For humans, holiday traditions are an important part of building a strong bond between family, and community. They provide a sense of belonging and a way to express what is important to us. What is more special are the ways in which everything goes on hold for a while. Everything but the network. While entire nations and, the network, the heart of the business, is continuously working to ensure the digital transfer of information remains. This blog is going to examine how these special occasions impact the network.
Mobile Usage Increase
Mobile increases throughout holidays because people are not sitting in front of a computer screen at work. It is much more practical to access information in this digital age. People leave their laptop at home for vacation and answer email when they get back. With less access to office desktops, the most accessible alternative is a mobile device. Digital Commerce provided a study in which they evaluated online retail traffic from around the world that touched nearly 100 retail websites and mobile retail apps, providing more than 5 billion daily data points that they then assessed in aggregate. The baseline was the daily average session traffic for periods preceding a holiday that varied for each holiday. This graph from Digital Commerce details the increase of mobile usage compared to desktop during global holidays 
Ideas are Shared
As mentioned before, holidays provide a feeling of belonging among a community. People tend to gather in medium to large numbers during special holidays. Whether this is friends, family or both, young or old, there is a lot of information being passed. People tell stories, update others on important things happening in their lives. The spread of information is increased when we gather. How does this impact the network? A family of 8 eating at the table discussing a topic could potentially lead to 8 network searches of information. A household name could trigger the traffic to a website depending on the conversation. We live in a digital age, where the sharing and access to information are greater than ever.
Some holidays are coupled with online sales, such as Black Friday following Thanksgiving. With the influx of sales comes the influx of consumers trying to take advantage of the savings. This can cause congestion in your network. It is crucial during these times to have a network healthy enough to handle it. If it isn’t, you could experience dissatisfied customers and lost revenue. Retail TouchPoints reported that the shoppers at Walmart, J.Crew, GameStop, Lululemon, Ulta Beauty, Lowe’s, and Best Buy all reported outages during the period between Wednesday and Cyber Monday . The technical issues plaguing Walmart affected an estimated 3.6 million shoppers and cost an estimated $9 million in lost sales, according to analysis .
IT professionals can count on an increased amount of people traveling on holidays, just as airports and drivers anticipate the increased volume. With that in mind, it is crucial to your business to anticipate and prepare for these influxes especially if your business is centered in or around the travel industry.
The Desire to Unplug
Holidays can be excellent excuses to plan a vacation. Some are more popular than others given the seasonality or the significance of the holiday. When people go on vacation, they are finding it increasingly more appealing to go “off the grid” and “digital detox”.
Digital Commerce 360, “2018 Peak Holiday Web Traffic Analysis and Lessons Learned” (2019)
Retail Touch Points, “Site Outages Plague Walmart J-Crew, Lowes, Best-Buy, Office Depot During Black Friday Weekend” (2019)