Data Centers and… Online Shopping
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January 8th, 2020

Data Centers and Online Shopping

More so than ever before, shoppers are avoiding malls and high streets in favor of buying online; quick, convenient and you can get a great deal without even leaving the comfort of your home!

While there are many companies that trade solely online, Amazon and eBay being prime examples, companies with a physical retail presence are also putting a lot of resource and investment in to their online offering, optimizing their websites for mobile use and even going so far as to create Apple and Android apps as customers increasingly use smartphones to spend their hard-earned cash.

As retailers focus more on e-commerce as part of their business model, it is vital a reliable IT infrastructure network is in place in the background to support this digital footfall…this is where data centers come in.

Worldwide, businesses of varying sizes and natures now rely on data center services and cloud computing to support and enhance their e-commerce capabilities. In retail specifically, their primary role is to manage the processing and transferring of the large amounts of data generated.

So how much data are we actually talking about? To really understand the scale of online shopping and its impact on data centers, let’s take look at the facts:


  • 300 billion data queries are processed by eBay each day to support 175 million active users and more than 1.1 billion live listings.
  • eBay’s data footprint exceeding 500 petabytes – equivalent to one trillion songs or 2.5 million hours of movies.


  • With 300 million active users, Amazon bring in billions of online revenue each year, and hold 49.1% of the U.S. e-commerce market share.
  • Amazon is expected to generate 50 percent of all e-commerce sales worldwide by 2021.
  • Amazon received over 89 million visits to its site on Prime Day this year, up 10.3% compared to 2017 with a total of 6.94 million transactions.


  • Alibaba is China’s biggest online direct retailer with online spending in China predicted to increase by 20% per year and hit $1.6 trillion by 2020.
  • Singles Day sales revenue this year exceeded last year’s by nearly 22%, hitting $1 billion USD in sales in just over a minute, $10 billion after an hour in and $30.8 billion in the 24-hour shopping event in total.
  • Alibaba’s servers currently store 1,000 petabytes of data, a number unheard of anywhere else with over 180 petabytes of data was processed on Singles Day in 2016.

Black Friday

  • $682.0 billion was spent over 2017’s Black Friday weekend, equating to $967.13 per shopper and demonstrating a 4% increase on the previous year.
  • In the UK, more than a third of all 2017’s Black Friday sales were made on mobile devices and in the US, mobile accounted for 61% of all website traffic on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Mailchimp reported 1.9 billion marketing emails sent on Black Friday and nearly 1.8 billion sent on Cyber Monday – that’s 22,000 per second! Mailchimp uses 14 data centers to ensure all these Black Friday emails reach their intended recipients on time.

The facts speak for themselves; online shopping is on the rise and doesn’t show signs of letting up. With global online retail sails set to total $2,489 trillion USD in 2018 (8.8% of total retail spending) and the latest research and analysis predicting a revenue of $4.058 trillion (14.6% of total retail spending) in 2020, e-commerce continues to grow in popularity and scale, placing more and more strain on networks as they try to cope with the sheer amounts of data flowing through their data centers.

With decades of expertise in the design and manufacture of network solutions, AFL Hyperscale have the capabilities and infrastructure to rapidly deliver pioneering, scalable network connectivity solutions across the globe to support evolving data center networks in meeting the demands of the latest consumer behaviours.

Your network can grow and depend upon AFL Hyperscale. The World, Connected.