual consistency like some databases promise. It’s guaranteed. Your customers don’t eventually want their order at the best possible price, they want it when you promise them. 

CockroachDB has a built-in Cost-Based Optimizer that serves low-latency, consistent, and current reads by accessing the closest data. This feature is especially valuable to customers who are using CockroachDB as a system of record for their supply chain operations. Retailers can manage inventory, pricing, and deliveries for all locations across the globe and ensure customers receive accurate and timely information.

#3 Customer privacy: global data protection/consumer identity 

Large-scale data breaches make headlines each year and often cause distrust between companies and their customers. However, retailers still need a way to sell to global audiences while keeping their customers' data safe. 

One of the most unique aspects of CockroachDB is that it offers the ability to partition data by its location, a capability we call geo-partitioning. This means that you can tie data to a physical location using row-level controls. For regulations like the GDPR, European customer data stays in Europe. So not only does this allow retailers to scale to a global audience with guaranteed consistent transactions, but they can also adhere to data privacy regulations regardless of where the customer is located. 

Because of this feature, many customers use CockroachDB to protect their customer’s data and ensure it is being stored in the right location. For example, if you want to authenticate global customers to your ecommerce application CockroachDB makes this easy by housing data close to customers even when they are traveling. 

Looking beyond 2020

It’s safe to say that everyone is ready to put this year in the past. But if you are in charge of your company’s infrastructure, you always have to think about the future of your applications and services and the technologies that you build them on. 

So after reading this post, are you feeling confident? Are you ready to tackle the 2020 holiday season and the new ways consumers will be shopping potentially forever

No? You should get in touch with us. Or try CockroachCloud for free. We have dozens of happy retail customers who use CockroachDB as the backbone to their infrastructure. We will also be posting two more blogs about how you can better capture global revenue and service your customers (not your database). Stay tuned!