Key Takeaways from 2020 Cyber Week

by | Dec 16, 2020


Andrew hails from the UK, but headed for the warmer Bay Area climate over a decade ago. When he’s not being Webscale’s VP of Marketing, he’s a husband, father, dog walker, wine taster, and hopeless home improver.

Despite a challenging year, the 2020 Cyber Week broke records with consumers spending $9.03 billion on Black Friday, and $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday. While leading brands like Costco avoided last year’s well-publicized downtime, several global brands, including Currys, Etsy, Ulta Beauty, and Naked Wines, fell victim to outages due to demand.

It was both our busiest and quietest weekend.

It was our busiest because we delivered 100% availability for all our customers, for the seventh consecutive year, while serving 86% more online shoppers than last year, and blocking hundreds of millions of security threats!

Ecommerce stores, powered by Webscale, were able to:

  • Deliver highly available, blazing-fast storefronts for over 52 million shoppers over the Black Friday weekend and for more than 100 million shoppers during the entire month of November. With our predictive auto-scaling and our enterprise-grade high availability architecture, Webscale ensured its customers experienced zero downtime while allowing their storefronts to auto-scale, without limits, to serve their customers.
  • Support over $18 billion in online and in-store revenues over the course of 2020.
  • Protect their web applications against more than 300 million cyber threats, including malicious bots, credit card skimmers, brute force login attempts, scrapers, and more.
  • On average, manage traffic peaks at least 3 times higher than average, accelerated by the impact of COVID-19 driving more consumers online than ever before.

With that said, it was also one of our quietest weekends because unlike traditional Magento hosting providers, Webscale leverages powerful automation throughout its technology stack, ensuring that any actions that need to be taken are done so according to established workflows and web controls, vs error-prone, manual process. We also worked closely with customers on Application Load Testing, to help them understand how their storefront would perform under significant load. It ensured they would know how their store would handle large amounts of simultaneous checkouts and whether there were any architecture or code dependencies that could impact the site’s ability to deliver. You can learn more about our unique approach to load testing in our datasheet or our recent blog on the subject.

As we look beyond the holidays into 2021, we see security remaining a top priority. While data on cyber attacks and their financial impact on the industry during the Cyber Week period is still rolling in, one leading industry report says Cyber Week 2020 saw large increases in both the total number of DDoS attacks (65% more than 2019) and the number of customers attacked (up 57% from 2019). Not surprising given that the FBI has already reported a 400% increase in cyber crimes this year.

As we have learned, having a great Cyber Week boils down to 4 simple rules

  • Load test your application until you are satisfied there are no architecture or code issues that can impact your site.
  • Secure your storefront end-to-end – traffic, browser, and backend – and monitor everything.
  • Ensure you have 24×7 support (with fast critical SLAs) for any unexpected glitches on the big day.
  • Freeze your code! The middle of a sale is not the time to make any changes to your codebase.

We’d like to congratulate the thousands of Magento storefronts on the Webscale platform on their success and, as always, we look forward to scaling with them as their business grows in the years to come.

Like every human on the planet, I will be glad to say goodbye to 2020 and, with the pending roll out of a successful COVID-19 vaccine, I look forward to returning to some semblance of normality, eventually. But, I also realize that it’s potentially been one of the most important years in the history of ecommerce, with a decade’s worth of growth coming in just a handful of months. It’s an incredible foundation that has pushed merchants harder than ever before and that can only mean great things are coming in 2021, on all fronts.

If you’d like to learn more about how Webscale can prepare your ecommerce storefront for major sales events, drop us a line at

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