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What is a virtual waiting room?

A virtual waiting room is a cloud-based service for businesses to control surges in online traffic to their websites or mobile apps. In high-demand situations—like sneaker releases, ticket onsales, or government registrations—customers are redirected to a customizable waiting room and then throttled back to the website or app at a controlled rate. The virtual waiting room keeps visitors informed with information on wait times and number of people ahead in the virtual line.

virtual waiting room video overview
virtual waiting room video overview

How does a virtual waiting room work?

In high-demand situations, online visitors are redirected to a customizable waiting room using an HTTP 302 redirect and then throttled back to your website or app in a controlled, first-come-first-served order. If you’re running a sale or registration that starts at a specific time, you can create a scheduled waiting room that will hold early visitors on a countdown page and then randomize them just like a raffle, giving everyone an equal chance. Visitors arriving afterwards are added to the end of the queue on a first-in-first-out basis.

 

Why use a virtual waiting room?

Orange bowling balls headed towards bowling pin

Online traffic can overwhelm your site or app

51%

of IT outages are avoidable, say global IT decision makers, with usage spikes being the number two reason behind downtime

91%

of enterprises report downtime costs of $300,000+ per hour

96%

of global IT decision makers have experienced at least one outage in the past 3 years

It helps you deliver a fair online experience

Virtual waiting rooms provide fairness to online buyers with a first-in, first-out wait and malicious bot protection functionality. This provides the most fair and logical virtual wait to online customers seeking the same high-demand products or services.

first in first out order of green blocks
red ball rolling down green steps

It complements server scaling to keep your site online no matter the demand

Virtual waiting room systems accommodate major online traffic fluctuations as a complement to server scaling’s shortcomings. First, scaling up servers can be expensive relative to a virtual waiting room solution, especially if peaks are unpredictable and take place over several hours or days. Second, autoscaling takes time to spawn new servers, making it hard to deal with sudden spikes in traffic. Finally, stepping up hosting capacity doesn’t address 3rd party overload limits, like payment gateway systems that have thresholds of their own, fully independent of your website’s capacity.

When can you use a virtual waiting room?

Product drops & releases
In-demand online ticket sales
Shopping holidays like Black Friday
Influencer & email marketing campaigns
Government applications
University admissions

The huge server infrastructure mess was something we did not want to continue with. Nobody builds a website to handle hundreds of thousands of people just for a limited amount of time. Throughout the day it’s different, but having that major peak is insane. Queue-it is a great solution that saves the day and it works flawlessly.

Robert Williams, Digital Manager, SNIPES

Queue-it quote from Robert Williams, Digital Manager, SNIPES

How can you use a virtual waiting room?

Run hyped sales & high-demand registrations

Prevent early visitors from overwhelming your site and neutralize any advantage to arriving early. Capture customers on a countdown page and randomize them just like a raffle once the sale or registration starts. Customers who arrive later are added to the end of the line in a first-in-first-out order.

orderly queue ascending gray steps
marbles on a red carpet

Reward loyal customers with exclusive sales & drops

Create an invite-only waiting room that only the customers you specify can access. Customers access the waiting room using links with unique identifiers, letting you validate all traffic accessing your sale or registration to prevent bots and reward loyal customers with special access.

Be prepared for traffic spikes 24/7

Use a virtual waiting room to manage traffic to your website or app 24/7 during predicted and unpredicted traffic surges. In these situations, the waiting room only activates when the preset website capacity threshold is exceeded.

green ball in safety net

Learn how to use a virtual waiting room like a pro

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Queued display of oranges
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Get the ultimate guide for how to choose your virtual waiting room