Improve user experience on your ecommerce site during the Holiday Season
We’ve spoken a lot about the importance of speed for your website and why it’s especially crucial for ecommerce sites going into the holiday season. Many studies have shown that improved web performance leads to more pages viewed, more products viewed, and most importantly, increased cart conversions and revenue. A new study by Google found that over 50% of mobile users will abandon a website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds, which is increasingly important as over 30% of ecommerce sales are now via mobile commerce. Less has been discussed around web performance’s cousin, website scalability, which is equally important, especially during a time of increased visits to your ecommerce site.
Website scalability is the ability for a website to handle both steadily increasing amounts of traffic (such as when running an ongoing ad campaign) and sudden bursts of traffic that may occur during sales or the holiday rush. Having a website which doesn’t scale well would mean all those potential customers encounter a slow website, or even worse, can’t connect to your site at all, at exactly the time when you’re trying to take advantage of the increased traffic. If you’re investing time and money in bringing customers to your ecommerce site, you need to ensure the site stays up and fast so they don’t immediately leave the site or abandon their cart before completing a purchase. During the holidays, there’s a chance for you to see a sizable uptick in customers and conversions, and a website that doesn’t scale to meet the demands of additional shoppers will result in lost revenue. In addition, if you invest now in a well-performing, scalable website for the holidays, your users will have a good experience on your site are more likely to become regular shoppers down the line.
Website scalability is closely linked to these factors:
Effective use of caching : Having a properly installed and configured caching solution is key to a scalable website. Magento, a leading ecommerce platform, now strongly recommends merchants utilize Varnish Cache, an open-source caching solution that can be installed on any website. Varnish Cache or another similar tool will reduce the number of requests that go back to your web server by serving users with copies of your website directly from the cache server. This both increases scalability and reduces your server costs at the same time, what we like to consider a win-win situation in the land of ecommerce sites!
Effective use of a CDN : Utilizing a Content Delivery Network that includes a caching solution will further improve your website scalability, by hosting a caching solution on a network of globally distributed servers. This means that an increase in website traffic can be absorbed by a combination of cached content and servers that are closer to your customers.
Hosting and server options : If you manage your own hosting we recommend you use the “N+1” hosting method, which means you have N number of servers to handle your regular workload plus one extra server in case you see a drastic increase in traffic or one of your servers goes down.
Looking for a quick way to improve website scalability before an influx of shoppers? section.io is a website performance, scalability, and security solution that is easy to install and configure, meaning you can sign up now and take full advantage of improved user experience for the holiday shopping season. In addition, we have a no-commitment plan which allows you to try our solution just for a few months. Try a free 14 day free trial of our website enhancement tools, or with more questions about how to improve user experience on your ecommerce site.