Building retail resilience: Leveraging Splunk for a successful Black Friday

Johannesburg, 14 Nov 2023
Ensuring a seamless customer experience.
Ensuring a seamless customer experience.

As retailers gear up for Black Friday, the stakes couldn't be higher. In the throes of the busiest shopping period of the year, retail resilience is not just about survival – it's about thriving. In 2021, shoppers spent a staggering $8.9 billion on Black Friday and $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday, signalling the critical need for retailers to optimise their systems for peak performance.

But what does resilience mean in the context of today’s retail landscape? It's about more than just being able to handle traffic spikes – it’s about ensuring seamless customer experiences, even when every minute could mean millions in sales.

The cost of downtime: A retailer's nightmare

With customers spending $12 million online every minute during peak hours, the margin for error is razor-thin. Slow page loads and system crashes are more than just inconveniences – they are direct threats to a retailer's bottom line. According to IDC, downtime costs can soar up to $1 million per hour for large enterprises, a number that could skyrocket during high-traffic events like Black Friday.

Splunk: A beacon of resilience in retail

Amid this high-stakes scenario, retailers are turning to Blue Turtle's partner, Splunk, to bolster their digital infrastructure. Splunk's advanced observability and synthetic monitoring have become critical for retailers seeking to pre-empt performance issues and ensure system robustness.

Data is at the heart of Splunk's value proposition. By harnessing 40+ TB of data ingested daily, Splunk offers real-time insights that retailers can use to optimise every touchpoint in the customer journey. This was exemplified in the case of Tesco, the UK's largest grocer, which successfully managed a 30% surge in online traffic over Christmas without any downtime, thanks to Splunk.

Tesco: A resilience success story

Tesco's challenge was monumental when COVID-19 struck. Yet, with Splunk, they transformed their operations, scaling up online delivery slots and managing a 40% increase in demand. Splunk's real-time visibility enabled Tesco to double its online delivery capacity and deliver 400 million items, ensuring customer satisfaction even amid a global crisis.

Strategies for Black Friday success with Splunk

As we approach Black Friday, retailers leveraging Splunk's suite can employ several strategies to ensure they not only survive but thrive:

1. Pre-capacity planning: Just like Quantum Metric did during Cyber 5, retailers can use Splunk for pre-emptive capacity planning, ensuring their systems can handle anticipated spikes.

2. Real-time troubleshooting: With full-stack visibility, retailers can pinpoint degradations in service as they happen, just as the team at Quantum Metric did when they handled over a billion sessions during their peak.

3. Continuous monitoring and predictive issue detection: By integrating continuous monitoring and predictive analytics, retailers can stay a step ahead of potential outages.

4. Optimising customer experience: Beyond uptime, Splunk aids in refining the customer experience, reducing latency, and smoothing the checkout process, factors known to increase conversion rates and cart sizes.

The Splunk advantage: Data-driven resilience

Splunk's observability cloud provides an eagle-eye view across infrastructure, applications and business services. It dissects silos of data to deliver insights that are essential for IT operations, DevOps engineers and software developers, especially during the tumult of Black Friday sales.

As we brace for another record-breaking Black Friday, the success stories of companies like Tesco underscore the power of Splunk in creating resilient retail operations. With data-driven strategies and Splunk's cutting-edge solutions, retailers can navigate the high seas of peak traffic with confidence, ensuring that when the digital doors open, they are ready not just to meet but exceed customer expectations.

For retailers, Black Friday is not just a day; it's a litmus test for resilience, performance and customer satisfaction. And with Splunk in their arsenal, they are well-equipped to turn this challenge into their greatest success.

Ready to fortify your retail operations for Black Friday and beyond? Take the first step towards transforming challenges into retail wins. This comprehensive white paper provides a deep dive into strategies that harness the power of Splunk, illustrated with success stories like Tesco's remarkable journey. Download it here.