As the world started to shift into a lockdown state following the continued spread of Covid-19, the needs of every consumer on the planet changed. No longer was it possible to just head to the nearest store to grab what you needed.

The sudden demand for everyday basics exploded into the ecommerce space, mixing in with the already usual traffic. There has been a steady growth of demand through online across almost all categories but the lockdown and the spike that followed took everybody by surprise, even those who thought they were ready.

We saw major retailers, who had been offering an online service, watch as their websites fell over through huge numbers of people attempting to visit at the same time. Their solution was to introduce queuing systems that left some people waiting over 6 hours just to get onto the site or to simply stop allowing new customers from registering.

Some of this will have been to do with their ability to fulfil the orders but most of it was to do with their sites inability to scale to demand.

Think of it like this, the entrance to a website is no different to the entrance to a regular store and it’s ability to deal with customers is limited by its capacity, no different to the four walls of regular bricks and mortar. However, unlike traditional retail, digital allows you to move those four walls out and make the entrance bigger, assuming that you’ve got the capability to do so on the backend. However, just like a regular store there can be a requirements to ‘shut-up shop’ whilst this is taking place.

What a lot of those retailers had not done was plan for the future. Scaling on a regular growth schedule is fine when the demand can be plotted against history but when something like lockdown comes out of the blue, their systems and process come under huge strain. They don’t have a magic button that just increases their scale to fit the demand. But here’s the thing – they absolutely should have, and it’s not magic they needed, it was a scalable cloud solution.

Here is where the Eclipse Cloud comes in

Our strong heritage in hosting led to us develop our own bespoke cloud platform. Created solely with our clients’ needs in mind, the Eclipse Cloud gives its users all the scalable and elastic benefits of cloud hosting. Our tech experts will tell you that our cloud is built on AWS, with Kubernetes and Docker to leverage all the benefits that containerisation offers users. Put simply, Eclipse Cloud offers a viable cloud alternative.

So now go back to the idea of the store but this time all the walls are glass and the entrance is an entire sliding wall. As the entrance gets bigger, the walls shift out all whilst the people in the store have no idea it is happening. They’re just enjoying an entirely seamless experience.

As our MD Steve Liddle puts it “Our clients and partners have seen an extraordinary channel shift to online in recent weeks. Eclipse has been there every step of the way to ensure scaling was easy and clients were supported with value added in all aspects of the challenges they were facing.”

Eclipse Cloud works where integrations, enterprise and supply chain can allow online scale to succeed but we have provided value there through our consulting in supporting clients with integration improvements, stock awareness, order handling techniques post purchase and other efficiencies in last mile.

“In some cases, up to 20 times growth in online with no service disruption and many clients benefiting from the auto scaling and automation in the eclipse cloud” he added.

This all meant that the businesses using the Eclipse Cloud saw no degradation of service, their customers experienced no drop-in service levels and they continued to trade as normal.

The key takeaway here is to always be prepared, even for situations that can’t be predicated and have a partner that is able to fully support your business.

If you’re a business that needs that kind of support, you should get in touch and we may be in a position to help you. There isn’t going to be a downshift in demand anytime soon and who knows what the ‘new normal’ is going to look like on the other side of lockdown and Covid-19.

And if you’re a provider that needs a little help to support your own clients, come talk to us too. We’re pretty sure there is something we can do together.

 

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