Getting the infrastructure ready for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas campaign is a must to ensure maximum performance and avoid downtime. Online shopping is more alive than ever and these strategic campaigns account for an important percentage of the annual sales. Therefore, it is a great opportunity for online businesses to win new customers.
From improving UX to opting for a high-performance IT solution, there are many aspects that need to be checked and improved to ensure the best experience for customers.
During the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas campaigns, it is more likely to experience significant spikes in traffic; especially now that consumers have further “digitized” their purchasing habits due to the Covid-19 pandemic. So, it is important for companies to get websites, eCommerce sites and digital platforms ready for the Christmas selling season. Besides, the improvements implemented during these specific selling campaigns will also help improve results in the long term.
Be ready against contingencies
Let’s start with a simple piece of advice: try to account for unforeseen circumstances and emergencies.
If your business anticipates an increase in traffic, thoroughly preparing your website or eCommerce platform is a must to avoid outages and other contingencies. Therefore, start by anticipating potential performance and security issues, scheduling some maintenance and analyzing statistics from previous years.
Scale resources to support the increase in traffic
Scale up the necessary computing and storage resources to deal with spikes in traffic during this sales-heavy season.
During such an important campaign for your business’ annual incomes, suffering downtime or virtual queues is not an option since it can seriously damage your business revenues and reputation. So, do not underestimate the negative impact a huge peak in traffic could have on your cloud hosting or servers.
Your provider should make it easy for you to scale resources before and after these sales-heavy periods. We do so at Stackscale, collaborating closely with our customers. This way you will only pay for the resources you need at all times.
Opt for a high-performance cloud solution
Sharing resources with other customers might negatively impact your performance as well as increase cloud costs. On the contrary, by relying on a high-performance private cloud solution, companies can keep greater control over IT resources, security and costs.
At Stackscale, we deploy high-performance cloud environments so that our customers can handle millions of visits and large spikes in website orders during strategic campaigns such as Christmas or the Black Friday. You can find more details about our customers’ experience in our cloud case studies section.
Configure a High Availability architecture
Setting up a High Availability architecture to eliminate single points of failure and optimize performance during peak-time loads. High availability can be configured both at hardware and software levels; within the same datacenter or on diverse remote data centers. Businesses can configure High Availability clusters to ensure optimal performance in case of failure. This way, mission-critical applications and services can automatically failover to another node.
Replicating all nodes and network elements in two geographically distant locations improves availability in case of a major contingency in the active data center. Thus reducing downtime to a minimum.
Increasing the bandwidth is also an option to increase network availability, whenever customers consider it necessary.
Improve your site’s loading speed
Web page load speed should also be a top priority during such an important campaign. In addition to a key aspect of your site’s success all year around.
Users do not expect to wait when buying a product or service online, much less to waste time waiting for the information they are looking for to show up on the screen. Therefore it is very important you make sure your web pages load as fast as possible, in order to avoid losing visits and sales.
Use a CDN to keep content closer to end users
Relying on a Content Delivery Network solution to keep content closer to end users can significantly boost your site’s loading speed.
A CDN is helpful to improve local sales performance. Local shopping is on the rise and this is a great opportunity for local brands to increase awareness. That is why it is important for small and medium companies to boost their omnichannel strategy, increase their visibility, and attract customers both online and offline.
Assess security to avoid cyberattacks
The same way it is important to design a Disaster Recovery plan to be prepared against emergencies, cybersecurity must always be a top priority. Customers must feel comfortable when inputting their personal details and credit card information in your eCommerce site.
Cybersecurity is an essential aspect in our increasingly digital world; especially during special campaigns such as Black Friday or Christmas.
Cyberattacks can have a truly detrimental effect on your business reputation and finances. Watch out for DDoS attacks, system intrusions, phishing attempts and other attacks and make sure you implement the necessary security measures — VPNs, firewalls, SSL certifications… — to keep unwanted users away from your site.
Reinforcing the backup policy is also recommended to ensure fast and easy data recovery in case of corruption or loss. Redundant storage is essential on this matter.
Review and improve your site’s UX
As users are increasingly demanding, testing your site’s usability will help you improve your conversion rate.
Thoroughly reviewing your site’s UX is important to improve your customers’ digital experience and reduce shopping cart abandonment.
An easy tool to improve user experience is testing real customer journeys, such as the purchase process, to check everything works properly and make adjustments if necessary. Moreover, do not forget about the user experience outside your website, for instance, by making sure your landing pages are relevant to the ads that took users there.
Optimize your site’s SEO
Finally, we cannot talk about such an important campaign as the Black Friday or Christmas without highlighting the importance of SEO optimization. For your campaign to be a success, customers must necessarily find your products and deals. Therefore, make sure your campaign’s content includes the right keywords. Since many keywords will differ from the list of keywords you target the rest of the year.
Furthermore, some of the aspects we have covered during the article, such as your website’s loading speed and user experience, will also help you increase your brand’s visibility on search engines over time.
At Stackscale, we help our customers boost performance with our high-availability cloud solutions. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.