News & Product Updates

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13 Nov 2018

Release Notes: Here's What We're Doing For Black Friday

A Black Friday Release Notes Special: For the sake of transparency, we're posting this blog to share how we've prepared for Black Friday week. 

Every year Black Friday web traffic gets more intense.

serversexploding

Unfortunately, we had some instances of downtime during the crucial holiday shopping weekend last year.

This was understandably stressful for our customers (we are still really sorry about it, by the way). 

That's why we've doubled down this year. We've pored over the metrics, data and incident reports, not just from last Black Friday but recent incidents too, to make sure we are as prepared as we possibly can be for next week.

Here's a run down of our Black Friday Prep List.

1. Our Backup Servers Have Backup Servers

2. We're Caching As Much As We Can

3. All The Developers, All Our Support, All Day 

4. We Don't Want To Jinx It, But We're Ready

1. Our Backup Servers Have BackUp Servers

Last year, we scaled up to handle the spike in traffic in the run up to Black Friday. We had servers to act as backups to our servers. It wasn't enough. 

That's why this year, we've not only added more backup servers to help us scale up, we've got backup servers for our backup servers. 

And all these servers will be on standby from Monday the 19th of November through to the weekend.

2. we'RE cACHING aS mUCH aS wE Can

Another thing we're doing to help us scale up, is to cache every link to remove bottlenecks to our databases. 

Right now we cache links for 3 seconds, but during Black Friday week we'll likely cache for up to 5 minutes if necessary to ensure we have as much info as close to our CPU as possible. 

We're even going as far as caching from separate servers - not our own but Amazon's - and you better believe their's are fast. 

3. All our Developers, All Our Support, All Day

Every developer on staff will be in the office on Thanksgiving Thursday (the absolute busiest time for catalog visits in the run up to Black Friday).  

Most retailers start teasing offers on the Monday before Black Friday which is when we start to see a significant rise in traffic. 

This reaches fever pitch in the hours right before midnight on Thanksgiving Thursday which is why every developer will be in the office until the early hours of Black Friday morning. 

We hope that the work we've put in these past months will be enough to keep everything running smoothly, but to be absolutely sure our developers will be on standby to fix bugs or deal with any challenges that might come up. 

Additionally, we'll have our Customer Care team working overtime, just like the developers.

Our Chief Success Officer, Rune, and our Customer Care Specialist, Jonathan will be on hand to field any questions or issues that might come up the night of Black Friday. 

Hell, even our CEO, Mark, will be here, helping the developers and pitching in on the Customer Care chat if necessary. 

4. wE Don't want to jinx it, but we're ready

 

saddle up

 

Basically, we've worked really hard to make sure we are as prepared as humanly possible for this year's Black Friday shopping bonanza.

We don't want to jinx it, but we're ready and we thought it was worth being transparent and honest about the measures we've taken. 

Not only to make you feel a little safer about putting your trust in us but also because if we were in your shoes, we'd want to know too. 

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In case you missed it, we also wrote a blog recently listing 3 Ways eCommerce Retailers can get themselves Black Friday ready (mirroring some of the things we're doing ourselves) and we've also published a short, free eBook with 3 tactics to hype up your Black Friday Catalog

Should you have any questions to these or any other iPaper features, please don't hesitate in reaching out.

Book Customer Care

 

About the author

Nanna Árnadóttir

Nanna Árnadóttir

Nanna is a storytelling wizard with over ten years experience working as a journalist and copywriter. Wielding magic with her words, her goal is to educate and delight you with fresh blogs and sage wisdom.

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