Earlier this week I tried to take advantage of an awesome Cyber Monday deal offered by a major retailer but their website was extremely slow loading and I never managed to get the deal. I am talking so slow, it was worse than the slowest dial up internet I can remember.
The website server wasn’t able to keep up with the huge load from the abnormal amount of customer visits and obviously the retailer hadn’t made provisions for this.
While most of us can only dream of that kind of traffic, there are some things you can do to prepare your site for the holiday season.
Prepare for Unusual Traffic Levels
If you are doing large scale promotions (Advertising or TV appearances) that will drive a HUGE amount of extra traffic to your website, it is a good idea to check with your web host to make sure you have a sufficient bandwidth to support the extra traffic. Bandwidth is the amount of data transfer allowed each month. Many small business hosting accounts have bandwith caps and once you reach the limit your hosting account will be suspended until the monthly reset or you pay for extra service. This means your site will go down. (You really only need to worry about bandwidth if you expect LOTS and LOTS of extra traffic.)
Include Holiday Hours or Closures on Your Website.
If your brick and mortar location has extended holiday hours, publish them to your website so your customers know when they can shop.
If you have an online store it is always good to add a “Last date for Christmas Delivery” notice to your site. This will let customers know the last day they can order to have the items shipped to them in time for Christmas.
Even if your business doesn’t sell items to the public you will want to post any days your business will be closed the during the holiday season. This way your customers won’t be expecting emails or phone calls while your office is closed.
Decorate your Website
Get in the holiday spirit by adding some decorative holiday graphics. Dress up your site by adding new backgrounds, banners or fun fonts. Walmart Canada is already ready for the holidays.
Planning ahead will help take the stress out of your holiday season. If you need help getting your website ready for the holidays send me an email.