Happy Valentine's Day!

When I was 14 years old I started working for a local family-owned nursery (plants, not babies) that supplies wholesale annuals and perennials to retailers throughout the Greater Vancouver Area, but also ran a very successful retail business of their own. The busiest day of the year, by an factor of at least 100 times, was Valentine’s Day. This was around the time I joined the team, who most of the year were able to get by with no more than 2 staff working the retail area and around 8-10 working in the wholesale depending on the time of the year. During that 2 week period leading up to “V-Day” (as they liked to call it, in reference to “D-Day” of WWII infamy), the company hired no less than 20 additional staff to help out just for that day; The day after which they were no longer needed.

 

I could tell you how busy that day was in terms of revenue to the business, volume of customers per day leading up to V-Day, or by the amount of product that was sold to the point where people were scrambling to get their hands on something the day of. I could also point out that the parking lot, which held around 150 vehicles and was mostly empty throughout the year, was full to the point where additional staff were brought on to direct customers, some of which simply turned away when unable to find a place to park. Some customers didn’t even try once they saw how busy it was, and even with all of the additional staff and preparation, the company still lost some business because of a few bottlenecks in their setup. A problem that has long since been remedied as the company has moved to a much larger location.

 

Any company would by happy to have this kind of success, and would likely want to know how to emulate it. But what I like to think about isn’t how busy they were years after getting used to the volume of customers that would pour into the store that day, but rather how difficult is must have been in the years leading up to that point when they had no idea what to expect. Thousands of customers turned away, many unsatisfied that the retailer didn’t prepare their stock for the demand, and tens of thousands of dollars of potential revenue lost. It must have been both exciting and frustrating for the owners during those formative years to have to turn customers away, knowing the impact it would have to their potential loyalty. Meanwhile, big name nurseries elsewhere in town had no such issues meeting customer demand.

 

This scenario is true for many brick-and-mortar companies whose livelihood depends on a particular day or season such as Valentine’s Day, but it also holds true for online businesses; perhaps even more so. The instant-on nature of business today means that customers don’t have to wait in line for parking or a cashier to service their needs. That’s why it is so important to be prepared for that big day when your online business demands exceed your expectations. That’s why you need to performance test your business critical applications using HP LoadRunner; because if you can’t meet your customer’s needs online - both quickly and consistently - someone else will.

 

HP LoadRunner is the proven leader in application performance validation, and for over 20 years has helped businesses large and small and everything in-between understand how to meet customer demand. Now with HP LoadRunner in the Cloud it is even easier and more cost effective to do so.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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