Six Ways to Prepare Your Ecommerce Site for High Traffic Online Shopping Days

The spikes are coming

September is almost over and Black Friday, Cyber ​​Monday, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Halloween, Super Saturday and the holiday season are soon upon us. With the holiday season coming, sales opportunities increase, boosted by increased traffic. When you’re ready for the spikes, you welcome traffic and sales. If you’re not, you’re putting both your profits and your reputation at risk.

The holiday season offers your business a chance to shine. It’s time to assess your ability to handle increased traffic and put appropriate measures in place to ensure your customers, many of whom will be new, have the best possible experience.

1. Check your numbers

What increase in activity are you really expecting? Look at your current load and try to calculate your projected load. An indication of what to expect can come from the numbers recorded in previous years, if you have them. These figures will not always be entirely reliable depending on the dates and days of the week when the holidays and promotions fall, the marketing and awareness generated and the event. Looking at the percentage increase in previous numbers (compared to the previous year’s normal traffic) will help, but is rarely, really, accurate. A contingency greater than 20% is always recommended. If you don’t have these numbers, we found this document a solid and complete start for the general web capacity planning.

It is also often interesting to consider the traffic after an event. Will there be an increase (above your normal load) in visitors from people using gift certificates or making additional/extended purchases? Will traffic increase in general, due to increased site awareness and the effects of digital marketing?

2.DDoS Protection

Even very short periods of website downtime can be costly in lost sales traffic and cause negative public relations and alienated potential customers. Edge Protection, to further minimize the risk of site downtime, helps websites and apps ensure delivery through automatic optimization. Relying on manual network management and load balancing is no longer an option. Staying “active” at peak times is essential, and a clear call to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack Mitigation. During peak traffic, pages can be cached, minimizing page rendering time, and providing customers with a smoother user experience. Ensuring business continuity without impacting performance is crucial, and DDoS protection allows organizations to do this without the added cost of increased bandwidth.

3. Improve the queuing experience

E-commerce platforms need to provide the best user experience possible, even on their busiest days. Setting expectations with your customers can be a real benefit to customer retention. If a potential buyer knows they only have to wait two minutes, they’ll probably wait. If they don’t, they’ll probably be confused, frustrated, leave, and take their money elsewhere.

You can use a online virtual queuing system to streamline the visitor experience during peak hours. These branded, first-in, first-out virtual waiting rooms allow you to provide a customer with a continuously updated estimated remaining wait time. Potential customers stay in the virtual waiting room until it’s their turn to access your website.

4. Server scaling

Although there are ways around this problem, you should consider increasing server capacity once you have a realistic estimate of the increased traffic. Behind every e-commerce site is a physical group of servers – your server farm, whether on-premises or in the cloud. This provides the computing power needed to give website visitors the experience they expect, under normal load.

However, when loads increase due to increased activity, it may be necessary to increase bandwidth and server capacity to handle the additional traffic. It’s not as simple as it sounds – especially if your hosting is in-house, requiring new physical resources, rather than in the cloud – and will require detailed pre-planning and additional budget. It should also be noted that while visitor capacity is obvious, other factors should be considered. Detailed planning of a variety of elements must be done, including increased concurrency in case of increased traffic, ensuring consistency, taking into account the difficulty of customers to search at large scale in massive data and speed.

5. Consider page load time

Do you know how fast your pages load? Google Page Speed ​​Overview will help you find out. Not only is this an SEO ranking factor, but it’s also an important consideration for your e-commerce visitors. A load time of 0-4 seconds is best for online conversion, with the highest conversions occurring within the first 2 seconds. For every additional second of load time, website conversion rates drop an average of 4.42% [Portent].

Using a global content delivery network (CDN) can dramatically speed up page load times by using local PoPs to deliver content, load balancing, content caching, and (in the case of our Imperva CDN) native failover to your Protection of web applications and APIs (WAAP).

6. Sales support

Have your online chat team prepared and ready to offer advice. Synchronizing your support team and having the right number of knowledgeable employees ready to help potential customers will be critical to a smooth sales experience. Organizations need to give customers minimal friction and maximum help in their buying journey.

Ability testing, interface adaptation and role-playing with FAQs can be of great help. Scripting the buying process, like we would with traditional UX testing, can prepare sales advisors and get them used to interfaces and processes before they have to under increased load.

Be ready, or lose

Customers will go to your competitors if they have a bad experience, and now is when you can make buyer relationships last. From now on, a little pre-planning and a bit of investment in the right tools can make all the difference to your busiest selling season and to building those long-term relationships with customers beyond the period. festivals.

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*** This is a syndicated blog from the Security Bloggers Network of Blog written by Nik Hewitt. Read the original post at: https://www.imperva.com/blog/six-ways-to-have-your-ecommerce-site-ready-for-high-traffic-eshopping-days/

Amanda J. Marsh