ecommerce-festive-season
Is your business ready for the two biggest sales this retail season – Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Regardless of whether you have a stand-alone store, an online store, or both, can your website handle the influx of traffic it’s about to receive?

Before we delve into whether or not your website can handle this traffic spike, we need to ask a few pertinent questions to determine whether or not you are actually driving traffic to your website.

Is your website mobile friendly?

Smartphones are driving online sales, and having a fully optimized site will ensure your brand remains in hand. A great mobile experience, and seamless checkout process is essential.

Google’s 2016 trend report shows that mobile in-store searches are up more than 30%, and 43% of mobile electronic purchases are made by customers looking at those products in-store. So even though feet are still coming through your store, the final push to purchase may come down to the mobile experience.

Are you harnessing the power of content marketing?

Creating and publishing content that is relevant and adds value is essential to the customer journey. You can measure the actual return on investment on content that was created with the objective of driving sales.

Including images and relevant links are things to keep in mind when creating content for your holiday campaign. Both will aid your site’s SEO ranking, at a time of year when it counts most. Consider dedicated landing pages that will make it easier for your customer to find what they are looking for. Think dedicated gift ideas and guides.

Now that you know you have put some of the relevant measures in place to drive traffic, let’s take a look at if your site can handle it.

In this instance, slow and steady sure doesn’t win the race.

How many visitors your site can handle is largely determined by how your site is coded. A very efficiently coded website that uses fewer resources per visitor, would allow for a large number of visitors, while a poorly coded website may only sustain a few simultaneous visitors.

Performing load testing using tools such as Apache JMeter, Load impact and Loader will enable you to determine your site’s capacity in normal, and anticipated peak times.

Downloading components such images, stylesheets, scripts and flash on a page, is what sucks up most of the time. By reducing the number of components, you reduce the number of HTTP requests and this is the key to faster pages.

Images often account for the most downloaded bytes on a web page. Fetcha is a Realm in-house solution for websites requiring a large number of images to be served.

It allows for rapid updates, intelligent caching and resizing on the fly for your various image size requirements. Read more about Fetcha, or get in touch with us if you’d like to chat about it.

Putting the relevant measures in place will ensure you have a successful holiday campaign, with your website (and nerves) still in tact.