Black Friday and Cyber Weekend are upon us!
According to projections from Digital Commerce 360 (formerly Internet Retailer), U.S. shoppers are set to spend a record $27.49 billion online this year during the five-day stretch from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. As a result, this will be the most crucial (and the most lucrative) time of 2019 for most e-commerce merchants. Online merchants, and their developers, will need to find ways to deal with massive, unpredictable increases in demand, while delivering a great shopping experience.
We asked a few top e-commerce developers to share their tips on what merchants should do to ensure a successful holiday shopping season. Here’s what they had to say:
Director of Customer Success, Binary Anvil
“Clients that work closely with their agency and hosting provider are the best prepared for the holiday season. A company needs to make sure that they can take increased traffic and that their agency is being proactive on their behalf. For most of our customers, they simply expect to have their website up and running smoothly during the holiday season.
This is most companies’ busiest time of year and they need to be running on all cylinders. To prepare companies need to make sure that they are in a code freeze so that nothing new breaks their production site and that they are communicating with their agency proactively.”
“One of the most important things that merchants can do to enjoy a successful holiday season is to ensure that the site is secure. Most merchants are preparing for the spike in traffic and sales; however, the unexpected impact of a denial of service attack (DDoS) or a data breach can put a damper on sales and impact site performance negatively. A security and performance assessment conducted by a qualified professional can provide the peace of mind merchants want and ensure success.”
Managing Partner, Crimson Agility
Director of Marketing, InteractOne
“Merchants always think they’re prepared until their website traffic increases, the holiday purchases start rolling in and orders need to be fulfilled. Merchants need to take a serious look at how their site and systems performed last holiday season and make adjustments.
The most important thing merchants can do to ensure a successful holiday season in 2019 and beyond is make sure their eCommerce inventory is accurate, up-to-date and that they have the infrastructure in place to process and fulfill holiday orders. Meeting customer expectations during the holidays is paramount. If there’s an empty stocking somewhere because you were unable to fulfill an order and meet expectations then you can be assured that customer will look to your competitors to help spread holiday cheer next year.”
“Merchants expect partners to suggest ideas and proactively look into their plans. They expect hosting to be ready to tackle sales and great support.
Merchants should forecast roughly the number of expected customers and have a promotions plan in place. They should keep development and hosting partners informed about their sales plan. Also, they should always be ready with a Plan B. ”
“Merchants start to plan from handling stocks to delivery methods months before the start of the holiday season. But still, there is a lot of room for improvement in technical aspects like managing huge traffic and measuring their marketing investment.
We have come across e-commerce brands that fail to check the responsiveness of their site for various devices. Since mobile phones were responsible for more than 50% of Black Friday sales in 2018, any online business that ignores mobile optimization is ignoring a part of its sales. Customers demand seamless online shopping experience, that has given rise to innovations like PWAs. Brands that don’t customise their shopping experience for various devices are missing out on their true potential. ”
“During sales planning, don’t forget doing intense performance testing of your online store. Don’t let your website crash at a crucial time.”
Founder and CEO, Aureate Labs
Thank you guys for your contribution, and we couldn’t agree more!
Dear Merchants, here’s wishing you the best for the upcoming crazy season!
And if you run into any issues related to your site’s uptime, performance, or security, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to help.