2020 has been hard to navigate. Stay-at-home orders, social-distancing, and occupancy limits have affected the way we work, shop, and live. But we’re quickly approaching the holidays and retailers are trying to navigate this new market.
In true 2020 fashion, this will look much different than holiday sales have in the past. Major retailers like Brooks Brothers and Pier 1 have filed for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Peloton and The Home Depot have been booming, with the need for at-home projects and at-home work outs.
The bulk of sales have been online. Digital Commerce 360 stated online sales were up 43% in September. Since the pandemic started in March people have buying everything from groceries, take-out, and tools online and in huge numbers.
With COVID numbers on the rise again leading into the holiday season, many stores are foregoing Black Friday and instead offering deals for prolonged periods of time. Wal-Mart and Target offered deals to rival Amazon Prime Day earlier in October. Meanwhile other stores like Home Depot are running deals for the next two-months.
With so many people shopping online there is a lot more at stake. Your user-experience is crucial. Site bottlenecks and slowdowns can easily frustrate customers who can choose to visit competitor’s sites that might offer a better experience. We already know that traffic spike’s 200% or more on a normal Black Friday and with the transition to online shopping during COVID, 2020 is a very important year to have your site buttoned up. Blue Triangle can help with your readiness plan. Here are a few tips for holiday preparedness:
The first thing to do is make sure your site is ready to handle peak traffic. Strongly consider running a load test to make sure you are ready to scale for the holidays. Being pro-active in resolving any site issues is extremely important before holiday sales ramp up.
Analyze areas where there are high bounce and exit rates in the customer journey. These drop-offs could be an indicator that something needs to change on the site. Blue Triangle can offer insight by visually mapping out the customer journey and finding where you’re losing customers.
It’s crucial to make the user experience easier for your customers to find what they need, view reviews, see cross-sells, and be able to make it through the check-out process unhindered. Monitoring the customer journey is a critical part of avoiding unwanted pitfalls in their journey.
Third-party tags are necessary for tracking and campaigns. Depending on where these tags load on your site, they could be slowing down the user-experience.
One way to resolve any site issues is to check for and resolve any long-running functions. What tags are on your site? Are they loading properly? Analyze the files and the load time to find anything that might be out of place.
Alerts are a critical part of performance and availability monitoring. Blue Triangle has extensive alerting capabilities for synthetic, real user monitoring, and API and SSL. Blue Triangle’s alerts are extremely flexible so your team can pin down what conditions are needed to be met, as well as who needs to be alerted via email or SMS.
Create custom reports that get delivered as often as you need. Blue Triangle has Real User and Synthetic reports which reflect business and performance. Receive updates directly to your inbox to track things like hourly performance, conversions over time, or broken links with our over 25 out-of-the-box reports.
The last thing you want to deal with during a period of high sales activity is a data breach. Therefore, we recommend implementing a CSP (Content Security Policy, ). CSP’s work to protect your site from data breaches caused by cross-site scripting (XSS) and formjacking attacks. A CSP also prevents client-side malware from injecting unwanted ads on your website.
CSP’s are hard to build and tough to manage, which is why Blue Triangle offers a CSP Manager. Quickly inventory your domains and use our portal to approve domains, then to automatically build and deploy your CSP.
For additional information about our CSP Manager visit why you need a CSP and how to implement with Blue Triangle.
What better way to monitor your site as sales go live than with live dashboards? Blue Triangle provides several built-in dashboards, as well as a full complement of customizable options. View our Digital Experience Overview to see a complete site roll-up to see how your core areas are performing.
Drill down into these core areas and see what metrics make up the score, and quickly track down any problem areas.
Follow campaigns to see how they are performing in real time. Drill down to see your customer journey, bounce and exit rates, and more. Set dashboards to auto refresh and track your metrics throughout the day.
We all know 2020 has thrown a lot of curveballs. One thing we are sure of is online traffic is up. So prepare your site to handle the holiday season, and then monitor site performance with Blue Triangle. Interested in learning more, we’d love to show you our portal.