Well......it looks like we've arrived at that time of year again! Everybody loves a bargain don't they??
This is probably the most lucrative time of the year for a retailer, its coming up to Christmas and everyone is looking for a last minute bargain to help to fill up their stockings.....in the grand scheme of things a lot of retailers (both high street and online) rely on this period to bump up their sales and profits.
So.....this all sounds like a winning situation, retailers just have to sit back and wait for customers to come pouring in and spend their hard earned money!
The most important thing to remember around this time is to be well prepared, this relates to every size and type of retailer. There are several steps you can take to make sure that you are all set for Black Friday and are in a position to make the most out of the increase in potential clients and customers!
- CACHING - Onto our first point, to enable your website content to load more quickly its essential that you try to cache as much information relating to your site as possible. Caching prevents you having to download content from your server which can take much longer and will slow down content delivery considerably. It might be worth looking into using a content delivery network such as Cloudflare in the days leading up to predicted traffic spikes. This service is free to use and is extremely useful when you are looking for content to download as quickly as possible.
- PRIOR PREPARATION - Prior preparation prevents......yes you already know the rest. Its a smart move to make sure that you are in a position to cope with more orders than you anticipate you will receive over the Black Friday period, this might seem a bit overkill but its extremely important as a business to be able to honour your commitments to your clients and be in a position to deal with each and every order to the highest standards. Happy customers tend to return! Making sure you have ample stock of your best seller and having enough staff working alongside you to help meet demands are just a couple of ways in which you can prepare yourself.....
- DON'T ALTER CONTENT - Something I would advise against would be changing any of your website content in or around the Black Friday Period. There are a couple of reasons for this, firstly if you happen to be working on your website and customers are in having a look around (or buying something we hope!) the content delivery can slow down considerably. This may leave a negative impression of your website on new visitors and may add inconvenience for your regular visitors. Secondly its important that your 'brand' holds together, meaning that you want the presentation of your website to be as consistent and cohesive as possible to your audience - this can be all the way down to smaller features such as where products are placed throughout the site and how your displays look.
- DO AN 'AUDIT' - Its best to have a regular run through your website from time to time to make sure everything is in its right place and is in optimum working condition. If you haven't done this for awhile I would certainly recommend doing this in the run up to the Black Friday period. I personally have a look at all of my databases and make sure that they are all optimised (see this guide) and working to their best, I would also recommend turning off non-essential features present on your site such as live chat functions and moving graphics (those that only serve as decoration).
- GO TO BED EARLY THE NIGHT BEFORE.......... - Because we want you to be your sparkling best for all of your eager visitors - don't forget to stock up on coffee and tea and above all enjoy Black Friday, it only happens once a year ;)
These tips may only save a second or 2 of loading time for each user but when placed together, say amongst 100 users, this would add up to over a minute of time saved! All savings make a difference around this time and may mean the difference between a visitor making a sale or growing tired of waiting for your site to load and purchasing their product somewhere else.....
As always we are happy to chat if you have any questions relating to this article (or if you just fancy....a chat). Please get in touch via a support ticket (open a ticket) to our hosting department and we will do our best to get back in touch with you as soon as possible.