5 Tips For Prepping E-Commerce Sites For The Upcoming Holiday Rush

Stay On Your Toes

As holidays bring family and friends together, shopping for gifts is an inevitable task. With Black Friday, Christmas and Hanukkah just around the corner, online sales will soar. However, with increased traffic and to support strong online sales, e-commerce websites must be prepared for the holiday rush, according to Avnet Technology Solutions.

Read on to find the top five tips for solution providers in preparing their retail clients' e-commerce management systems.

1. Determine The 'Now' Normal

Before the holiday season arrives, Tony Vottima, senior vice president and general manager of the Tempe, Ariz.-based company, urges solution providers to work with retail clients in inspecting and assessing irregularities that are small or repetitive.

"If you get to a web page and you get to a broken link, your promo doesn’t work, or trying to purchase something is troublesome, a customer can easily log out and go to another [site]," said Vottima. "While commerce companies may not think small glitches are a big deal, if you have a Black Friday or Christmas week and something goes wrong, that little problem becomes a big one."

2. Test Beforehand To Target Risk Areas

Solution providers must also review retailer-caching approaches in reducing risks. When updates and adjustments are being implemented, they should be tested before the site goes live. Infrastructure stability, bandwidth usage, network backups and other back-end systems should also be assessed, said Vottima.

"A lot of companies build their websites out in caching," said Vottima. "They are adding more items that aren't being built into the memory, and if you have to wait 10 to 20 seconds for it to reload, buyers become very impatient."

3. Optimize Channels For Access On Various Devices

The world is mobile, and that's not going to change. As customers are on their tablets and smartphones, solution providers and retail clients must make sure customers can access e-commerce sites on a variety of devices, said Vottima.

"When you go to a website, they give you a mobile and desktop view, and the screen on your laptop versus the app is very different," said Vottima. "If you have only one view, the experience from the e-commerce buyer won't be pleasureable."

4. Monitor To Detect Early, Resolve Quickly

Avnet also recommends that solution provider partners guarantee that retail clients have the tools to support IT when a site experiences heavy traffic. Aggressively monitoring will assist retailers in identifying issues such as long-running pages or faulty promotion codes.

"It's important you should be monitoring your site all the time. There are tools to help notice and get that problem solved quickly, things like broken links, promo codes that are unrecognizable, free shipping costs," said Vottima. "Those are bugs in the system, and if you're monitoring with the right tools you can see it going on in real time and correct it."

5. Check In With Support Teams

As temporary help is hired around the holiday season, Vottima urges they must be trained correctly to counteract problems. To resolve customer issues, solution providers and retail clients should create training programs to oversee tasks, said Vottima.

"The temporary [workforce] are not regular employees and need more time to resolve problems," said Vottima. "We come in and train that customer service team [to] help resolve their issues and make them happy."