Peak-Proof ECommerce Engineering for 10X Ramadan Sales

March 4, 2024
Jolyn Ng

Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, is also the Superbowl moment for ecommerce platforms in Muslim-majority markets, promising a sales bonanza. With families and friends gathering to break their fast together and embracing the spirit of giving, platforms catering to online gifting, grocery delivery, and meal-kit services achieve record highs. However, the surge in demand can also bring to light significant operational challenges, exposing cracks in engineering capacity under stress.

From our extensive work with leading Southeast Asian ecommerce brands, we’ve identified three critical and recurring vulnerabilities that tend to be amplified during such peak periods.

1. Resource Crunch Hampering Rapid Response

During Ramadan, the volume of online transactions can skyrocket, pushing internal systems and teams to their breaking point.

Under normal circumstances, ecommerce platforms may encounter 5 to 10 production issues daily. Yet, during Ramadan, this number can multiply exponentially to 50 to 100 critical issues simultaneously, spanning various operational facets. This sudden influx can overwhelm even the most robust tech teams, forcing them into a constant state of firefighting against infrastructure constraints, database failures, and network outages with little bandwidth for sustainable fixes.

The crux of the problem often lies in the absence of versatile senior talent capable of diagnosing and rectifying these issues to swiftly stabilize the complex technology stacks. This can not only increase the lead time for problem resolution, but also heighten revenue risks and potential business disruptions.

2. Traffic Surges Overwhelming Capacity

Underestimating the backend system’s capacity to handle seasonal traffic spikes is a common pitfall.

For instance, a database designed to manage 50 queries per second on an average day or servers sized for certain concurrent user sessions may falter under the tenfold increase in traffic during Ramadan, causing widespread downstream failures.

These can range from lost orders and inaccessible customer accounts to delayed network responses causing payment timeouts and loading issues for catalog images, or even total site blackouts. The domino effect of these issues can cripple customer-facing and revenue-generating systems when consistency is most crucial.

To mitigate these risks, it’s essential to right-size backend systems and build buffers in anticipation of surge events. This includes sizing hosting infrastructure, content delivery networks (CDNs), and databases with a generous margin to accommodate unexpected demand spikes.

3. Widespread Backend Collapses

Massive load spikes during Ramadan significantly heighten the risk of cascading failures across eCommerce platforms. The interconnected nature of legacy backend systems means that a bottleneck in one area can quickly overwhelm other parts of the system. Surging volumes can choke payment gateways, freeze order processing and fulfillments, and delay stock updates, eventually spiralling and jeopardizing revenues.

Addressing these vulnerabilities requires a comprehensive approach that includes performance stress testing, future-proof infrastructure design with built-in redundancies, and real-time monitoring across critical systems. These measures help isolate and manage performance issues before they can impact the broader platform.

Drive Growth with Peak Resilience

This Ramadan, equip your business to expertly tackle demand surges with JetDevs. Our flexible team augmentation services has delivered the specialist skills for numerous ecommerce brands in Asia to reinforce capacities, de-risk architectures, and enable 10X scale fearlessly.

Let your technology strengthen consumer trust and competitive differentiation simultaneously, ensuring you are peak-ready. Connect today for a readiness assessment.

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