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Key Takeaways From 2021 Cyber Week

Key Takeaways From 2021 Cyber Week

  • By ANDREW HUMBER |

This year, consumers began their holiday shopping early, as early as October in some cases, concerned about the supply chain-related challenges that are plaguing almost every industry. Despite Black Friday sales being down marginally by 1.4% at $8.9 billion from $9.03 billion in 2020, the National Retail Federation expects retail sales for November and December will grow by 11.5% over the same period last year.

While reputed global brands that were not (yet) associated with Webscale including Office Depot, Walmart, and GameStop fell victim to outages due to peak traffic hitting their sites, Webscale delivered its 8th blockbuster Cyber Week for thousands of B2C and B2B storefronts. Leveraging its patented predictive auto-scaling technology, and high availability (HA) architecture, Webscale delivered fast and secure customer experiences with 100% uptime over the holiday weekend.  

We are delighted to report that the Webscale cloud platform powered merchants to:

  • Deliver 100% uptime and blazing-fast performance for their storefronts while reporting close to $15 billion traffic requests
  • Process 7.2 million checkouts just through the month of November 
  • Defend against malicious bots with more than 76 million denial or redirect responses. Bot attacks accounted for 68% of all attacks in November 2021
  • Improve mobile performance by an average of 20+ points and desktop performance by 50+ points in Core Web Vitals
  • Report 200% mobile performance improvement with new PWA storefronts 

Webscale customers in the footwear, luxury food, and baby gear segments reported large traffic volumes across the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend, scaling up to tens of servers in minutes as customers flooded in. Mobile was a winner this Cyber Weekend with Webscale customers in the fashion and beauty segments serving 2X more mobile shoppers than 2020, a clear sign that mobile commerce is here to stay and rapidly becoming the shopping channel of choice for many market segments.

Mobile traffic has been growing year over year with most categories witnessing an equal amount of traffic increase coming from both mobile and desktop endpoints in 2021. In fact, only in a few categories like home improvement, mobile is not yet the lead source of traffic.

Surprisingly, while more shoppers are buying from their devices than ever before, a vast majority of storefronts continue to struggle with low Core Web Vitals scores for mobile, a risky position to be in considering the potential impact on their search visibility and overall customer experience. Mobile-first strategies, enabled by the deployment of headless infrastructure, coupled with a progressive web app (PWA) must be front of mind for merchants heading into 2022. 

In fact, Webscale will be expanding its CloudEDGE suite of products in January 2022, launching new solutions that effectively address mobile performance optimization, Core Web Vitals, and seamless transition to front end delivery via a PWA. We’re focused on providing the flexibility and the tools to separately manage the front and back ends, while accelerating content delivery, so that merchants can launch new features and capabilities for their storefront in as little time as possible.

Security remains a top priority at Webscale. According to Adobe, from November 1 through Cyber Monday, consumers in the United States spent $109.8 billion online, up 11.9% year over year. As expected, cybersecurity researchers reported a similar increase in malware attacks over the Black Friday weekend, with 300% more websites experiencing 50 or more attacks per day, as compared to last year.

Skimmer groups also targeted many ecommerce websites over Cyber Week. In addition to injected JavaScript skimming codes, redirection of unaware consumers to malicious websites was also reported.

No Webscale-powered storefront reported any security issues during Black Friday / Cyber Monday.

Congratulations to the whole segment for a spectacular run during Cyber Week 2021 – merchants, business owners, developers and digital agencies. We look forward to working with many of you in 2022. And if any of you will be at NRF 2022 in New York in January, we’d love to meet up. Book a meeting here if that’s of interest.

ANDREW HUMBER

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.