How to prepare for a successful Black Friday campaign

September 23, 2022


How to prepare for a successful Black Friday campaign by preventing site crashes and the dreaded lag.

The biggest shopping season is about to kick off. The leaves have started to fall to the ground, the air has a crisp, bitter chill to it, and holiday displays are starting to go up all over town. As major retailers begin bracing for the massive influx in shopping, so too, should eCommerce business owners. Major retailers have to worry about supply and demand, customer and employee safety, and the condition of their stores. So too, eCommerce store owners need to prepare for the influx of users on their sites and find ways to manage the traffic and ensure that their clients have a seamless online shopping experience.

Black Friday is the most important event of the year for eCommerce shops. However, it’s not a stress-free day for most online retailers. Why? Because there are many technical issues that can cause Black Friday website crashes. Website crashes equal downtime, lost customers, and of course, lost revenue.

Is your site ready for your next big sales rush? Here are the key facts you need to know:

• Even big sites have outages

• Bad testing and web infrastructure are often at fault

• Many retail sites fail to prepare at all

• Mobile traffic is bigger than desktop and growing fast

• Cloud testing is essential to avoid website crashes during busy times

• Testing can be simple and scalable

• Mobile traffic is bigger than desktop traffic for e-commerce

Modern e-commerce websites are increasingly complex beasts. Typically they have firewalls for security, load-balancers to spread demand, web-servers to handle online traffic, application servers to run the software and finally a large database server. Often there are other specialist systems such as search engines and stock management systems (e.g. Hybris). There is also connectivity to other systems or web services such as credit checking (e.g. Experian), postcode lookups, historical orders and, most importantly, payment systems (e.g. Worldpay).

All of these components together make for a complex system. This complexity means it is difficult to accurately predict if a website can handle Black Friday peaks.

Prevent Black Friday website crashes with Liorra

Our team of professionals specialize in web design, logo design, WordPress development, eCommerce, responsive web design, mobile apps, social media marketing, and more. We’ve designed a full-stack solution for Black Friday that allows e-commerce businesses to solve any problem quickly and avoid losing thousands of dollars on Black Friday 2022. Learn more about our services or contact us for a personal interview. if you are unsure of what to check on your eCommerce website, ready the handy informational bit below.

Prevention Is Key

The last thing you want is to kick off your Black Friday sale and have the entire site crash only a couple of minutes or hours into it. Thankfully, there are things you can do prior to the typical Black Friday traffic spike, to help reduce the risk of your eCommerce site crashing.

1. Monitor and Test Your Site. You can use real-user or synthetic monitor to track the paths that users will typically use when accessing your site. This gives your IT team the ability to see what areas are having performance issues and lets them address them before they become a problem.

Types of Performance Tests to Execute for an E-commerce Site

• Load test: Given the current or target system load (web traffic) scenario, how will the site behave? What opportunities for improvement do we see for that expected scenario?

• Stress test: What’s the maximum number of concurrent users that the system supports with an acceptable user experience? What is the breaking point?

• Endurance test: This involves testing the site with a significant load extended over a significant period of time, to discover how it behaves under sustained use.

• Peak test: If the site works properly under a normal amount of traffic and there’s a surge in traffic, will it recover? How fast?

2. Use A CDN For Your Website. A CDN, or content delivery network, is a cloud-based system that uses multiple servers around the world to handle the delivery of your content to your customers. Think of a CDN as a steam vent on a pressure cooker. By opening the vent, you’re going to reduce the pressure and strain that is being put on your local server, which could force a reboot or a crash.

3. Mobile Optimization. More than half of all website traffic stems from mobile devices. If your site is not geared to mobile users, you’re missing out on the largest part of the market. Start by removing any plugins, coding, or features that slow down the experience for your mobile users. You can also compress all the webpages for mobile devices to decrease loading times. This reduces strain on your server and reduces the risk of a site or server crash.

Make Changes to Your Site Sooner Rather Than Later

A lot of eCommerce business owners wait until they have a lengthy list of fixes before they hire an IT or design person to correct these issues. This is, of course, assuming that the eCommerce business owner doesn’t have its own IT team. The problem with this method is that it limits the amount of time they have to make the repairs. It takes time to identify why a glitch is happening, what it is all affecting     , and how to fix it. If it cannot be fixed, they have to develop a workaround that doesn’t further compromise the integrity of the site or the server.

Need Some Guidance with Your eCommerce Website? The more time you give them to work on it, the better the results are going to be. Most online store owners who put this off tend to either pay twice as much for rush services or are forced to disable parts of their site because repairs or workarounds could not be completed in time. If you want to prepare your website’s reliability for Black Friday ahead of time and make sure you have all hands-on deck to solve problems as quickly as possible, let’s see how Liorra can help you.

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