You might have a killer marketing campaign this season, unbeatable promotions, and top-selling inventory; however, if you don’t prepare ahead of time for the holiday season, you may end up backed up on orders, and with a slow, or even crashed website. You should make sure to prepare your website and staff for an unprecedented growth in traffic and orders.
Holiday sales last year in 2011 took in $27.46 billion last year, and estimates are projected to be even higher this coming season. This necessitates a website that is able to handle spikes in traffic.
Be sure that you have a reputable technical support team in place to deal with any site crashes immediately. Effective tech support is designed to restore your operation quickly, minimizing downtime and loss of sales.
When is the last time you’ve taken a backup of your website? In the event of a crash this seasonmake certain you have a recent backup of your site ready. Notify your hosting company before the holidays and make sure the plan is flexible to withstand any amount of traffic. If you are doing any high profile marketing campaigns, it is most imperative to speak with your hosting company.
If there were ever a time to put the largest focus on your inventory, now is that time. Avoid marketing campaigns for any products that are low in stock. It’s also important to make sure your website is up to date, and when a product goes out of stock, it either is removed from the website or is listed as “out of stock”. You may lose that customer if they end up at checkout only to find the product is out of stock.
Even with sales trends, there are unanticipated runs on products that necessitate your being able to handle all possibilities. The goal here is to increase conversion and stickiness on your site and prevent customer disappointment.
Remember to prepare your staff for the holiday season. Through metrics from last year’s traffic, you’ll be better able to decide when to increase the size and availability of your customer service staff and when you’ll need extra help with packaging and shipping.
All of these behind-the-scenes details will quickly become essential for maintaining a prosperous commerce holiday season, and for growing both your revenue and your reputation.