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Partner Spotlight Series: Netacea

As we approach the season of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas Sales, we talk to our partners at Netacea about how to handle those traffic spikes which threaten your site stability.

1. Thank you for taking part in our Partner Spotlight Series! To start with, tell us what the original founding idea was for Netacea?

Large spikes of website visitors (whether planned or unplanned) lead site outages, unhappy customers, reduced profits and damaged brand reputation.

Merchants can’t control how many people come to their site and obviously they want to embrace as much customer traffic as possible for maximum transactions however many do not have the infrastructure to scale to those traffic demands.

We saw a need to develop a technology to protect website uptime and enable their customers to complete their transactions, the result: The Netacea Virtual Waiting Room.

It controls the flow of website visitors allowing through only the visitors your website can handle. By putting all additional visitors into a fair, first-in-first-out waiting room we ensure that all visitors get the best possible experience and you make the most money.

In short, Netacea Virtual Waiting Room ensures that your site remains available 24/7 no matter how busy it gets.

2. How closely do you/your team work with your portfolio of merchants? Can you give us some examples of brands you work with?

We work with a wide range of customers, in terms of both industry and size. That means that we don’t employ a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but work with each on an individual basis. A Customer Success Manager will be assigned to each new customer, and they’ll always start with a kick-off call, where we explore your requirements in detail: how you want your site protected; whether you’d like the whole site to be included or just specific paths; what you’d like your customers to see as they queue.

We’re also happy to provide advice on queue page design, and provide the code required for you to feature a progress bar, countdown, or estimated time to entry. Basically, our team will be on hand to provide advice and guidance through every stage of the implementation process.

3. Obviously merchants must come to you when they’re operating at a certain level in the eCommerce space in terms of their traffic/popularity, do you find your merchants are varied across industries? 

Yes, any website regardless of industry is subject to huge spikes in demand when a popular item is available, be that concert tickets, celebrity & fashion house collaboration ranges, flash sales on electronic items and of course the crazy deals on offer during the festive shopping season.

We also have customers, regardless of industry, come to us in panic mode when IT departments get wind of an upcoming TV advertising campaign and fear the huge spike in immediate website traffic could cause a web outage. Unfortunately some customer IT departments are left out of the marketing campaign planning process and have seen entire advertising campaigns and sales come to a complete halt when the amount of unexpected traffic causes the website to crash or the checkout process unable to process the orders, it was not entirely their fault but we do help them to ensure future campaigns are fully protected.

4. Is there a minimum amount of traffic which you work with for the Virtual Waiting Room? Should a merchant be operating a certain level before they engage with Netacea?

No, not at all, we help customers of all sizes from small boutique stores and independent concert venues with just a couple of hundred customers at their peak through to protecting some of the largest eCommerce, international music festival and sporting event websites in the world.

It all comes down to the amount of traffic the customers infrastructure can safely and economically support, and even those with the most powerful computing resources still rely on our Virtual Waiting Room to safely support the excess users that would typically cause website instability or failure.

5. Tell us about the services which you offer. Is it limited to the Virtual Waiting Room or are there complimentary services?

Our Customer Success team is on-hand to ensure all of our clients are 100% confident with their implementation and when needed offer configuration advice however it’s a very simple setup and we more often find customers getting in touch with the Success Team to relay good news from the success of their sales event.

Outside of the Virtual Waiting Room we also offer products and services to manage automated bot traffic and mitigate any bots with malicious intent to help safeguard our clients customer accounts from credential stuffing-based account takeover attacks. We have found that as many as 9 out of 10 login requests on eCommerce platforms are from automated attacks looking to gain access to legitimate customer accounts to perform a wide range of malicious and fraudulent activities.

6. The Virtual Waiting Room market seems very confusing for merchants who are making their first foray into queue systems. What would you say makes Netacea stand out and a clear choice for merchants?

The first piece is to understand is there are two alternative approaches to implementing a Virtual Waiting Room solution; a JavaScript based approach implemented by injecting scripts onto the pages of a website and a DNS-based approach that intercepts traffic as it makes requests to a website.

The latter, our approach, is far more secure as JavaScript can be modified and easily bypassed and does not protect the entire web infrastructure. Our approach ensures no-one can skip queues and directly access product or checkout pages and provides complete protection.

Our solution hosted on highly available, distributed cloud infrastructure (with complete fallover protection), this has enabled it to achieve 100% availability since inception in 2014 and has been load tested to over 1 million concurrent users with no performance degradation.

7. What’s your Number 1 recommendation for your merchants when they work with you? Any inside tips you can share with us?

Easy, trust us and have faith in the solution, and no matter how short the notice period us we can have the solution running live in minutes.

We know what we are doing and have protected websites from spikes in traffic over 40 times more than what has previously caused the same site to crash, with no need for additional infrastructure all while ensuring a great user experience. If you have any doubt or concern in your website ability to serve all customer traffic, please do get in touch.

8. Since working together, we have partnered on a fashion site which saw 100% uptime on the biggest day of sales the business had ever seen. How important would you say partnership is to Netacea when it comes to achieving success for a mutual client?

It is our mission to protect websites, strong partnerships go a long way to ensure the success of our mission.

The technology was proven, and the client enjoyed their biggest sales day ever, this partnership will enable or to jointly help other merchants and websites achieve the same success. Marketing & sales activities can continue to drive more traffic to websites and IT teams are safe in the knowledge the website will remain online. Our partnership helps more and more merchants to increase their market competitiveness.

9. What do you think creates a perfect client experience for your customers?

Many customers praise us with the ease of use, while others love the ability to create their own customisable queuing pages to keep their audience informed and engaged when the virtual waiting room is initiated so they don’t leave the site and buy the products from a competitor website.

Other customers value the positive customer feedback on social media channels and use that as a marker for a successful sales event when all customers are happy. In those cases, it is often huge kudos to the IT department from the rest of the business for ensuring everything ran smoothly.

10. What does the next six months look like for Netacea?

We’re in the run up to festive shopping and January sales so we’re happily busy on-boarding new clients. We are driving product development at an amazing rate and are excited by our customers feedback as they embrace new functionality. This time in six months I expect us to be writing and about more joint customer success as our partnership continues to grow.

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