Shopify Ecosystem

BFCM 2020: Record Sales Bring Record Amount of Data Risks

bfcm-2020:-record-sales-bring-record-amount-of-data-risks

It was massive.

Another one for the history books.

According to Shopify, on November 27 their merchants sold a combined $2.4 Billion USD in goods globally – a 75% increase in sales from the previous year. And on Cyber Monday, online stores sold an additional $2.7 Billion. That’s a combined $5.1 Billion over the four-day shopping spree.

This success for online retailers comes as no surprise. In 2020, the global pandemic has been a catalyst for explosive growth. Recent data suggests there’s been around five years’ worth of projected ecommerce growth in just six months. So it was a safe bet the trend would continue into the holiday shopping season.

Yet for all the celebrations, there is still one cause for concern as ecommerce becomes the default buying method for consumers. All this increased activity means more chances for data disasters.

More Sales Means More Risks

While the folks at Shopify have fancy real-time graphics; at Rewind HQ we have our own way of understanding what’s happening during Black Friday.

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You can see at 11:00 EST, we saw a dramatic increase in the amount of something called “webhooks”. A webhook is basically a log of some event or action performed by an ecommerce store that is using Rewind. This could be a change to a product description, an edit to a theme, or a sale. Rewind records all of it. Every change is saved and stored. During Black Friday, the number of changes or events we recorded essentially doubled during Black Friday. Cyber Monday saw more of the same.

Here’s why we think that’s important. Ecommerce will not slow down in 2021. Sales will continue to grow, the competition will increase, and small businesses that haven’t embraced online channels will need to adapt or risk not keeping up. This means that more and more data will be created; more data which can be lost in a heartbeat.

Big or Small; Your Brand is at Risk

Rewind protects over 40,000 ecommerce businesses, which is only a drop in the bucket from a global perspective. However, according to our 2020 Ecommerce Data Protection survey, there is a 1 in 4 chance that an ecommerce store will suffer data loss. And there is a good chance data loss could cripple the business. Here are just some of the ways merchants have told us about the negative impacts of data loss:

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In 2015 GymShark, the billion-dollar clothing retailer lived this nightmare right in the middle of BFCM. Their website went down for eight hours during peak shopping time and cost them an estimated $143,000 USD in lost sales. Whisker Seeker, the top cat-fishing manufacturer in North America, was staring down the same horror when a bulk of edits went terribly wrong. Every SKU in their store was accidentally deleted three days before Black Friday.

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It’s a tough pill to swallow, but ecommerce platforms don’t back up all the information and data that merchants create. It has to do with something called the “Shared Responsibility Model of Data Protection”. It’s a framework most software-as-a-service tools use to define what they are responsible for protecting, and what falls at the feet of users. It doesn’t matter if you are using Shopify, BigCommerce, or other tools like QuickBooks Online or Trello. All of these tools have limitations to their data protection methods. Users are on the hook for understanding how to protect their own data.

An Infinite Amount of Information

And there is a LOT of data to protect. Rewind is helping customers protect over 33 Billion items, including product images, descriptions, orders, customer info, and more. And even in the lead up to BFCM 2020, Rewind customers were making changes or having to restore products. One store in particular restored over 25,000 SKU’s just as Black Friday was getting started. Had any of these stores had to manually restore any lost data, it would have meant lost sales while scrambling to put everything back.

As more of the global economy shifts to online, ecommerce merchants will reap the reward of a more captive audience. Yet this surge of increased activity means increased competition and, without a backup solution in place, the increased risk of data loss. Your store’s data is too important to put at risk.

Special thanks to our friends at Rewind for their insights on this topic.

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