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Is your e-commerce website ready for summer sale?

Summer sale is just started, but Google Trends registered peaks of interest for online purchase already from March. This year the most involved people in Italy are in Liguria, Piemonte, Molise, Lombardia and Friuli Venezia Giulia. We are not only talking about the crowded traditional shops during summer sale, but also about online stores. According to the latest research of Netcomm, online sales keep growing with an increase of 15% and one-third of transactions made by smartphone.Sales volumes on online channels are booming and the right management of traffic peaks is essential to ensure a great shopping experience to users.

An online store can easily have traffic peaks during periods like festivities or specific events (Black Friday, Cyber Monday…), but also with a simple successful marketing campaign. Retailers must know the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of their websites to correctly manage the traffic ang guarantee the best buying experience to customers. Indeed, the efficient management of traffic peaks has a direct impact on the success of online shops, by affecting the customer experience and loyalty. Slow and low-performing e-commerce websites, or, in the worst case scenario, unavailable sites due to downtimes caused by high traffic, generates a reduction of sales (and revenues) and a negative impact on brand image.

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How to assure a great customer experience to users in any condition of traffic?

Here’s 5 tips to get your e-commerce site ready to hold up traffic peaks of summer sale!

1. Use a highly-scalable Cloud infrastructure
Definitively, it’s important to adopt the proper Cloud infrastructure https://www.criticalcase.com/cloud-services/, able to ensure the availability of service without outages. Cloud is the best solution because of its high-scalability, which allows to manage peaks and optimize costs. Before Cloud, the only solution for website like virtual shops was oversizing the infrastructure, which was really expensive. Nowadays, Cloud technology is able to easily and rapidly scale resources according to customer’s needs with no excessive costs.

2. Plan ahead
Promotion seasons are longer now. According to the stats about online purchases, traffic volumes start to increase before the period expected, so it’s important to get prepared in time. That means you need to plan in advance website traffic peaks and efficient management measures. For instance, it’s useful have a backup plan and use tools like the “Shopper Priorisation”, which allows to get in-line users when back-end services are overloaded.

3. Test your website
It’s essential to make load testing on your site to simulate seasonal traffic volumes, so you can identify the website’s weaknesses with high-traffic and avoid issues in real conditions. A good practice is testing the whole purchase process, from the start to the payment, and make sure that all steps end successfully. A good testing activity enables to identify all the possible scenarios and to study proper strategies to overcome bottlenecks.

4. Bring contents closer to users
Do you use a Content Delivery Network solution (CDN) https://www.criticalcase.com/content-delivery-network/ for your e-commerce site? If your answer is no, well you should start to use it right now! CDN solutions are designed to optimize user experience with top performances and security, by bringing contents closer to users, by making them immediately available and keeping them at the highest quality possible with high traffic. Online shops need CDN solutions to improve their web performances and to maintain a quality service also in case of traffic peaks.

5. Apply optimization techniques
Make your website leaner, because sending not needed data can have bad effects on performances during peak times, slowing down the page loading for example. In addition, you can apply optimization techniques to speed up the requests to the data center or the hosting provider.

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