The holiday shopping season is right around the corner, and with it comes Black Friday. Online shopping is a major part of the season’s sales, and Black Friday is no exception. According to a report by comScore, Black Friday 2014 saw $1.51 billion in desktop online sales, up 26% from Black Friday 2013. What’s more, predictions are already coming in for the 2015 holiday shopping season. The National Retail Federation forecasts an increase of 6-8% for online sales this November and December.
However, for a site that relies on usability and availability for success, a subpar performance can be the scariest scenario during peak holiday online shopping time. That’s why making sure your site is fortified for the season is crucial.
How can you prepare for Black Friday? Here are 4 things to consider as you gear up for the increase in traffic.
Get support from your data center.
If you partner with a data center for services like managed hosting or colocation, it’s important that you let your data center know you are expecting an increase in traffic on Black Friday. Data centers like OnRamp offer on-site service 24/7/365, so you can supplement your in-house support with a team that provides in-the-rack assistance whenever you need it.
Check that you are PCI compliant.
For any business that works with cardholder data, PCI compliance is a must. Both you and your PCI compliant hosting provider should be up to date on the latest PCI requirements and prepared to protect cardholder data during the influx of online shopping that the holiday season brings.
Check your site’s efficiency.
The longer the load time on a page, the more likely a customer is to navigate away from it, so make sure your highest-trafficked pages are ready for the holiday crunch. Eliminate factors like excess code, miscellaneous media, broken links, and confusing site navigation so customers can shop quickly and easily.
Road test your IT.
As you gear up for an influx of traffic to your website, it is essential to test the systems which support it. Now is the time to make any determinations regarding everything from the settings applied to your web-application firewalls to beefing up equipment such as load balancers.
If your uptime is critical to the performance of your business this holiday shopping season, trust in a data center company that will support you through and through. Contact us for more information on how OnRamp’s data center services, built on enterprise-class equipment and backed by Full7Layer remote hands support, can help your business when peak performance is required.