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Defending Hype Sales from Bots: Tips to Save Your Brand’s Reputation and Bottom Line

This article was written and contributed by Tony Klor, Hype Sales Product Marketing Manager at PerimeterX, a YOTTAA partner.

Hype sales are a stellar way to establish your brand as an industry leader, build customer loyalty and increase your bottom line. But unless these sales are properly planned and executed, they can have the opposite effect. The tough reality is that hype sales and bots are a package deal. Far from an eCommerce dynamic duo, this unintended partnership can cause big problems for your brand on sale day.

What is bot traffic?

Hype sales are meant to captivate and galvanize your audience. They create a buzz around a product and get avid fans excited about buying it. When consumers can count on you to provide a high-demand product, it builds long-standing loyalty. Additionally, manufacturers of the limited edition product will know they can count on you to deliver their product to the consumer, ensuring you’ll get future inventory.

But hype sales are also opportunities for bot operators to make money. Sophisticated bot attacks can scoop up inventory quickly, leaving human shoppers frustrated. Bot operators then resell the product on lucrative secondary markets where shoppers who were previously left empty-handed purchase it for a much higher price. The fallout from this includes negative social media posts, angry phone calls to customer service, and worst of all, lost customers. 

Can bots be stopped?

Yes, it is possible to stop bot traffic! Proper planning before a hype sale, vigilance during it, and analysis afterward are the keys to thwarting bot traffic on your eCommerce site. The steps below provide a path to defend your hype sale from villainous bots:

  1. Implement highly specialized rulesets that are executed immediately prior to the sale launch in order to minimize their visibility to bot operators. These rulesets should be tailored to your site’s traffic patterns and purchase flow.
  2. Use advanced machine learning and behavioral analysis during a hype sale to prevent bot-driven disruptions. This proven methodology to eradicate bots ensures that only human buyers are allowed to complete their transactions.
  3. At the end of your sales event, investigate anomalous activity in order to modify launch rules to support improvements for future events. 

How can my brand implement these tactics to protect my next hype sales event?

Fortunately, e-retailers have options to accomplish these tasks without intensive resources. PerimeterX and YOTTAA work together to eliminate fraudulent activity and ensure optimum site performance, without interference from bots on launch day. They will take care of blocking bots by reconfiguring cloud services, dialing bandwidth up and down, tweaking firewall configurations and server capacity, and creating special scripts. In addition, they maintain and tune the tools and infrastructure necessary to stop bots, providing you the opportunity to build customer loyalty and increase your bottom line on launch day.

Download this free e-book to learn best practices for fast page load times and reliable bot mitigation on your eCommerce site.