Cyber Monday: Are Retailers Prepared for the Busiest Digital Shopping Day of All Time?

The single busiest online shopping day of the holiday season, occurring at the height of the most active purchasing month of the year, is expected to reach an unprecedented new peak this year — and the implications for retailers could be staggering.

A new forecast found that Americans are expected to spend $3 billion on Cyber Monday this year, which, if it happens, would make Monday, November 30, 2015, the largest single day for digital sales, ever. And these numbers would only build on what was already a record-breaking holiday shopping season last year, which saw Cyber Monday online sales numbers reach $2 billion for the first time.

This expected surge in buying is encouraging news for retailers, but it also raises the question — how many are actually well-prepared to manage the rush? Those aggressive throngs of customers that brick-and-mortar retailers see tear through their stores on Black Friday? Many of them have now migrated online, but their attitudes haven't changed — they're still just as eager to do whatever it takes to get the deal they want.

cyber mondayIn fact, current consumer expectations are significantly higher overall than they were during the pre-digital era. In today's world of one-click buying and two-day shipping, where the average American buyer has an attention span of only eight seconds, retailers must deliver a fast, hassle-free shopping experience, whether it's online or in-person.

To meet these demands, retailers have turned to technology to expedite the shopping process and personalize the customer experience. Brick-and-mortar retailers have adopted tablet-based, interactive in-store sales tools that help customers make the right purchase based on their specific needs. Online retailers have built mobile applications that provide customers with a seamless, on-the-go shopping experience.

Yet, as valuable as tools like these can be, they also introduce greater complexity for retailers. In some cases, despite a retailer's best intentions, if its network infrastructure isn't equipped to manage this complexity, the customer could actually suffer. — a mobile webpage timing out, a coupon or discount code not working properly — and a shopper is likely to give up and move on, without making a purchase.

With the busiest digital shopping day in history perhaps just a week away, retailers still have time to analyze their networks, make the necessary improvements and guarantee application performance. The modern shopper may be more difficult to please, especially during this busy holiday shopping season, but the modern retailer is well-equipped to provide the exceptional shopping experience that consumers expect.

To learn more about how retailers have deployed an application performance guarantee solution to improve the shopper experience, please see our recent case study with Nature & Découvertes.

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