Magento ecommerce platform & Queue-it virtual waiting room

Why you need a virtual waiting room to complement your Magento ecommerce platform

13th April 2018

Running an online store is no easy business. During unexpected surges in traffic, just relying on ecommerce software to handle millions of digital customers is not enough. How is the inventory database system handled? Are payments carried out successfully? Are third-party integrations functioning?

These are some of the dilemmas that ecommerce businesses or consultancies have on a regular basis. Aside from these, from a technical perspective, they also need to integrate all their digital solutions, like customer relationship management systems, personalization extensions or other integrated platforms to seamlessly and simultaneously run their online business.

During busy campaign days, there are basic expectations, not necessarily related to a specific product sale that also need to be met. For example, keeping webshops online, during high traffic events.

In the past, many ecommerce and consultancy companies, turned to server scaling when they suffered from outage problems, without really understanding the difference between what server scaling provides and what transactional operations on a website require. Server scaling can work well for static content, such as images on a website, making it run faster and smoother. But it’s a different story if the website depends on transactional functions.

This is where a virtual waiting room comes in. During campaigns that attract unprecedented online attention, a virtual waiting room will control website traffic peaks and maintain performance at all times, by offloading visitors to an online waiting queue environment, while taking care of all the database bottlenecks.

How a virtual waiting room improves an ecommerce platform functionality

SupportDesk, an ecommerce consultancy company that provides professional support for Magento webshops, has integrated a virtual waiting room system with the Magento ecommerce platform, to control website overload during extreme traffic peaks, for one of their retail footwear customers, Patta.

The need for a virtual waiting room was discovered during one of Patta’s key product launches, that was characterized by a limited stock and enormous popularity. The exclusivity of the released products combined with the social media campaigns and release announcements brought a considerable amount of traffic to their Magento ecommerce platform and their servers.

As a solution to the overload situation, SupportDesk integrated Queue-it’s virtual waiting room with Patta’s Magento ecommerce platform.

’’Although Magento is a highly scalable platform that can handle a substantial amount of transactions, it is bound by the same limitations as any other system based on a relational database. Dynamic page requests such as search, checkout and payment pages rely heavily on database transactions, which have limited capacity and may be difficult or expensive to scale. Furthermore, Magento’s third-party integrations (e.g. payment gateways) have their own limitations that cannot easily be amended.’’

Martin Pronk, CTO, Queue-it

With expectations to improve their client’s website performance, SupportDesk came across Queue-it’s virtual waiting room system:

’’You need a virtual waiting room when you expect lots of online customers within a short time frame, to prevent a bad performing shop, or worse, a crashing server. A virtual waiting room is functioning like a safety-net controlling the traffic flow.’’

Sibren Wilkeshuis, Team Manager, SupportDesk

Magento ecommerce platform & Queue-it virtual waiting room integration

Not all virtual waiting rooms are created equal. They can vary considerably in what they offer and how they can be implemented. For this reason, it is essential to know what to look for when considering a virtual waiting room provider.

In Patta’s case, the main area of focus was ease of integration, with no changes to existing systems. SupportDesk implemented Queue-it across the entire website through JavaScript, with a simple link, with no user data placed outside Patta’s existing systems.

’’We used the virtual waiting room during Patta’s product releases through a JavaScript integration, in front of the whole website. We have seen that a single release runs smoothly and typically with high queue speeds. People buy and go to the checkout. Bigger releases with lots of items (sneakers, shorts, sweaters, caps) create a different shopping behavior. People spend more time browsing all the products in the catalog, which puts more stress on the ecommerce platform.’’

Sibren Wilkeshuis, Team Manager, SupportDesk

To make sure that the client’s products ended-up in the hands of real shoppers and to protect their sales against bots and fraudulent activity, SupportDesk turned to Queue-it’s server-side integration. SupportDesk has rewritten the existing Queue-it Magento 2 module to Magento 1. The server-side integration, provided each end-user with a specific queue ID and therefore decreased the likelihood of fraudulent activity or end-users bypassing the queue.

By integrating the virtual waiting room solution with Magento’s ecommerce platform, SupportDesk helped their client ensure a stable webshop during their product releases, while preserving their ecommerce platform functionality.

About SupportDesk

SupportDesk has been one of the leading Magento Support organizations in the Netherlands for over 5 years. With two offices and 25 employees, SupportDesk solves complex Magento 1 and Magento 2 issues for their customers and helps them to optimize their Magento shops. SupportDesk specializes in Magento Security, performance, technical SEO, theming, mobile and migrations while also providing regular training on these topics.

Learn more about virtual waiting rooms and how ecommerce consultancies and online retailers use them.

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