The growth of eCommerce over the past 20 years has been nothing short of breathtaking. It continues to grow at an astonishing pace, pushing innovations in technology, logistics, and marketing to fascinating new levels. Amazon, which controls roughly 46 percent of all eCommerce, sold a billion items during the 2016 holiday season. This equates to processing 40 million orders - 500 per second - on Black Friday alone and shipping 18 million packages that day with the help of 200,000 seasonal workers.
Government statistics show that eCommerce only represents roughtly nine percent of all U.S. retail sales so there's plenty of room for growth. However, retailers trying to grow their online businesses face numerous challenges in highly competitive markets. Customer retention and revenue growth depend on how fast users can find, configure, and buy the item they want, perhaps with a push form real-time personalization that creates a unique shopping experience for each shopper. Site speed at scale is crucial, and high availability is a critical factor in providing consistent performance no matter how heavy the user load becomes on Black Friday or any other day.
With consumers wiling to walk away within seconds, the technological underpinnings of any online store or other customer-facing product must be impeccably designed, built and maintained for peak performance.
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