The growth of the U.S ecommerce market has continued unabated over the last 5 years. The U.S Commerce Department says online retails sales in 2011 totaled $194 billion, but this number has grown to $341.7 billion in 2015. A U.S. Cross-Channel Retail Forecast covering the year 2015 to 2020 expects ecommerce sales to grow at an average yearly rate of 9.32%. Like any new industry, businesses have to cope with myriad challenges, the most prominent being how to handle increasing orders. Many ecommerce platforms are losing money especially during major sales days like Black Friday because they can’t handle the increasing demand. As a website owner, it is imperative to ensure smooth scalability to ensure optimal customer experience on your ecommerce website. It all boils down to managing surge queues on your ecommerce database during peak hours to avoid downtime. With the unpredictability of ecommerce traffic, your online store should be optimized to handle increased orders and this is where professional database load balancing comes in.
What Could Go Wrong During Traffic Spikes?
There are over 1.2 billion websites according to Google, but surprisingly only 52% make any revenue. According to a Forrester Research Survey in 2013, most website owners are more focused on the appearance of their sites as opposed to the database performance. While starting off, it is understandable that you are not looking for a large database but it is important to appreciate the importance of database scalability going forward.
Online traffic is unpredictable and traffic spikes can lead to downtime. A traffic spike could be a result of increased brand mentions, a successful SEO campaign or other positive reviews of your site. While increased traffic is the dream of every marketer, it can also have a downside if it affects your SQL server performance. This calls for database tuning to keep in line with the growing traffic.
With so many websites competing for your target keywords, it is obvious you will lose a lot of revenue. To prevent this, you should invest in SQL server high availability to avoid crashes especially when you expect huge traffic.
How to Deal with Website Traffic Spikes
There are different approaches to handling website traffic spikes. Some of these are in-house while others require a third party to implement. Some of the common approaches to optimizing your site for increased traffic include the installation of server-site cache, using a content delivery system (CDN) if you have lots of static content, compressing your web page content, cache MySQL queries, minimizing scripts and plugins among others. However, for a growing website, these in-house techniques might not work.
It is important to invest in load balancing database. Load Balancing Software improves the distribution of workloads across multiple resources. The idea is to optimize resource use, minimize response time and avoid any overloads on your database.
Horizontal scalability is one of the most effective approaches to SQL Server Load Balancing. The idea is to build out instead of up; instead of investing in more servers you add one more and distribute your database load across them. This is only possible when you can handle multiple instances on different servers at the same time. This in turn saves you on server power, especially during traffic spikes. Some of the best technologies offering horizontal scalability include NoSQL, and NewSQL. These databases ensure a rich customer experience by eliminating downtime.
It is also important to look for database failover feature when looking for database software. More importantly, leverage SQL analytics to know when and how to handle traffic surges. Database replication is also important in database load balancing.
Enhancing Customer Experience
With growing competition, it is crucial for ecommerce site owners to provide a seamless user experience. This can be done by building an attractive and easily navigable website. The site should also be mobilized for mobile as more users start their purchase process on mobile devices.
The Power of a Scalable, Fault-Tolerant Database
A scalable and fault-tolerant database is a great investment for any business. A cloud-based database guarantees optimal performance at any time and this is one easy way to improve customer experience on your site.
With the increasing growth of ecommerce sales, it is time you leveraged the numbers to grow your site. You should bring in a load balancer to guarantee an SQL Always On situation. Your database will handle increasing customer demands without any downtime, which is a first step towards achieving ecommerce success.
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