‘Tis the Season: How to Prepare for a Holiday Traffic Spike

Guidance, Bronto Partner

Author Bio

Guidance is a customer-centric commerce service provider dedicated to growth-oriented mid-market and enterprise branded manufacturers and merchants in both B2C and B2B with industry leading practices in multi-channel retail strategies, mobile, customer experience, innovative design, and complex system integration.

The all-important holiday season will be upon us very soon. If you’re an online marketer, there’s going to be a fa-la-la-la-LOT to do!

By now, you may have started to think about your seasonal marketing plan that will drive zillions of digital shoppers to your store. If not, no worries. There’s still plenty of time. But before you hit “send” on that first holiday campaign, check out our tips on how to handle holiday traffic without crashing your website.

Crunch the Numbers

Chances are you’ll be doing some forecasting on what your projected order volume will be. Try dividing the number of orders by your current conversion rate, then multiply that number by 20%. This will help you calculate the number of concurrent website visitors for which you should prepare.

Divide and Conquer

Ask your IT department or development partner to look into a load-balancing solution, which will help you manage concurrent traffic and improve page availability.

Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can ease the strain by distributing requests across multiple servers (as opposed to just one beleaguered one). Even better, a CDN connects shoppers with the server that is geographically closest to them, which in turn provides the fastest possible load times.

Lighten Up

Heavy images and videos may look festive on the homepage, but if they’re hogging too much bandwidth, they can slow down your site and impact conversion rates. Bah, Humbug!

To mitigate this risk, consider creating a lighter version of your homepage and key landing pages. Keep page elements simple and streamlined. During the holidays, you’ll want to steer site users toward a purchase as quickly as possible. Save the fancy decorations for your Christmas tree!

Evaluate, Test and Adjust

We know you’ll be excited to send out those fabulous coupons and festive promo codes. Just be sure to test your website capacity and page load-time first. Here’s how:

  • Consult both your web and server logs. Then review what happens when pages are requested.
  • Have your IT department or development partner run tests to measure load times under heavy traffic conditions.
  • Be thorough. It’s important to test every type of page users will encounter on your site.
  • Be specific. It’s important that you and your technical team agree on what constitutes an acceptable page load-time.

Stay Agile and Alert

If you’re still nervous, hire a development partner or enlist a website monitoring service to keep an eye on your servers and make adjustments as needed.

We wish you good tidings and great joy for the holiday shopping season! For more strategies and inspiration on how to prepare for your best holiday season yet, visit Bronto’s Holiday Marketing Academy.

To learn more about Guidance, visit our website.