Black Friday is a momentous event for both online and brick and mortar retailers. Weeks, and sometimes months of preparation take place leading up to both Black Friday and Cyber Monday and THG Hosting is no exception. Today we celebrate the teams and technology used to make the exciting 120 hours of Black Friday weekend a success.
Black Friday 2019: Biggest Year Yet
The Hut Group as a whole expected Black Friday 2019 to be the largest project in THG history. Each year, Black Friday infrastructure planning allows us to make hardware and network improvements for the coming year’s growth. These implementations mean that the holiday season is a particularly busy time of year.
Our preparations began with a systems-wide resiliency check to be sure that our infrastructure could handle the increased load for the full 120 hours without fail. If certain areas did not meet our expectations, additional equipment was implemented to bolster the network for Black Friday and the year ahead. Our expert teams carry out a full-system assessment during Q3 to ensure that the THG platform can support all 100+ brands during peak usage times.
Bolstering the THG Network
Beginning in September, a team of 163 THG employees orchestrated the largest project in THG history. First, a data science team uses data captured from the year before to estimate the traffic expected for Black Friday. Once the new estimates are in place, our infrastructure team solidifies network and hardware requirements to meet traffic estimations. The rest of Q3 is spent testing the new changes for absolute redundancy both in-house and for edge deployments.
Testing includes three system-wide load tests each for eight-hour durations. Our team tested resilience at three to four times expected traffic levels to push the limits of bandwidth consumptions. Customer experience is our top priority so that should one geographic location fail another will quickly absorb that region’s traffic. System analysis not only estimates the holiday traffic surge but also as a risk assessment to attempt to anticipate potential cyberattacks when facing peak traffic.
Black Friday Results
Black Friday was a success thanks to all our department’s hard work and dedication including shifts of up to 200 people at a time, 24-hours a day on all critical departments. With 100% uptime for all ecommerce sites and blogs, it is safe to say that THG dominated the Black Friday weekend and our platform, infrastructure, and collective team knowledge are exponentially improved in the process.
THG 2019 Black Friday performance points:
- 14.2% more requests than 2018 Black Friday
- 53% more total page views
- 75% increase in total mobile traffic
- 58% increase in mobile revenue
- 42% increase in total users on THG websites
Thanks to months of planning and accurate traffic estimates from our data scientists, THG was able to execute the most successful Black Friday in THG history. When it came down to showtime, the weekend was executed with style and precision. “It was actually a quite dull event, which is a great thing for Black Friday. Due to the organization of our teams and our thorough planning we had actually over-prepared for Black Friday weekend,” according to Jon Clarke, THG Principle Software Engineer.
Project Manager, Hafsah Asmat explains that the success of Black Friday lies within our extraordinary teams: “It has been such an achievement to see everyone’s work come together to meet all of our goals — especially when so many of our competitor websites went down.”
THG Hosting expresses deep gratitude to everyone who helped make this exceptional project a success. Happy Holidays!