2014 Christmas eCommerce Website Survival Guide

As the holiday season quickly approaches this year you may be wondering – how will my website be during Christmas? By taking a few preventative measures, you may avoid some Christmas disasters for your website.

Do some quick server maintenance

Is the server running out of disk space? Will there be enough resources to use and consume over the Christmas period? A lot of people will be visiting your website during the Christmas period on their phones (and subsequently ignoring their families) and it is always a good idea to ensure that there is enough resources available on your web server(s).

Increase it if need be and talk to your hosting provider about ensuring that the server environment is stable and operable during the period.

Know who your hosting company is

Apart from being that mysterious bill that you pay every month, hosting companies have a responsibility for keeping your server and your website up and running. Most reputable (Tier three and above) companies do offer 24/7x support packages for their hosting environments but if you don’t know who hosts your website, who are you going to call  in the event of an emergency?

This is a far better option than calling your web developer as he or she sips Mojitos on the beach (I know I will be) for a server issue.

Make sure your website works! (and works on your phone!)

When was the last time you bought something from your own website? Use IE. Use your phone. Check out. Use coupons. Make sure that everything is up to scratch and identify and resolve any issues that you encounter before the break. After all, all those people who hate Boxing Day sales yet love shopping in general will seek online shops to get their fix.

Set up Boxing Day coupons and EDMs

Make sure your Boxing Day EDMs are set up and scheduled – i.e. they target the correct segments, demographics, etc. Make sure the coupons that have been specified actually work. There’s nothing worse than sending out a nation-wide EDM only to find out that the link doesn’t work, or the coupon doesn’t work, etc.

Try and stagger the volume as well so everyone doesn’t hit on your website at once.

Make sure Analytics and Goal tracking codes are working

More people than ever will use the Internet this year to avoid conversations with their extended family. Ensure that you are able to measure that – it may help you design that new checkout process!

By taking a few precautionary measures it will leave a few headaches at the office for the holiday season. Merry Christmas!