The holiday season comes and goes every year and this is the time when parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, and brothers start shopping for each other. While some continue to go to brick and mortar stores, an increasing number will remain at home in their pajamas and shop online. With the increasing popularity and convenience that e-commerce sites offer, each year, more people will go online to shop.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two excellent examples of the popularity of online shopping. These two days present retailers with an opportunity to make the most money and gain new customers as well. If you run a website that sells a product or service to the masses, you will want to begin preparing your website for the next holiday shopping season.
To get you started, here are five ways to prepare your website to attract thousands of shoppers:
#1: Conduct Test Runs
During the holiday season, website traffic tends to gain a boost. At this point, you want to ensure your servers can handle the load. Therefore, it is important to test your servers and ensure they do not fail when massive numbers of people begin to click and buy. Load tests can help you understand your website’s capacity under normal conditions, while spike tests will assess how the system handles sudden traffic spikes.
#2: Think Globally
Without the infrastructure to support a global audience, your site could be slow and unresponsive in certain regions. This may negatively impact your revenue and brand reputation. Therefore, consider working with a densely-architected, global CDN to improve performance and reduce latency while scaling. The geographic placement of your content across a massive network could mean scalable on-demand capacity with no single point of failure.
#3: Optimization for Mobile
Mobile devices will continue to play a larger role in the online shopping experience as more shoppers turn to their connected devices for browsing. Thus, here are two important ways to improve the online shopping experience for mobile users:
- Use mobile browser detection at the edge to create smart rules for your content.
- If you have a video on your site, streamline your workflow with a video delivery solution that automatically converts your videos into a variety of mobile formats.
#4: Prioritize Security
Hacking and other security and data breaches can expose sensitive customer information and harm your brand’s reputation. Therefore, security must be a priority. Most security solutions in the market are reactive, meaning that they require the customer to identify and report attacks to the security provider. This approach increases the time necessary to effectively mitigate attacks when compared to proactive solutions. Look for a solution that is constantly monitoring without impacting your website’s performance—always-on monitoring—that scrubs all traffic to your site.
#5: Keep Content Updated
Whether you need to correct a price, update a product description, or remove an item that is no longer in stock, any delay in updating content can create a poor customer experience and hurt sales. Therefore, it might be necessary especially for large-scale operations to hire full-time content managers and/or associates who can monitor the content on your site regularly and update quickly.
The holiday season typically means additional pressure to meet and exceed sales and revenue targets. While there are several factors that can impact performance and quality, thorough testing and careful structuring of your website can certainly make a huge impact on your balance sheet.
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