Black Friday & Cyber Monday
According to eMarketer, e-commerce sales topped $1 trillion in 2012. These numbers are, unsurprisingly, expected to rise again this year. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday lurking around the corner, you should start preparing your e-commerce strategy. With potential for an increase in sales, all e-commerce sites share the same excitement and terror around this time of the year.
An unprepared site will lose potential sales if the site cannot handle the traffic. Here is your chance to stock up and make sure your server can handle the influx of visitors. We give you 3 things you can do Right Now and prevent a horror story during your holiday sales.
Is Your Site Ready For Traffic?
It is most likely that your traffic will increase 5 to 10 times over the holiday season. With Black Friday coming soon, can your site hold up to the peak load? The best way to find out is to run a load test to determine how well your website will responds. It’s recommended to run this test during off-peak hours to minimize disturbing any shopping customers.
There are multiple load test simulations made by third parties such as LoadStorm, Neustar, and HP. These site testing tools will help you understand whether your site is ready for a peak load. Take a look at your daily traffic and multiply by a number between 5 to 10. If your site can hold up, that’s great. If not, you may want to start beefing up your hardware and optimizing your site. Time is ticking!
Monitoring Your Site
The Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to relax and enjoy some turkey with your family. Unfortunately, this is the biggest day of e-commerce sales. The last thing any e-commerce shop owner wants to find out Monday morning is that their site has been down all weekend. In order to avoid this disaster, you can setup a website monitoring tool such as pingdom.
No one can go on a 24/7 website monitor duty, so let the machines take over. You can choose your frequency of how often the machine can check your website. By monitoring your websites, you will get an email or a SMS text alert if something on your website goes wrong. This automated pinging tool will help monitor if your site suffers from a downtime.
Shopping Cart Optimization
Nothing is more frustrating than a long line at a brick and mortar store. The equivalent version of an e-commerce site is a site that loads too slow. Performance is an important quality when it comes to your shopping cart and checking out.
If your website is too slow, your customers will shop somewhere else. You shouldn’t aim to optimize only your homepage. Make sure the whole shopping experience can run smoothly for your customers as well. Nothing is worse than finding the perfect gift, only to get stuck at the purchasing page. To make it worse, you submit your credit card information and end up on a blank page. This will definitely say something [negative] about your website.
For your shopping cart, make sure your images are optimized and your content is compressed. Having a smaller image without compromising quality as well as a compressed website will help your site run more smoothly.
There are only a few weeks until the holiday traffic comes rushing in. Use your time wisely and prepare accordingly in order to enjoy a relaxing holiday while making sales.