The online season is in full swing, starting with the upcoming Cyber Monday. Studies have indicated that Cyber Monday sees the first spike in online shopping during the start of a long holiday season and slowly increases through mid-December till the end of Christmas holidays. There is no denying the fact that online sales hit hysteric levels on Cyber Monday.
Compared to the in-shop frenzy of Black Friday, Cyber Monday is when shoppers take to the world of internet shopping. While this may be the times you want to associate to the saying "make hay while the sun shines", studies have indicated that things are not smooth as they seem to be.
Make or break for your online store
While your website might function normally on a day-to-day basis, the real challenge is whether your website is prepared to handle a mind blowing surge in activity in your e-commerce website or application . Issues such as slow loading of webpages, inaccessible websites, crashing of payment gateways etc. might play spoil sport. While 250 milliseconds is the new magic number that makes a customer to adopt or abandon a website , it is only natural that the impatience grows during the shopping season.
Simulate, Optimize and Monitor
Here are three magic steps that will help you tide over the upcoming holiday season headaches smoothly.
Ask your IT department to simulate worst case scenarios and use a trusted web infrastructure monitoring service to check how your website and web applications behave. Check your webpage load times, check how each step in your critical web transaction behave and most importantly check the performance and availability from different geographical locations. Geographical locations might affect the performance of your websites and web applications due to various reasons such as network proximity, selection of distributed servers etc.
Further, for large retailers or e-commerce stores you may want to check the performance of your online store from multiple geographies and ensure customers across the globe are able to transact faster.
Set expected performance benchmarks for the parameters we discussed in step1 and compare the results. Identify the chinks in the armor and take corrective measures immediately. Any major website overhaul in the name of optimization just before the holiday season is not advisable though. We at Site24x7 believe website monitoring and optimization has to be a continuous process.
A number of free tools like Web Page Analyzer and DNS Analysis from Site24x7 , Firebug Add-on from Mozilla Firefox etc. can come in handy when optimizing web pages.
On the D-Day keep a continuous watch on the behavior of your internet facing services. Monitor how each web element behaves from a end-user perspective. Set alerts for anything that crosses the standard performance benchmarks (you might have decided this in step 1) and be notified of any performance issues before it affects your end-users. This way corrective measures can be taken immediately before it affects your end-users.
You may also want to ensure a reliable back-end infrastructure by monitoring critical metrics such as CPU usage and memory of your business critical servers.
Use Site24x7 advantage
Whats's more; Site24x7's 40+ monitoring locations across the globe can help you get a global perspective of your website or web application performance and help you ensure a wonderful end-user experience.
With only a few more days to go, here is wishing you all an awesome and exhilarating Cyber Monday experience.