Cogeco Peer 1, provider of colocation, network connectivity, managed hosting, cloud and managed services, has announced the findings of an independently commissioned study, which found that 40% of UK retailers' websites experience downtime during seasonal peaks, such as Easter.
The independent study of over 100 UK eCommerce decision makers also found that 48% did not feel completely ready for seasonal peaks in website traffic. 58% of UK retailers admitted they faced page speed issues during 2016 - 2017 seasonal peaks.
"Retailers and brands are facing considerable challenges when selling online: from how to compete with the likes of Amazon and how social media is transforming shopping; to harnessing the power of automation and maintaining a uniform, effective online presence 24/7," commented Susan Bowen, Vice President and General Manager, EMEA at Cogeco Peer 1. "The figures in the study highlight the need for UK retailers to act if they are to take full advantage of the revenue opportunities available during seasonal peak spending periods."
Last year, a PwC and Local Data Company report found that 2,656 physical outlets closed on Britain's high streets in the first half of the year. This was a rate of 15 stores a day, up from 14 a day during the same period in 2015. Greater London saw the biggest net drop in the country as 164 shops were lost – emphasising that retailers need to maximise revenue during peak times, like Cyber Weekend.
"Tech is an underpinning element to the success of all online retail brands today. Deciding when to make an upgrade is critical. Struggles during Easter can be a powerful indicator that this technology is creaking under the strain and holding retailers back during the biggest spending weekends of the year. It's a tough question, but retailers all over the country need to ask themselves now, whether the tech infrastructure they are using is fit for purpose and whether it can support them through 2017's seasonal shopping peaks.
"Brands can be as creative as they like with advertising and social media communications, but without a tech infrastructure that can meet the most strenuous demands of today's online consumers, UK eCommerce brands will continue to miss out on these vital revenue streams," finished Bowen.
Peak holiday times such as Easter, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Boxing Day sales represented over a £7 billion boom for the British economy in 2016. Periods like this represent a considerable percentage of the overall annual revenue for retailers, so maximising on these seasonal peaks is often the difference between making the black and sinking into the red.