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Is Your Website Ready for Holiday Season Traffic?

load timesThe 2017 festive shopping season promises to be one of the biggest ever, particularly for online retailers. Total sales are projected to grow by 16.6 percent over last year, with online sales comprising 11.5 percent of all holiday shopping.

The period before, during, and after the holiday season is a huge sales opportunity for you. But if your e-commerce website is not ready for the influx of traffic, it can be a lost opportunity. Slow load times, broken links, and a poor user experience are unacceptable to shoppers expecting to find greater convenience and selection by going online.

Websites that cannot handle the surge in traffic immediately lose on sales. Worse, they damage the reputation of the brand and disappoint customers who may have otherwise become loyal fans. Optimising your website to accommodate more traffic is a sound goal for both the short and long term, and there are a few great strategies to keep in mind for getting your website ready:

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5 Ways to Prepare Your Site for Peaks in Traffic

Peak trafficAs an IT professional, you covet page views and unique visitors to your site. But at times of peak traffic, they can be as much of an obstacle as an asset. The popularity of your website can make it the victim of its own success.

Target experienced this problem firsthand when it introduced its Lilly Pulitzer product line with a torrent of multichannel advertising. Unfortunately, this advertising worked as intended. Customers flooded Target’s website, but it wasn’t quite prepared to handle the stress of that load.

The site never crashed, but it did experience severe lags in performance. At one point, administrators even shut the site down for 15 minutes voluntarily. Worst of all, the customers who did have the patience to wait through slow load times often discovered that products were out of stock or in limited supply. Customers were eager to buy, but Target’s website lacked the resiliency to accommodate peak demand.

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