Holiday shopping has developed a new look. Many retailers are closing their brick-and-mortar doors for Black Friday, and the big “doorbuster” sales are moving online. With the busiest shopping period of the year going virtual, there’s going to be greater load on the business IT.
If your business wants to be part of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, prepare for a sudden surge in traffic volume. If your technology can’t handle the traffic, you’re going to lose revenue. A crashed system could be catastrophic for your bottom line, plus, it’ll hurt brand reputation and customer satisfaction long term.
Entricio is here to make sure that doesn’t happen, and can work with you to handle all preparations and checks. Consider these strategies to get ready for the online rush of shoppers.
#1 Migrate to the Cloud
Your current server may do the job well enough, but could it handle 100 times the activity in a single day? You need to have the ability to quickly scale up, which is one of the great advantages of cloud services.
It’s difficult to predict your growth rates and seasonal demand; however, using cloud services helps with increased demand for applications, storage capacity, and bandwidth. Your business doesn’t want to waste money on technology infrastructure it doesn’t need. Instead, partnering with a cloud provider can add the resources required on a temporary basis. Scaling up in the cloud can take only minutes!
#2 Take a Stress Test
You may think your business is ready for an onslaught, but how are you able to be sure? Running stress tests on your site and systems can help you ensure you’re fully equipped. Even big-name retailers have suffered from unplanned Black Friday outages.
In advance of the peak shopping period, test your business performance in areas such as:
- Error rates
- Number of time-outs
- Length of response time
Performing “OK” may not be enough to match the need of holiday traffic and sales.
#3 Optimize Your Site and Services Beforehand
In e-commerce, every single second counts. There are several things you can do in advance to make sure you’re putting your best e-foot forward:
- Make sure that every page of your site and all your images are rendering quickly.
- Identify where you are seeing shopping cart abandonment and do what you can now to stem that drop off.
- Revise site navigation to ensure it is as simple as possible for shoppers.
- Allow users to buy without registering and to use as many different payment options as possible.
- Remove unnecessary forms, sidebars, headers, and footers.
- Make your site as mobile friendly as you can.
You also want to be sure that your order and inventory systems are in sync. Promoting Black Friday items and then selling out will sour customer experience.
#4 Prepare Your Troops, Too
Along with readying your technology, prep your people too. Need more hands-on deck to handle order fulfillment and customer service? Get on hiring and training a seasonal crew now. Having IT support on call and an established relationship with a managed service provider (like Entricio) can help respond to any unexpected, urgent issues.
Need IT support preparing for the e-commerce influx? Want a second pair of eyes to look at, and help make sure you are good to go? Entricio’s technology experts can prepare your business for more traffic and transactions. Contact us today at 561-293-2258 today, or contact us here!