With a thousand-fold increase in bot traffic on our e-commerce customers’ websites during the huge Cyber Week shopping frenzy last November, the main question that concerned e-commerce businesses was what bot operators were going to do next. With e-commerce and holiday shopping being cyclical in nature, were things going to look up for the industry? After the peak shopping season, we did observe a large dip in bot traffic to our e-commerce customers ─ that is, until just a few days before Christmas. Around that time, shoppers usually browse e-commerce websites to look for end-of-year discounts, hoping to snag popular gifts that may have sold out during the Black Friday sales frenzy. Retailers generally try to clear unsold stocks by offering attractive discounts which bring in millions of online shoppers ─ and huge volumes of bots, of course.
Leading up to the pre-Christmas shopping days, as online shopping activity starts growing, bot traffic starts climbing as well, as competitors and price comparison sites aggressively start scanning e-commerce sites to scrape their prices and product information. As always, these extraneous activities put significant strain on servers and related infrastructure, and in turn, lead to slow page loads and high customer frustration. Our customers, of course, did not feel the impact of these bot activities as we shielded them from all the malicious bots trying to land upon their websites and apps.
FIGURE 1: Price Scraping Instances (December 2020)
You can read the original article and learn more about Holiday bot attacks here.