Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Is your site ready for an ecommerce Xmas?

Yes, I know it's still 81 days until Christmas, but if you run an online store you're probably already preparing yourself for the busiest online sales period ever.

Or more to the point..... If you have not already prepared your website for the expected peak in Internet retailing in 2 and a half months, then you're leaving it very late to do anything about it!

Why?

1. Because as people feel the nights drawing in, they start to consider their Christmas presents for others. This means they're already browsing your site and some are carrying out early purchases to flatten out their seasonal spending.

2. Because properly assessing how to test your site for peak visitors and transactions takes time. From my experience: analysing, setting up tests and preparing for any volume & performance tests typically takes anything from 2 weeks upwards to do correctly.
Note: this can take far longer if you only have one environment (e.g. Live) to test against.

3. Because you don't just run one test during the middle of the day. You really should arrange a few tests over a longer period to get an average (Especially if you have any shared infrastructure).

4. Because there will always be something that needs to be fixed after you have tested your site. It may pass the expected volume tests, but if your developers or operational IT staff are watching carefully.... They will always find something to improve (meaning you should test again just to make sure).
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