What are peak loads in e-commerce?

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What does e-commerce actually mean? E-commerce, also known as electronic commerce or online trading, is a business model in which transactions take place over the internet. Shops that sell their products online are e-commerce shops or companies. For example, Amazon is one of the most popular online shopping platforms in the e-commerce industry.

What are peak loads in e-commerce

As the owner of an online shop, you depend on website visitors, i.e. potential customers. The more visitors, the better for your business. However, this can also lead to problems, namely too many visitors, i.e. too high a peak load on your website.

The challenge

A peak load means that for a longer or shorter period of time a significantly higher number of requests than usual comes in. If resources are insufficient, this can lead to high server response times or, in extreme cases, even to a denial of service due to overload. Cyber Monday, Black Friday, the time before Easter or the beginning of the big summer holidays, depending on the industry and the offer, unusually high load peaks in e-commerce can occur at different times.

If your own IT infrastructure is not designed for the flow of visitors, load peaks can quickly lead to long loading times or even server failures. It is even worse if the infrastructure bundles several brand or company websites. Because then all online presences are automatically affected. Annoyed customers and lost sales are the consequences of such an overload of the systems.

The solution

If you want to prepare your business for such load peaks, you have two options. Either you make sure that there is always enough free server capacity for a higher load. Or you can obtain external resources that can be added as needed. When choosing the right IT infrastructure, cost-effectiveness is a key criterion. In addition, reliability, data security and performance play a major role. Therefore, many shop operators opt for the more economical second option and shift their online trade and the problem of peak loads to the cloud.

Outsourcing peak loads to the cloud

Public cloud solutions offer the possibility of automatic scaling, so that additional computing and storage power can be accessed within seconds and peak loads can be balanced. This scalability ensures consistent performance by effectively managing peaks in demand. Public cloud hosting delivers additional computing power within seconds using autoscaling. You are only charged for the instances you need for the exact period they were used. Therefore, this is also a quite cost-effective solution. Public clouds such as AWS or Google also offer numerous additional services. This is almost unlimited IT potential that can be added on an hourly basis. For example, ready-made load balancers, CDN, VPN gateways or similar can be operated from the cloud.


Applications from the cloud enable e-commerce companies to achieve their goals and offer customers a customised experience. If you are an online shop operator and do not have cloud experts in your own company who are familiar with the features of several platforms at once, it can be difficult to fully grasp the possibilities in the public cloud. To be successful in e-commerce in the long term, it is therefore important to be well advised to exploit the full potential of all technological possibilities.

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