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Getting Mobbed: Are you prepared for a mob of online shoppers?

Groupon, LivingSocial, Dealfind — these sites exist because consumers will always be looking for bigger and better deals on the products and services they love. But while you might think that your business landing a promotion on one of these sites would be a good thing, what happens when your ad goes viral and millions of users bring your site to a grinding halt; or worse, break it?

If you look at a typical flash sale, it closely resembles the makings of a good load test. Thousands, maybe even millions, of users flood onto your site from all over the globe trying to accomplish the same goal. If that’s not the definition of a load test, then somebody call Webster’s.

The one major difference however, is the consequences. When a load test takes down your site, you expect it. When customers take down your site, you panic. That’s the one good thing about synthetic users, they don’t mind when your site crashes. Actually, they kind of enjoy it.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a product on the market that could realistically simulate different sized flash mobs to virtually mob your site, just like a holiday shopping spree? That way, you could see exactly how your website would handle a new promotion going viral, without any of the negative feedback and damning headlines. What do you think? Sounds interesting right?

Just make sure you give your synthetic users a nice holiday gift to reciprocate. I hear they like e-cards.

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