During Black Friday 2021, Klarna processed close to 6 million purchases. That’s 69 purchases – per second. To prepare for this year’s shopping frenzy, a designated Peak Season Readiness team was assigned. Their job is to ensure that all of Klarna’s systems and services are ready for whatever comes our way.
To better understand what goes on under the hood before and during Black Friday, we chatted with Anu Sasidharan and Filipe Cristóvão, Engineering Manager and Domain Architect in the Peak Season Readiness team.
Anu, tell us, what is the Peak Season Readiness team’s role in connection to Black Friday?
As the name suggests, we are here to help our engineering teams prepare for the peak season – starting with Black Friday. That includes doing volume forecasts for their services and figuring out how to pre-test their systems. An exciting challenge since Klarna has hundreds of systems owned by teams with varying experience levels from events like this. What works for one team won’t work for another. My colleagues and I are here to ensure that everyone understands the process and what’s expected from their end.
Filipe, what goes on at Klarna ahead of Black Friday?
The ambition, as always, is to provide a smoooth and delightful experience for everyone using Klarna to score their Black Friday bargains. The goal for peak season 2022 is to have zero negative customer experiences. One big aspect has been deciding on optimal infrastructure usage, i. e. the sweet spot of “just enough” to handle whatever is needed, but not more.
We have also worked with our CTO, Yaron, and other senior leaders to thoroughly review all critical systems and mitigate any risks.
And after all the preparations are done, how would you describe what happens internally at Klarna during the day and night of Black Friday?
We try to have as much fun as possible and usually have a lot going on in our biggest locations. Decorations, snacks, countdowns on internal screens, big dashboards showing shopping peaks, a yearly purchase competition and food for everyone on-call during the evening.
And as if that wasn’t enough; this year, we’re also adding a 13-hour-long live broadcast from the office featuring a bunch of awesome guests from inside Klarna!
Anu, lastly, what do you look forward to the most about Black Friday?
My experience tells me that each Black Friday has made Klarna stronger. It’s a pleasure seeing our teams’ hard work and leadership turn into an enjoyable, effortless and fun experience for both shoppers and merchants. I keep my fingers crossed for a good night’s sleep both before and after the event.