Every e-commerce site is gearing up for the holiday rush. Whether they’re doing Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or just expecting a steady rise in traffic those first few weeks of December, each site is preparing for the influx of visitors, and, hopefully, sales.
HubSpot just recently had a great article listing 17 ways e-commerce sites can prepare for the holiday season, but what can you, as a web host, do to support your customers? As they gear up for sales, what can you do to make sure they have everything they need?
We have 5 tips for hosts to make certain their customers are all ready for the holiday season.
Make sure they have enough bandwidth
If you’ve set bandwidth limits on your customers, now is the time to review them and make sure they’ll have enough for the upcoming traffic. Nothing stops a sale colder than not being able to access a site, and if you want your customers to have a profitable business, you’ll need to make sure their sites are up.
One option is to, during the holiday season, set all bandwidth levels to “unlimited”. Switch it back after the holiday season, and consider it a holiday treat for all your loyal customers.
Double-check their site speed
If you’re responsible for making sure their e-commerce software is running, run it through tests to make certain that the response speed is up to par. Nearly half of all web users expect a site to load in two seconds or less, and you need to make sure that their sites hit that target.
If you don’t run the software, but you have their site on a server you control, see what processes are running and see what you can streamline and clean up in order to make sure that each site runs quickly and easily.
Ensure you have backups
Check your backup services, and make certain they’re not just working, but that they’re keeping good quality backups of the data. Also make certain that your customers are aware of exactly how the backups work and what they can expect – not only will it reassure them that you’re taking care of them, it’ll also make it easier if something does happen.
And even if you don’t offer your customers a backup service, think about setting up a few backups this season. If a site goes down, your customer will be frantic, and being able to quickly and easily save the day can pay off.
Keep your support lines covered
It always happens at the end of the year. Suddenly, every team member remembers they have holiday to take, or that office cold strikes. It can be difficult to make sure everything is covered. But this is the prime time that your customers are going to need your support, so make that the main priority in the office.
If you have a dedicated support team, make certain they have cover in case of any gaps. If you have response time targets, try to stick to them as closely as possible. And if the office is going to be closed at any point, let your customers know exactly when that is going to be and for how long.
Keep track of all traffic
Absolutely keep track of all the traffic generated during this period, including visitors, bandwidth, emails sent, as much as you can. While it won’t be an obvious and immediate support, it means that, during the doldrums of February, you and your clients can review the previous holiday season and build in what they need for the next season.
This is your chance to upsell, and having the cold hard data behind you will definitely help.
How do you support your customers during this season? Or, if you run an e-commerce site, what would you like your webhost to do during this period?