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How to prepare your eCommerce site for Black Friday 2021

21 September 2021 by Katie Lander

What you need to know and how to implement it

Black Friday is perhaps the biggest opportunity for retailers to gain new customers and make sales. In fact, the average person in the UK buys four products on Black Friday. But is your retail site ready to scale up to meet demand?

According to Google, users are 32% more likely to abandon a sale if it takes up to three seconds to load. It’s vital, therefore, that your eCommerce site provides them with a seamless shopping experience. 

In this blog we recap the three questions you need to ask yourself to ensure your eCommerce site is ready to meet demand this Black Friday 2021.

Can your website handle the traffic?

For most eCommerce websites, Black Friday will be the single busiest day of the year. That means the bandwidth and technology you use throughout the rest of the year might not be enough to sustain demand. To be prepared for the spike, there are a few things you can do:

  • Run site simulations: Running site simulations through load testing can help you predict how your site will respond to demand spikes, so you can iron out  performance issues before they happen. 

 

  • Optimise website performance: There are a number of steps you can take to improve your website traffic, such as reducing HTTP requests by minimising the number and size of website files, and streamlining your DNS protocol. 

 

  • Check bandwidth: Check with your IT team or hosting provider whether you can scale upwards your bandwidth if a rush in demand hits your site. If not, you may need to consider another solution or temporarily invest in extra bandwidth.

 

Is your security up to date?

For hackers and cyber attackers, Black Friday is always a popular target. In fact, recent figures suggest malware and ransomware attacks spike by as much as 63% on the day. For that reason, it’s important to secure your website and there are several ways you can do this.

  • Malware/Antivirus patches: Black Friday is a really vital time to make sure your malware and antivirus patches are up to date. You can do this by checking your applications, operating system and network hardware – or asking your security team. 

 

  • DDoS protection: eCommerce sites are common targets of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks, which can overwhelm and crash a website – a disaster on Black Friday. Check you have the right DDOS protection to protect yourself from attacks. 

 

  • Consider an audit: A thorough security audit is the best way to ensure you’re safe from attacks this Black Friday. Get in touch with your security team or managed security services provider to plan your audit and root out any vulnerabilities

 

Are you using the right solution?

To make sure you’re getting the right balance, and only paying for the web services you need – when you need them – it’s important to make sure your website/platform is hosted on the right platform. There are a few options you can consider: 

To check if your eCommerce site is ready to meet demand this Black Friday, access our Black Friday checklist/guide here.