Summer is coming to a close, with hordes of students returning to school in the coming weeks. Which means you will probably see holiday displays in your favorite department stores by Labor Day at the latest. So while there are plenty of days left in which to fire up your grill, now is the time to revisit your business’s disaster recovery plan.
Disaster recovery plans and the holiday shopping season
One company that should be gearing up for the holiday season right now is Best Buy. Last year, Best Buy’s website suffered sporadic technical issues during the crucial post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy known as Black Friday. Customers immediately voiced their displeasure on both Facebook and Twitter by Friday afternoon. The company initially blamed the blackout to heavy website traffic, however, customers were still complaining about the lack of service early Saturday morning. While Best Buy declined to break out its traffic or sales data for Thanksgiving or Black Friday, we can assume that many customers took their loyalty – and their wallets – to its competitors.
Don’t wait to test and tweak your disaster recovery plans. A survey conducted by Harris Poll in October, 2014, found that U.S. owners of smartphones and tablets have little to no patience when experiencing delays or glitches on e-commerce sites.
- 46% of respondents said that they will shop elsewhere if a mobile website or app fails to load in three seconds or less. This is up 9% from last year.
- Once a user connects, 80% say they will abandon a mobile app or site and shop elsewhere if it’s “buggy, slow or prone to crashes.”
Despite breaches and outages experienced by high-profile retailers such as Best Buy, Target and Neiman Marcus, shoppers still want the convenience and online-only deals that many mobile apps and sites provide. According to the National Retail Federation, consumer spending was $50.9 billion over the four day, post-Thanksgiving Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend. This makes up the majority of retailers’ annual sales. So it behooves them to have solid disaster recovery plans in place.
3 disaster recovery tips for retailers
Many retailers gear up for the holiday shopping season months in advance by planning out promotions and hiring seasonal workers. However, disaster recovery often falls to the bottom of their list of action items. Following are three tips for retailers to get started on their disaster recovery plans.
- Schedule times in advance to put your site through rigorous disaster recovery testing. Your goal should be to try to “break” your site.
- Establish realistic recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs), and run tests based on them.
- Set up a plan and a backup plan for system outages and failure based on “what-if scenarios” – i.e., traffic surges and potential data breaches. These plans should include on-premises and cloud-based recovery options, depending on your business needs.
Our blog post, Key Elements in Your Disaster Recovery Plan, can help you create a rock-solid disaster recovery plan.
The holidays will be here before you know it. Let the disaster recovery experts at HOSTING help you prepare for the crush of holiday shoppers by creating a customized disaster recovery for your business –so you can have the best season ever. Contact us anytime to get started. You can also view our on-demand webinar, Think You’ve Tested Your DR Plan? Think Again! for more information.