This year, U.S. shoppers are expected to shell out nearly $120 billion via online shopping during the holiday season, an increase of more than 15 percent since last year.
With this kind of profit on the line — and with the holiday season fast approaching — now is the time for businesses to prepare for increased web traffic by looking to solutions like data analytics to forecast web traffic and simplify customers’ overall brand experience.
Analyze and Forecast
The first strategy to consider when preparing for increased web traffic is to analyze data from previous months and years in order to predict when spikes in web traffic will occur. By pinpointing when you can expect spikes in traffic, you’ll know when to implement preemptive or counteractive measures.
For example, you could evaluate analytics from October through January of the previous year and then isolate this data to try to gain a glimpse of the big picture of last year’s holiday season. After isolating the data, you then get to play detective by looking for causal relationships linked to traffic boosts and will be better able to answer the following:
- Did a spike in December web traffic have any correlation to the email marketing campaign you started the month before?
- Did a blog post or social media blitz precede a traffic boost in November?
This data will not only help you identify when to anticipate heavy web traffic, but it will also give you an idea of which of your marketing efforts from the previous year were successful in steering more traffic to your website.
Hybrid Cloud Bursting
The great promise of cloud technology is the efficiency it can bring to businesses. But with businesses relying more and more on this technology for various business needs, it makes sense to ensure these data outputs are safeguarded. Looking for ways to avoid embarrassing and costly downtime? Then cloud bursting may be a solution you should investigate.
In essence, cloud bursting allows an organization to rent additional storage and compute resources on-demand by redirecting online applications from private cloud servers to public cloud servers when the private ones become overburdened. When these applications are in high use, they “burst” from the private to the public cloud to prevent any interruption.
Normally, companies utilize cloud bursting on a rental basis, allowing them more computing and storage space temporarily based on demand. These organizations then prevent expensive and inconvenient downtime, as well as save money, by not paying for the service yearlong when they only need it for a short time period, like the upcoming holiday season.
Simplify the Customer Experience
This strategy is based on simple logic. The quicker and more efficiently you serve your customers, the faster you will be able to answer their questions and resolve their issues. A solid example of this put into practice is the adoption of a call center in the cloud service, which can help simplify and improve the customer service experience during the busy holiday season.
Interactive voice response systems allow customers to retrieve information, like an order status, product details and FAQS from any phone. These features provide various self-service options for users to select from in order to more quickly resolve an issue on their own.
Additionally, this technology is used to place outbound calls in order to deliver information to customers, including shipping and tracking information; upcoming appointment, payment or service reminders; and other time-sensitive information.
Prep for Increased Web Traffic by Streamlining Customer Service
This holiday season, prepping for increased web traffic means predicting when it will come, utilizing resources like cloud bursting, and employing features that will streamline customer service. By doing so, instead of sending your customers the message that “this website is unavailable or down for maintenance,” your company can proclaim “Let the festivities begin!”