To keep visitors up-to-date on timely incidents, relevant causes and nearby events, the American Red Cross must ensure top web site performance. This can be a daunting task for the organization, which responds to and reports on approximately 70,000 disasters per year.
However, the Red Cross has maximized site performance and reliability, as well as improved the overall customer experience, since transitioning online operations to the Oracle ATG Web Commerce platform.
“When large scale disasters happen, it can trigger web site volumes on a scale similar to what retailers experience on Black Friday,” said Craig Oldham, VP of Digital Strategy for American Red Cross, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Our new commerce platform can easily handle 10- to 20-times typical volumes and still makes information readily available to our site visitors.” The cloud-based commerce platform also enables the Red Cross to decrease costs while scaling up site performance.
In a recent example, during the Hurricane Sandy Telethon on NBC, the Red Cross site had to handle more than 500,000 page requests per minute, according to a company press release. In addition, the organization had to manage 75,000 concurrent credit card users and 22 financial transactions per second. With the Oracle ATG Web Commerce platform, the Red Cross operated with 100% uptime, providing a seamless and positive experience for donors.
Site personalization also was a necessity during the hurricane, in order to keep people informed. Using geo-targeting technology in the Oracle platform, the Red Cross was equipped to send relevant content to site visitors, such as local shelters, donation information, and volunteering opportunities, based on their respective locations.
“When we began making the transition onto the Oracle platform, we knew that all our visitors have different needs based on their locations,” Oldham said. “For example, during Hurricane Sandy, we delivered messages to people on the East Coast about how they could get help. Conversely, we sent messages to people on the West Coast that focused on different issues and events, but still kept them in the loop regarding Sandy and donation opportunities.”