Cha-ching! The holiday season is here, bringing a surge in online sales and the extreme need for expanded connectivity and ultra-fast, secure data processing. Amid all the hustle and bustle, data centers are working behind the scenes to empower the world’s biggest brands, financial companies and manufacturers to meet holiday digital demands for a seamless shopping experience.
From fast transactions to hyper-personalized experiences, data centers power retail operations, both online and in-store, helping them ensure that every brand interaction is a positive one. Today, more shoppers are skipping the extra trip and long lines, opting to make their purchases online from the convenience of their homes or, frankly, any location. To this end, nearly every retailer offers an online shopping experience, making reliable digital infrastructure essential to staying competitive and meeting increasing demands, especially on the season’s busiest shopping days.
This year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales reached record year-over-year growth. According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, total 2023 Black Friday sales rose 2.5% and e-commerce sales increased 8.5% compared to last year. What’s more, Adobe Analytics reported a record $9.8 billion in Black Friday online sales, up 7.5% from 2022. On Cyber Monday, consumers spent $12.4 billion, a 9.6% increase from 2022.
Data Centers — The Backbone of Online Holiday Shopping
As online holiday shopping continues to shatter records each year and companies fight to provide the best virtual experience, robust digital infrastructure becomes increasingly critical, powering everything from AI platforms that support data-driven marketing campaigns and helpful chatbots to SaaS, CRM solutions and cloud-based shipping and supply chain systems.
By powering heavy computing of vast amounts of customer data, data centers enable retailers to provide more personalized shopping experiences and make faster business decisions related to inventory, customer communications, pricing and much more.
Additionally, to meet shoppers’ growing demands and remain competitive, seamless connectivity and a reliable, secure digital infrastructure are key to successfully operating an enterprise’s mission-critical systems and e-commerce platforms. That is why data centers must be able to support new technologies requiring high-performance computing, scale up during peak seasons, offer redundancy and be built to protect against costly cyber attacks.
As more brands adopt AI and IoT platforms to enhance the shopping experience, the need for more efficient, high-performance computing will continue to expand. Involta’s data centers are designed to be highly scalable, bearing the weight of rising compute needs, increased traffic and transactional workloads. Involta offers predictable scaling with low latency connectivity, enabling real-time business continuity to ensure uninterrupted service and a smooth shopping experience.
A service outage during the holiday shopping season can cost e-commerce businesses millions in sales. Involta data centers are powered by multiple feeds from separate sources, backed up by multiple UPS and diesel-powered generator systems. Our purpose-built facilities provide 100% power delivery SLAs that ensure our customers’ data center services uptime. Also, our DRaaS+ solution, launched earlier this year, assures that essential business systems and data will remain secure in the event of a natural, human-made or technological disaster.
In 2022, retail e-commerce holiday season sales in the U.S. amounted to about $228 billion. Forecasts suggest that in 2023, this figure will rise, reaching a total of more than $253 billion during the holidays. Keeping hundreds of billions of dollars worth of sales data secure is of utmost priority for the financial services industry, brands, consumers and data centers. Involta takes security very seriously. Built-in geographic safe zones, our data center facilities are monitored 24/7/365 and include multiple layers of security to ensure that access is restricted to only appropriate individuals. With industry-trained staff that follow stringent security procedures, client information is always treated as confidential.
In addition, our robust suite of managed IT security services backed by our cybersecurity experts is equipped with an arsenal of cyberwar defense technologies. From our deep expertise in Compliance Services, providing integrated risk management capabilities to help businesses achieve regulatory standards for governance, risk and compliance to our Involta Secure SOC solution, our team has the expertise and experience to protect enterprises from internal and external threats, especially around the holiday season.
Added Capacity in High-Demand Markets
Involta continues to expand its capacity in key markets. Just in time for the holiday shopping season, we recently announced an expansion at our data center in Tucson, one of the country’s highly sought-after secondary markets.This added capacity will enable enterprises across the growing tech hub to scale rapidly and optimize digital and AI-focused initiatives.
This expansion comes on the heels of the launch of two IXs, the Tucson Internet Exchange (TUSIX), located within the Tucson facility and the Idaho Internet Exchange (IdahoIX), located within the Boise facility, both set to enhance Internet connectivity within emerging high-demand markets.
A Supercharged Shopping Experience
From reliability to scalability to security, data centers undoubtedly play a key role in delivering a successful online shopping season, allowing retailers to optimize the customer experience with faster transactions, data-driven personalization and secure purchases. Beyond powering a busy shopping season, data centers must be equipped to support the massive wave of returned purchases after the gifts have been unwrapped. According to the National Retail Federation, almost 18% of merchandise sold for the holiday is expected to be returned. Additionally, data centers will help support expanded connectivity while many are on holiday break between Christmas and New Year’s Day, a peak time for streaming, gaming and, of course, more shopping. Looking forward, the role of data centers within the realm of e-commerce and financial services will only increase as customer demands continue to grow and the adoption of AI and other emerging technologies take the world by storm.
Have a happy and safe holiday shopping season!
To learn more about Involta’s state-of-the-art data centers, visit our data center solutions page.