The holiday season is quickly approaching, and sharp increases in traffic can make or break a holiday promotion! A flood of new users and interest can be fantastic, but can also overload your server if you are unprepared! There’s nothing worse than a new and excited user losing interest with a slow or unresponsive experience on your site, wasting your marketing efforts. Planning ahead and taking action now allows your development team and technology partners to understand exactly what to expect, and take necessary precautions to increase resources or monitoring for your site if needed. Take a look through the 11 steps below to help avoid a holiday catastrophe!
- Ensure that you have up to date contact info for your development team and technology partners
(Technology partners may include hosting providers, payment processors, shipping or erp integrations, platform representatives, tax experts, etc.)
- Take note of customer service hours and response time expectations for your development team and technology partners during holidays.
- Ensure that your internal teams know who to contact in case of urgent issues.
- Ensure that your Staging environments are up to date, replicating your Live / Production environments as closely as possible.
- Test any promotions on Staging environments prior to enabling them on your Live / Production environments
(Desktop AND Mobile)
- Update your site content to inform shoppers of any temporary changes to shipping / fulfillment expectations, customer service hours, etc.
(Consider updating your header, footer, transactional emails, etc.)
- Consider enabling a secondary payment processor in case there are any temporary issues with your primary processor.
Considering multiple options such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, and others can help customers checkout easily even if one service experiences temporary problems!
- If possible, have your development team perform load testing to understand how your site will perform under stress.
- Think back to previous years and be sure to implement any lessons learned.
(Share this information with your development team and technology partners)
- Consider if you are offering any limited-time promotions or sending emails to generate sales, taking note of timing windows to expect the most traffic.
(For example, you may plan to send out a promotional newsletter with a special offer at 11AM Eastern on Nov 15, expecting increased traffic during that time)
- Notify your development team and technology partners of any risks or pertinent information you’ve identified from this Checklist