In our last blog, we highlighted the fact that December is unofficially known as “gift card month” in the world of retail. However, the title of “online shopping month” can also just as easily be given to month number 12. It’s no secret that holiday shopping will come to full-scale this month. And that’s certainly true of the online variety.
Is your website ready to handle a significant increase in traffic? Ensuring that your online entity runs smoothly and without interruption will be a key ingredient in your company’s success this holiday season. Less-than-stellar functioning websites lose online shoppers quickly. And they’re not likely to return. How are you preparing your website for its heaviest traffic of the year?
For the non-tech-savvy, bandwidth basically refers to how much traffic your website can manage at one time. At least, that’s one way of describing it. It’s important to know because if your website crashes due to too much traffic, it will cause major disruptions to your company’s ability to process sales. On Forbes.com, AJ Agrawal notes that many companies increase their website bandwidths during the holiday season.
“Working with a web host that allows you to make changes this quickly is essential,” he writes, “You should check with your host to make sure that the package you’re on is instantly scalable. And you need to make sure that’s a change that happens autonomously. Downtime is unacceptable during the peak shopping season.”
If you have any issues with your server this holiday season, your website may shut down periodically. On HostGator.com, Casey Kelly-Barton explains that to avoid such shut downs, it’s wise to invest in failover capabilities.
“Failover means your host is ready and able to switch your site to another server if there are any issues with your current one so your site doesn’t go offline due to issues on their end,” she explains, “Failover switches from one server to another are usually seamless, but some include a brief downtime during the transition. If your plan doesn’t include failover protection, it may be time to upgrade.”
If you haven’t already set up a live chat feature on your website, now is definitely the right time to do it. While many of your customers may prefer to call your company directly for customer service, there are many others who will be just as happy chatting with one of your representatives online. Quick and easy-to-get customer service is yet another key to enjoying high holiday sales.
“It’s common practice to provide a live chat feature during busy periods to help new customers find their way around,” says Agrawal, “Nothing pushes away shoppers like having to wait in a long queue to speak to someone. Consider hiring some extra staff to help you out with this. And make sure you do it well in advance so you can teach them all about how your company works.”
Are you using a safe and secure e-commerce solution to take advantage of this month’s online holiday shopping? Please don’t hesitate to call Canadian POS at 1-877-748-2884 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can set you up!