Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

Are you ready for the holidays?

It's November, which means the holiday season is upon us and retailers are working tirelessly to get their websites, apps and infrastructures ready to deliver a secure and exceptional customer experience during the peak holiday season. If past data is any indication of things to come, 2017 promises to be yet another record-breaking holiday season.

Amazon's Prime Day set the stage earlier this year by becoming Amazon's biggest day ever with sales surpassing its 2016 Black Friday and Cyber Monday results. Prime Day in 2017 generated over $1 Billion in sales (60% increase YoY) and millions of Prime members shopped on Amazon across 13 countries.

There are other global online shopping events such as the Singles' Day that are significantly larger than Amazon's Prime Day. Singles' Day sales in 2017 easily dwarfed the Prime Day sales with Alibaba generating a record $25 billion in sales (a 39-percent increase over 2016). Singles' Day in 2017 was a true global event, with more than 60,000 international brands participating and customers from over 225 countries making purchases. Mobile devices played a key role, accounting for more than 90 percent of the day's transactions (up from 82 percent in 2016). Over 700 million deliveries will be made in the coming days to fulfill the orders placed on Singles' Day, putting other areas of business such as shipping and logistics to test.

Holiday blog image.pngWe, at Akamai, typically see a huge surge in traffic on our platform on Singles' Day, and this year was no exception. This year, we saw a peak traffic on our platform that was 72 percent higher than the peak traffic during Singles' Day 2016. The overall traffic also increased across many regions.The countries with the highest increase in hits to our platform over 2016 include U.S. (133 percent), Brazil (136 percent) and Netherlands (136 percent). Mobile device hits to the Akamai platform increased by 143 percent on iPhones and 132 percent on Android devices compared to 2016. Chrome was the most popular browser, accounting for over 80 percent of the hits to the platform.

Holiday season sales are not only getting bigger every year, but they are also becoming increasingly global events. In 2016, over a third of the U.S. population shopped on the Thanksgiving weekend. The online sales in the U.S. alone surpassed the $122-billion mark that weekend, and this represented a 12-percent increase compared to the previous year. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the days in between also present a huge opportunity for retailers worldwide. Consumers in UK, for example, spent over two billion pounds during the Thanksgiving weekend in 2016 (13 percent increase as compared to previous year). Judging by the sales and the global reach of Amazon's Prime Day and Singles' Day, we predict the upcoming holiday season will surpass all the records set in 2016.

There are still a few weeks left before the peak traffic hits your websites, apps and infrastructures. Are you ready for the holiday rush? Check out these resources on akamai.com/holidays to maximize revenue and engagement this holiday season.