It may only be October, but as far as the retail industry is concerned, the Holiday Season has officially begun. People are already searching websites for the best Christmas gift and traffic volumes are increasing exponentially as December draws near. Retail websites need to be ready for this surge in activity or they will lose customers and sales, especially when it comes time for Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year.
Why is Downtime so Horrible?
Shoppers are impatient and if a website doesn’t work the first time they visit it, they are likely never going to visit it again. One minute of downtime could mean thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales down the drain. A shopper won’t refresh or try the website again in a few more minutes. If the website isn’t performing at high speeds or if it is completely down, they’ll just go shop on a competing website. This means that companies not only lose in sales, but this could cause significant damage to their brand in the long run.
How to Expect the Unexpected
Retailers need to be prepared for the spike in traffic that occurs during this time and do whatever it takes to ensure no downtime and high performance on their website. Here are a few tips to consider:Accommodate Early Shoppers
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two big shopping days and are considered the official beginning of the Holiday shopping season. But people don’t always wait until these two dates to start their shopping and you can see a lot of excellent deals in shops as early as November. This means that you should be prepared for shoppers early on, even before the official holiday season.
Another great thing about being prepared for early shoppers is that it helps you discover any problems with your performance before the bigger crowd arrives. So you can text your infrastructure, network, and speed on a smaller audience and fix any problems on time.Be Mobile-Friendly
It’s no secret anymore that everyone is Mobile these days and retailers know that being available on mobile devices is crucial. Half of consumers either purchase on their mobiles or research what they want to buy on their mobile devices. Retailers need to make sure that they have a high performing mobile website, or responsive website. If possible, an app is even better! Akamai’s ION solution optimizes performance and deliver for mobile websites and prevents network latency.Cyber Attacks Should Be Taken Into Account
A lot of traffic means you need to take extra security measures. The holiday season is open season for hackers who want to steal credit card information or just cause chaos by overloading websites. Last year, during the holiday season, there was a significant increase in hacking activity, including DNS hijacking, SQL injection, and web scraping. Retailers need to implement security solutions that will protect their website and app from downtime while securing their shoppers’ private information. It is also important to ensure that an IT professional or team is available at all times during the shopping season to take care of any problems as they occur.Test Everything
It is important to test every part of your website and sales funnel to make sure that everything is working properly. Load testing is very useful to discover your website capacity and vulnerabilities. It simulates high traffic in order to reveal any problems that may rise in real-life scenarios.Work With Professionals
By partnering with Akamai during the holiday season, you can be ready for the anticipated traffic and avoid security threats that may damage your company’s reputation and revenue. Our team will work with you to define and implement the perfect solution for your needs.