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Secrets to Black Friday success: test early and often

02nd August 2017

With just a few months until the increased traffic of Black Friday hits online retailers, it’s vital that your load testing programme is well under way. And, as we edge closer, the need to lock down code becomes ever-more pressing, while the necessary testing is of the utmost importance.

In this latest post detailing the significance of load testing for Black Friday, we look at how regular testing plays a vital role in maximising performance and budget ready for the biggest online shopping day of the year.

Regular testing to get the most from your budget

Whether you’ve developed an entirely new site specifically to handle Black Friday, or are implementing new infrastructure in order to manage increased traffic loads, conducting realistic load testing as thoroughly and frequently as possible will make a significant difference to website performance this November 24. Of course, frequent testing requires careful budgeting, both financially and in relation to the time available, but the financial implications of not being prepared are significant.

Weighing up the cost of conducting regular load testing versus last-minute expenditure for fixes and retests – or even lost revenue – needs to be taken into consideration. Effective testing is seldom a case of ‘one and done’; errors need to be fixed, code deployed, and sites retested. Trying to cram such activity into the last few days before Black Friday is, if not impossible, a costly burden on tech and marketing teams.

In order to combat these last-minute rushes and expenditure in order to be ready, setting aside the budget to support early, regular testing may well prove the best investment you make before Black Friday. Specifically, increased load testing closer to code lock down will be invaluable to final performance, ensuring that all bugs are eliminated with plenty of time to spare. The benefits of regular load testing in the run up to Black Friday cannot, therefore, be overstated, with failure to have taken the necessary measures for the year’s biggest sales day presenting the risk of catastrophic web performance.

Benchmarking performance

Regular testing also provides the opportunity to uncover issues and measure the effect of small changes on your site, helping establish performance benchmarks and comparative data. As your Black Friday microsite or main ecommerce platform evolves through large or small amendments, being able to compare load testing data reports side-by-side will help your tech teams discern areas for improvement quickly and effectively.

With so many key milestones throughout the run-up to Black Friday, it’s vital that you’ve tested and refined to the best of your ability. Of course, one of the biggest milestones of all comes at the point of transition…

Transition testing

For many ecommerce platforms, moving from a staging environment to live production represents one of the core challenges of ensuring that changes do not impact performance. Taking the time to investigate the impact once the transition is complete is key and, while load testing during staging returns valuable data, predicting precisely how the move will affect the platform is far from simple.

As such, conducting more in-depth load testing analysis at this point is the best way to attain valuable insights into just how robust the platform will be. Combined with the analysis conducted to establish performance benchmarks, you can approach Black Friday 2017 with the utmost confidence.

Time and money are two things people never have enough of. By carrying out regular load testing in the run-up to Black Friday, you could well see yourself saving huge quantities of both.

Contact thinkTRIBE for Black Friday load testing

You can discover more about website load testing services from thinkTRIBE by contacting us on 01227 768276 today. You can also download our Black Friday Preparation whitepaper for details on ensuring your ecommerce platform is fully ready for Black Friday 2017.

Download our Best Practice Guide to Preparing for Black Friday ebook today