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5 ways bots can ruin Black Friday sales for eCommerce Websites

November 22, 2016 | All Automated Threats Bot Prevention Technologies

5 ways bots can ruin Black Friday sales for eCommerce Websites

Black Friday is one of those days of the year that can potentially shoot up the sales revenue of e-commerce sites. According to a recent survey, Black Friday 2016, sales are expected to exceed $3 billion – an 11.5% increase over last year. Cyber Monday is expected to be the largest online shopping day ever this year with sales expected to hit $3.36 billion, representing a 9.4% increase over the year-ago period.

Multiple surveys in the recent past also highlight the alarming fact that e-commerce sites garner at least 20 million unique visitors, of which, close to 60% are bots. Such a bot rampage is not just limited to shopping sites, but is widely spread all across the internet affecting online businesses of all types.

Here’s 5 ways bots negatively affect e-commerce businesses in Black Friday sales:

  1. Frustrating User Experience: Bots scrape at a very high rate putting unusual load on the servers. Genuine users will be frustrated with the eventual latency of the site and exit in no time. Such an activity also poses the risk of a downtime in the most unexpected way during crucial traffic hours. Well, yours is not the only eCommerce site selling items. They will jump to the others to complete their purchases (and tick items off their Thanksgiving week wish list!).
  2. Operational Fatigue: Uncontrolled bot traffic during peak traffic hours will strangle available bandwidth and also lead to server crashes. Operational fatigue and workload on IT team leads to excessive wastage of manual effort and time, not to mention the thousands of dollars in lost sales.
  3. Cart Abandonment: As expected, millions of bots will surge into shopping websites this Friday. Bots will place numerous orders on multiple products and block genuine users from accessing them. Genuine users will be redirected to a out-of-stock page, while the bots fill up ghost carts in a few seconds, only to abandon them at a later stage.
  4. Inflated Marketing Budget: Apart from scraping prices and inventories, bots also hit the e-commerce site numerous times, thereby generating bogus traffic. This can trick the online business owners/marketing teams into believing that the traffic is from genuine prospects. If an affiliate marketing strategy is involved, eCommerce business owners would be unnecessarily paying additional compensation for the traffic created by bots.
  5. Skewed Website Analytics: Bot visits pollute the site traffic, and as a result, becomes excruciatingly difficult to differentiate between genuine and bot driven data in the analytics dashboard. KPIs, lead metrics, campaign performance and marketing ROI will be adulterated, eventually misleading marketers/business owners into taking crucial business decisions based on wrong data.

So, it is of utmost importance to ensure that bots do not attack e-commerce websites, not just during Black Friday, thereby negatively impacting revenue and growth.

Will this Black Friday be any different to your website? Tell us what you’re doing to protect your eCommerce website or mobile app from malicious bot threats.


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