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Top 5 Things Online Retailers Need to Know Before Heading into the Peak Season

The retail industry among many others has been going through the negative implications of Covid-19 and the upcoming traffic on their E-commerce environment. This is all in light of the peak season for retailers approaching. With this in mind, Blue Yonder has come up with 5 knowledge points to be mindful of. 

1. Manage the load

The teams need to be proactive and ready with solutions for expected and unexpected problems that are likely to occur during times of high volumes of traffic. What Blue Yonder are doing is conducting specific performance audits and providing suggestions on handling these issues. At HeadByte our teams consist of specialists with years of retail experience behind them and can help in this regard.

2. Prepare with realistic performance testing

It is always important to conduct performance testing regularly and consistently. What becomes ineffective is when companies engage in performance tests which do not reflect actual workloads during peak periods. The impact of this is that it will paint an unrealistic prediction of the actual performance which could be good or bad but still leads to consequences. The good can lead to not identifying any issues then being impacted during the peak, the bad can lead to over-investment which might not be necessary.

3. Proactively address potential degradation due to integrations with external systems

When working with systems that are connected to and rely on other systems one has to be sure to manage the external systems with just as much care. A drawback in an external system can have rollover effects to the internal systems. Avoiding this can be done by incorporating systems which are constantly monitored and capable of reacting to such situations before the negative impacts take place. Blue Yonder and HeadByte can facilitate this by deploying a tool to capture meaningful data, track response time and mitigate degradation.

4. Put in place proactive monitoring capabilities to address issues before they occur

Blue Yonder suggests that the tools used in production should be used during performance testing so the team is able to be consistent in the monitoring process. In addition, Yantriks (now Blue Yonder) provides tested and proven procedures that can handle any issues that may arise.

5. Implement comprehensive testing that includes Chaos Monkey Testing

Performance tests mainly fixate on a positive outcome e.g. Run a test and get results. Tweak the performance test a bit and rerun them until you get results that are acceptable to meet a pass/fail gate.  Are you just running tests to satisfy engineering’s desire to release the application, even if not sufficiently tested?

A strong test method and approach enhances load testing, including injecting failures into application or system components to see if applications can react and recover gracefully.  

These 5 steps above should provide guidance on how to approach peak seasons within retail systems. 

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