Sunday, November 27, 2011

Surviving a peak eCommerce Christmas - part 3

To help your company get through what is expected to be the businest online Christmas yet, I'm put together some helpful tips.

Set up your own monitoring
Some hosting companies provide a website monitoring service and others may even report on availability as part of a service level agreement. However I would personally have an alternative monitor that is within my control to provide an agnostic perspective. Although it is possible to build your own, there are a number of services out there that can go beyond a simple ‘ping’ of your homepage to confirm it is there and working. Some of the more developed monitoring services can also: check the availability of specific stock, confirm the whole transaction process is working, as well as checking & recording the response time of key pages. Often it is possible to predict problems before they happen. Websites tend to go slow before they break, so getting an email or SMS alert one evening that things are taking a longer than average time to respond… may be an indication that you’re about to lose your site completely.

Try to stress test before the peak comes
I know it is not always possible at the 11th hour to test an eCommerce site to the peak levels expected of the coming Christmas trade. But actually knowing how your site responds under high volumes has huge benefits regardless of the outcome…If it fails, you know when (and hopefully how it fails)… and knowing is always better than not. It may also give you a good indication of other remedial action you need to take. But if it passes and actually stands up to your anticipated load, you have the confidence to keep trading.

Previous posts on this subject are here:
Surviving Christmas Part 2
Surviving Christmas Part 1
Post a Comment