Make sure you have the digital infrastructure in place to deal with modern Christmas shopping habits.Posted on 14 November 2017 -
Christmas shopping isn’t what it used to be. Indeed, even online Christmas shopping isn’t what it used to be.
Habits are changing and retailers who don’t put the infrastructure in place to meet expectations risk being left behind by customers.
Here are some modern Christmas shopping habits worth some consideration.
Strange as it seems now, ecommerce shopping used to follow traditional office hours, with usage building up around 8.30am, peaking in the middle of the day and ending at 6.15pm. The proliferation of mobile devices has changed that and people expect to shop at any time of day or night. It is important that website or server maintenance and updates do not disrupt shoppers.
Do some solid research to find out when you can perform maintenance while causing minimum disruption or, preferably, put in place a multi-server hosting infrastructure in which work can be performed on one server while the other(s) continue to provide seamless service to your customers.
As we mentioned above, today’s devices have really broadened the possibilities for the modern Christmas shopper. Desktops in the office (only at lunchtime, of course), laptops and tablets in front of the TV, and phones anytime and anywhere: people will sneak in a bit of Christmas shopping whenever they get chance or whenever they spot a good deal.
Any online retailer worth their salt has long since adopted responsive or mobile-first design to make sure their store looks and functions effectively on desktop, tablet and mobile. But it is worth making sure that the website also loads and performs to the desired standard across all devices.
Queues and crowds were an inevitable part of traditional Christmas shopping. Online, it’s not such a good look.
Optimizely reports that a four-second delay in page load results in the loss of 11.02% of pageviews. That emphasises the potential impact on your bottom line of having a website that doesn’t load fast enough for modern Christmas shopping habits.
There are lots of ways to improve page speed, including cleaning up your code, using a CDN and cache to deliver your website pages and making sure your hosting infrastructure is suitable for your requirements.
Buy yourself some crucial milliseconds by concentrating on ensuring everything above the fold loads at lightning speed. People will be more forgiving of items that are not immediately on their screen loading a bit slower. More page load speed tips.
Shopping in the sales used to be a post-Christmas activity. No more. Modern Christmas shopping is built around the behemoth that is Black Friday, as well as other sales and discounts instigated by individual retailers.
Prepare for the influx of traffic created by a pre-Christmas deal by keeping your web host in the loop about your planned marketing activities. That way they can prepare and monitor the situation closely while the promotion is running. More Black Friday site performance tips.
Online Christmas shopping allows us to buy from further afield than was previously the case. Maintain page load and site performance to as many of your customers as possible by hosting versions of your website in all key markets. This will improve user experience and reduce the strain on your servers. Learn more.