How To Deal With Traffic Spikes of Ecommerce Store For Holiday Season

By October 26, 2019 November 15th, 2019 Web Hosting

The holiday season is just around the corner and it’s a golden opportunity for online businesses to boost their sales before 2020 begins. To give you a historical perspective, according to eMarketer, the total holiday retail spending in 2018 increased by 5.4% reaching $998.32 billion.  According to Statista, worldwide ecommerce sales will cross $4 trillion in sales by the year 2021.

These are some impressive numbers and it’s about time you optimize your online store for better profits during the holiday season 2019 and get your share of this pie. There are various aspects online entrepreneurs must focus on in order to scale their online business during the largest shopping extravaganza of the year.  In this article, I will highlight these common challenges so that you can overcome them before the holiday season officially begins.

Ecommerce Challenges During Holiday Season

Ecommerce store owner faces challenges during the holiday season, such as speed, storage, and server downtime that decrease the conversion at the time of the holiday season. These problems mainly occur due to unreliable hosting.  Let’s dive deeper.

Store Performance

It is a fact that you have 3-5 seconds to grab the attention of your visitors. If your store takes more than 5 seconds, most probably users will shut down your store and never visit again. You as a store owner have two options to improve the page load time of the website. Start by building lighter pages that comprise of optimized images, minified CSS/JavaScript lightweight themes. Second, choose a hosting solution that offers a Content Delivery Network (CDN) add-on.

CDN helps enhance page load time by rendering the website content from distributed nodes rather than requesting the main server. As a result, your store will load faster and you can have more chances of conversions.

Server Scalability

The second major issue for ecommerce store owners is server scalability. Most ecommerce hosting providers don’t provide server scalability feature and that’s because they either use a shared host or a dedicated server.  When it comes to server scalability, shared hosting isn’t a good choice, especially when your store has 1000s of SKUs. You as a store owner, can’t afford any server management issues during the peak of the holiday campaign. If you couldn’t manage to scale the size of your server, your users will experience the error message “Server Not Found”.

Store-Data Security

The third issue for ecommerce stores relates to customer and store data security. Online stores have sensitive data including customer profiles, credit card credentials, and bank account details.  You must ensure that all data on your online store is secure. This requires store level and hosting level security with IP Whitelisting and two-factor authentication (TFA). The Two-Factor Authentication is an additional security layer for your hosting account, keeping your server safe from any unauthorized access. IP Whitelisting allows you to create a whitelist of IPs, making it easy to collaborate with networks or regions with unrestricted access to SSH and SFTP.

The Solution – A Managed Cloud Hosting  We are on the same page now! The above-mentioned challenges mainly occur due to poor ecommerce hosting.

When it comes to managed cloud hosting, many online merchants prefer Cloudways hosting platform that offers fast, reliable and robust hosting for ecommerce websites.

It offers a user-friendly platform for managing your day-to-day server operations such as secure access to the server via SFTP and SSH, cron job management, on-demand server backup and much more. Let’s have a look at what other features Cloudways offers to manage the traffic spike during the holiday season.

Dedicated Server

Choosing a dedicated server for your holiday campaign season is a smart choice. It means that you get an entire server to your web application. There’s no sharing of CPU time, RAM or bandwidth, which means your website stays responsive at all times. The performance of the shared server is dependent on the traffic and the engagement of the users landing at your store. But this is not the case with the virtual dedicated server.

Using Cloudways dedicated server, you do not have to share bandwidth with other applications (WordPress, PHP, Magento, etc.). The dedicated servers are faster and capable enough to handle traffic surges.  Cloudways allows No label Studios, a white label web development agency, to get swift server management and enjoy features like website cloning, staging environment, team management & backups.

Server Scalability

Scaling server resources is an operational requirement that can make or break ecommerce stores during the holiday sales season. Cloudways has simplified the process of scaling server resources so that your store can leverage to generate more revenue during the holiday sales period. When you need to scale down, simply clone your server to a lower specification and you are done!

Server Scalability

Data Backup & Restore

Backups are the only way that helps to retrieve your previous data after any uncertain attacks.  Cloudways’ automated backup process allows you to backup a server and application at a preset frequency. Additionally, if you wish, you can also take on-demand backups. There is the option to store backups on the same server where you can easily download the file to external storage of your choice.

Data backup restore

Cloudways ThunderStack

Cloudways hosting stack is the backbone that supports and optimizes the performance of the server. It is a powerful combination of NGINX, Apache, PHP-FPM (PHP 7 is the default version for all servers). On top of that, application databases are also managed through MySQL/MariaDB (now the default DBMS), latest cache solutions such as Full Page Cache (FPC) for Magento 1.X stores and Varnish Cache for Magento 2.X stores.

Cloudways Thunderstack

Pay As You Go

Cloudways is light on the pocket. It means that you only have to pay for the resources that you have utilized. Just pick up your most suitable hosting plan and enjoy as low as $10 per month.

Pay As You Go

24/7 Active Support

Once your store is up and running, there might be a chance that your store runs into server management issues. In that case, don’t worry though, Cloudways technical support team is always available for you round the clock. Just Create a Ticket and leave the rest on Cloudways technical support team.

Support

CloudwaysCDN

CloudwaysCDN is a geographically distributed system that helps to reduce the page load time of the websites. This means, regardless of the distance between the visitor and the server, the page load speed remains steady.   In technical terms, CloudwaysCDN replicates your store and serves the visitor’s request from the nearest node. More importantly, it saves a lot of server resources and ensures that your visitors experience excellent page load speed.

CloudWaysCDN

It’s Time To Claim Why Cloudways Is a Better Solution

I tested the Magento store (installing sample data) performance by using two tools. First, with the help of Pingdom, a free tool to test website performance. Second, by executing CLI commands of the ab – Apache server benchmarking tool.

Pingdom

The result based on various metrics such as performance grade, page size and load time which is quite tremendous with Cloudways Magento Hosting.

Pingdom

Ab Apache

Apache

Summing Up!

With the overwhelming global ecommerce growth, assure that you plan well ahead for your holiday season. Cloudways ensures the growth of your ecommerce store by taking care of all your web hosting challenges. Give your ecommerce store the speed it deserves, so you can beat all your previous records. Take a quick look at all the available plans and get your hands on the best ecommerce hosting solution.  If you think I’ve missed out on any important tips, do let me know in the comment section below.