3 Steps to handle Black Friday website spikes
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, if you’re an e-commerce business then you have probably planned special offers and discounts for your products and services with the hope of driving sales. In doing so, your online storefront is likely to gather a higher amount of visitors than usual. Is your business prepared for the Black Friday website spike? We’ve come up with 3 steps to help ensure your website can handle the spike in visitors you are hoping for on Black Friday, and remain competitive at other times!
To understand how your website will handle a sudden spike in traffic which is potentially expected on Cyber Monday, you will need to carry out a performance test known as load testing. Load testing is a technique used to examine the behaviour of a system when subject to both normal and extreme expected load conditions1. Put simply, it helps you see how your website responds to higher than normal levels of traffic. Studies show that the longer the page load time the higher the percentage of page abandonment and in fact 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load2. You don’t want to lose customers before they’ve had a chance to look at your products or services! What’s more, with the number of purchases on a mobile device growing and expected to reach around two thirds of the total e-commerce by 20203, it’s crucial that your site is mobile-friendly too.
After you’ve carried out your load testing you will probably have an idea of the problems that contribute to poor performance of your website. These problems can include site publishing speed, sluggish third party add-ons, site reliability, and mobile-optimisation. If your website struggles to handle as many visitors as you’d like, you can employ load-balancing techniques to spread visitor sessions over a pool of servers so that your web server doesn’t shut down and your website remains available following a surge in visitor numbers. There are a number of other ways in which you can improve your overall site performance such as image optimisation and minimising browser caching. Click here for more tips…
Even after running tests and fixing your website problems, you may still encounter slower than expected performance caused by unexpected issues. Website monitoring is therefore crucial to ensure your website is available for people to use, it’s quick in responding to visitor actions, and that all of the features are functioning correctly. With proactive monitoring you stand more of a chance of resolving an issue before it results in loss of sales or even more importantly, reputation. After all, nothing can reduce return visitors numbers more than memories of failed or frustratingly slow websites so you need to do all you can to leave visitors with a positive experience after their visit.
For many businesses, ‘too many’ website visitors would be a nice problem to have but getting them to stay and convert into customers would be even nicer. Follow these three steps and allow your business to maximise on Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic.
Our in-house web development team work with our own security and infrastructure experts to test, analyse and fix site performance problems using all the tricks at their disposal for making websites run smoothly and efficiently. In addition, the combination of our Bristol based pro-active helpdesk team and monitoring services means we can spot and eliminate problems before they cause too much damage!
Contact us to find out how we can help you with your website performance, and take advantage of our expertise to help your business remain competitive when you need it most.