If you’ve been following the guidance of thinkTribe over the past few months, you’ll be aware that preparing for Black Friday 2017 represents one of the year’s most important tasks. As the biggest online shopping day of the year, ensuring your ecommerce platform has the ability to handle peak traffic and support the transactions of eager consumers if of the utmost significance.
So, where should you be with your preparations now that Black Friday 2017 is merely weeks away? We take a look at the next stage of being ready for the onset of Black Friday traffic and how to ensure your business enjoys a successful period of trading.
Begin code lock down
It goes almost without saying that those online retailers that manage to follow the process of preparation and stick to a schedule enjoy the most success when Black Friday traffic hits their site. One of the keys factors it’s vital to keep up-to-date with is taking the steps to ensure code lock down is complete at the earliest possible opportunity.
At this stage, we recommend that code lock down begins no later than six-to-eight weeks prior to Black Friday. This often leads to a complete code freeze approximately a month before, so ensuring that you’ve updated your website with special Black Friday sections and deal codes is essential.
Consider limiting functionality
One of the best means of ensuring your ecommerce platform has the capacity to handle peak traffic is to strip back the functionality of your website to prioritise performance gains. Only core functionality should be implemented, thereby reducing website slowdowns and mitigating potential issues during Black Friday.
You may even choose to work closely beside product and marketing teams to identify those key items in your inventory you wish to prioritise as part of your seasonal campaign. By reducing the range of products offered, you can ensure that load speed, stock control, and user experience are all maintained to the highest standard. In addition, by limiting the size of your webpages through reduced functionality, the stress experienced by your web servers will be reduced, meaning increased visits, increased transactions, and increased revenue.
Queuing for contingency
What’s more quintessentially British than queuing? You may have thought that moving retail sales online would eliminate the need for shoppers to queue; however, when it comes to peak traffic, an online queuing system could well prove essential for the wellbeing of performance.
By diverting users to a queuing area during transactions, you not only manage to limit the number of drop-offs you might otherwise experience by disgruntled shoppers, but you have a ‘holding area’ where you can continue to market to, and engage with, your audience.
Of course, a queuing system should only represent a contingency plan – nothing provides a better user experience than having your website work perfectly to meet their transactional needs!
Black Friday testing from thinkTribe
To find out more about how thinkTribe can help you prepare for peak demand with fully a managed load testing service tailored to you, contact our team today on 01227 768276. In the meantime, why not download our FREE Final Steps for Black Friday website preparation guide?