Why your CDN’s waiting room is not ‘good enough’ for your customers

CDNs may be your solution to especially combat overload situations during peak sale events; however, while utilizing a CDN improves the performance, reliability, and security of a static website, CDNs may struggle to keep up with the transactional webshop side of your site at high traffic times.

Published: 01. Aug 2016
CDN waiting room

During high-interest events such as limited product releases or seasonal sales, customers may be placed in the CDN’s waiting room, where they will wait until the webshop has enough free capacity to let them resume their online shopping experience. However, these waiting rooms do not provide the ideal customer experience when it comes to retaining your customers and revenue.

Maximizing revenue through a positive online experience and smooth customer journey is paramount to the success of your e-commerce business. There are two key points in the online experience where CDN waiting rooms fall short in providing the ideal customer journey.

Your CDN does not provide first-in, first-out (FIFO) service of your online customers (and won’t be able to anytime soon)

When your CDN places customers in a waiting room because your transactional site is overloaded, your customers are not placed in a particular order or sequence. No matter when they arrived to your webshop, or how long they have been waiting to access your webshop, they will be randomly selected to return to your webshop based on a set ratio.

Why this is a problem?

CDNs fall short on providing equitable waits, which drive a higher level of customer satisfaction, retention, and, therefore, conversion.


Your CDN’s waiting room does not capture customers at a specific page-level

When you are anticipating a peak online event, it would be ideal to place that waiting room at any point where customers are bottlenecked, typically the cart and/or checkout. Unfortunately, because your CDN does not have this capability, all of your potential customers end up captured by the waiting room if they are browsing or attempting a transaction.

Why this is a problem?

A specific sale or limited product release is usually only located on a single page or specific area of your webshop. While there can be merits to queuing all traffic on your entire site on Black Friday, for example, your CDN does not provide you with an alternative option for other, more specifically mapped high-traffic events, such as a limited release sale located on a separate page of your website.


Implementing a waiting room over your entire webshop, not on individual page-levels, makes it impossible to provide the tailored journey and experience that your customers expect across all platforms, whether browsing or executing transactions.

You already know that the products offered in the limited release sale will sell out – your goal is to also drive sales on your high-margin products. You, therefore, want to avoid placing other customers who are not interested in the limited release sale, but only interested in your other high-margin products, in one combined waiting room – a waiting room only generated due to the popularity of the limited release sale. This frustrates the high-margin customers, as their customer journeys have been disrupted and they will either bounce from your webshop or abandon their carts.

To read more on the challenges of your CDN’s waiting room and a strategic recommendation for managing peak traffic events, download our guide “Why your CDN’s waiting room is not ‘good enough’ for your customers”.