According to a Rackspace Hosting Survey, Some 77 Percent of Online Retailers Have Taken Steps to Reduce Website Downtime During 2012 Holiday Season
October 18, 2012 – Today, Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX), the open cloud company, released findings from its recent national survey of more than 100 e-commerce decision-makers about plans for keeping online business rolling through the holiday season. The vast majority (81 percent) of the CIOs, CTOs and IT chiefs surveyed by Rackspace in September and early October are taking steps to improve the online shopping experience for this year’s holiday season. For example, they are increasing computing capacity, redesigning web sites and taking additional steps to address security concerns.
The stakes are high as the economy struggles to emerge from its slump, with 46 percent of respondents saying they expect this year’s online holiday sales in November and December to be better than last year, and 45 percent saying they expect sales to be about the same. Some 29 percent of the respondent e-retailers are hiring more seasonal workers this year compared to 2011’s holiday season, while 7 percent say they will hire fewer.
Web site downtime is expensive
According to the survey, one of the biggest challenges looming in e-retailers’ minds is website downtime, with 77 percent taking steps to reduce or eliminate website downtime this holiday season. Last year, downtime posed a problem for 18 percent of respondents, with losses typically ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to tens of millions. Almost half (45 percent) of the respondents estimate they would lose between $500,000 and $5 million if their company’s e-retail site went down for a single day during the season.
More than a quarter (28 percent) of retailers with online sales who responded to the Rackspace survey are working with their third-party hosting provider to make sure customers can keep shopping online during high-traffic periods.
“Many online retailers have found out the hard way in 2011 that their internal IT systems and resources weren’t ready to handle large spikes in holiday sales,” said Adrianna Bustamante, who works in commerce channel development for Rackspace. “With 45 percent of retailers expecting holiday sales to grow this year, it is important that retailers take steps to improve the online shopping experience and reduce or eliminate downtime during the all-important holiday season.”
Many of the e-retailers surveyed will still rely on internal IT resources to see them through the season: 29 percent say they are hiring more IT staff. Nearly a third said they would use load testing (37 percent) and build up website redundancy (33 percent). Nearly half (48 percent) said they would increase computing capacity to improve the online shopping experience for this year’s holiday season.
About the Research
Rackspace Hosting commissioned McLaughlin and Associates to conduct a national survey among 106 e-retail decision-makers. The respondents include CIO’s, CTO’s and IT decision-makers who manage their business’ e- Retail website. The national online survey was conducted between September 21st and October 3rd, 2012. The accuracy of the sample of 106 e- Retail decision-makers is within +/- 9.5% at a 95% confidence interval. The survey results in this summary have been rounded.
About Rackspace Hosting
Rackspace® (NYSE: RAX) is the open cloud company and founder of OpenStack, the standard open-source operating system for cloud computing. Headquartered in San Antonio, Rackspace delivers its renowned Fanatical Support® to more than 200,000 business customers, from data centers on four continents. Rackspace is a leading provider of hybrid clouds, which enable businesses to run their workloads where they run most effectively — whether on the public cloud, a private cloud, dedicated servers, or a combination of these platforms. Rackspace has been recognized by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a Top 100 Performing Technology Company, and is featured on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. For more information, visit www.rackspace.co.uk.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Rackspace Hosting could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements concerning expected development, performance or market acceptance associated with the Rackspace’s hybrid cloud solutions, federated cloud services or other associated products and services; anticipated operational and financial benefits from Rackspace’s hybrid cloud solutions, federated cloud services or other associated products and services; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include including the possibility that expected benefits from the Rackspace cloud network program or the products and services offered through the Rackspace cloud network program may not materialize because the products or services are not generally accepted in the marketplace, which could occur due to certain factors including (i) a failure to market the products or services cost effectively, differentiate the products and services from competitive products and services or communicate differentiations effectively, (ii) the reliability, quality or compatibility associated with the products or services, (iii) changes in technology which adversely affect the benefits of the product, (iv) slowdowns in the general economy or technology industry that impact consumer spending habits, (v) internal strategy decisions that impact the platform, products and services, and (vi) and other risks that are described in Rackspace Hosting’s Form 10-Q for the year ended March 31, 2012, filed with the SEC on May 9, 2013. Except as required by law, Rackspace Hosting assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.