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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Scale Up for Christmas

7 December 2012 by Alice Cullen

Online Christmas shoppingChristmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. More importantly, the peak season for e-commerce is already upon us. With an expected 22% rise in online shopping this festive season, is your business to ready to cope with the increase in web traffic?

God Rest Ye Merry High Street

Once upon a time, during the season of goodwill, we went to the grocers for our sprouts, the butchers for our turkey and the toyshop for our gifts. Fast forward 100 years and we can order our gifts on our tablet, our groceries on our phone and send e-cards on our laptops. We used to queue outside stores for last minute Christmas sales – now we get online. We used to jostle fellow customers in busy stores and race around crowded car parks for that last remaining space. Now we are creating traffic of an entirely different nature.

A report published by technology consultancy Capgemini at the beginning of 2012 revealed that shoppers spent almost £8bn online in December 2011, a considerable increase of 16% from 2010 and a direct contrast to the struggle experienced by most high street retailers during the same period.

The 6th annual Online Future Shopping Index published by digital analytics consultancy Logan Tod & Co makes some interesting predictions for Christmas 2012, expecting that 26% of online shoppers will spend up to 22% more this year than last.

Highlighting the phenomenal success of m-commerce, 14% of respondents shopped on iPads and tablets and 15% on smartphones. Collectively these statistics paint a sparkling picture of the future with multichannel retailing more important than ever. E-commerce customers must be ready for the predicted traffic increases of the festive period. Your business needs to be scalable, flexible, fast and secure to capitalise.

Dash Away!

No need to let your website become one of your worries this festive season. UKFast has the perfect flexible yet strong solutions for your business. Increased page load speeds, Magento optimisation, scalable cloud solutions – we’ve got it all wrapped up.

Faster Than Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen

UKFast has worked with Jones Bootmaker since 2007, providing hosting for its online retail offering. Jones Bootmaker approached UKFast in 2011 with questions about the company website’s ability to cope with the Christmas and January sales rush. The retailer was expecting high levels of traffic to its web store and wanted to be sure of maximum sales conversions. That meant a fast, stable connection was essential to ensure customers could navigate the site and find the shoes they were searching for quickly.

UKFast implemented a Webcelerator solution to allow the home page to maintain its loading speed, even when thousands of eager Christmas shoppers descend in search of bargains.

With the help of UKFast and its Webcelerator technology, Jones Bootmaker experienced record sales in December 2011 and January 2012.

Highlights included:

  • Sales increase of 40%
  • Orders accounting for almost 10% of annual online turnover in just one week
  • Traffic up 27%
  • Volume of orders placed up 30%
  • Order/traffic conversion ratio increased by 6% year-on-year.

E-commerce manager for Jones Bootmaker, Steven King, said: “Over the years that UKFast and Jones Bootmaker have worked together, close relationships have been formed. Whilst this makes business pleasurable it is also very helpful as the UKFast team have a strong understanding of our platform and requirements.

“UKFast recommended the use of Webcelerators to allow for the growth, speed and performance required. These were implemented with ease and at a cost effective price, and provided results far greater than our expectations.”

Designed by our in-house research and development team, the Webcelerator sits in front of your existing solution to accelerate your website and consolidate the work of several servers.

Webcelerator is just one of the ways that we can help you to spread your Christmas cheer this festive period and bring goodwill to all your customers.

Are your prepared for Christmas? Can your site handle the stress of increased traffic ? Or do you simply not know what it can handle? Website traffic research has proved invaluable to firms across the world Knowing your site’s capabilities ensures that you never have to compromise on customer experience even at peak times like Christmas. The age old cliche rings true – fail to plan or plan to fail.

Our award-winning research and development team is currently rolling out a service to test the strength and limit of your website so you can act proactively, gaining an edge over your competition.

As a valued customer we’re offering you the chance to test your limits completely free of charge, you will receive a standard report highlighting the key metrics of your website (usually £300). If you need more detail, we also offer a comprehensive package, providing a full in-depth report and recommendations for your site. Just simply ask your account manager for more details.

Merry Trading!