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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : May 01, 2017

Expert: Summer maintenance to prep for Black Friday

There are six months to go before the rush of holiday shopping hits, the time for retailers to prep is now. One expert outlines steps merchants should take each month of this summer to get ready for the winter rush.

by Kristina Knight

First, look to infrastructure and downtime. May and June are good times to look at how merchants websites are performing, and to perform routine maintenance to ensure that when shoppers arrive on-site in November, it is simple for them to search, shop, and buy.

"If you have major infrastructure or architecture upgrades to do, this is the time. Even if these features and technologies do not apply specifically to Black Friday efforts, you need to get them into play so you know how they affect the entire system," said Justin Barney, CEO, ScaleArc. "Review your infrastructure with an eye toward avoiding downtime from maintenance windows. This approach includes maintenance for adding new services. Because database load balancing software is transparent to the application layer, no application changes are required to scale, optimize, or add resiliency to new or existing applications and services."

Second, look to increase performance. According to Barney, July is the perfect time to begin testing site performance. Look for ways to handle tough Black Friday traffic loads, look at application performance, and find the areas that look to be a challenge. Then, find technology that solves those challenges.

Third, look to analytic and testing. Use the back-to-school mini-rush period as a time to test how a site is performing, and begin load testing.

"August is the time to stop making changes to your infrastructure. While most organizations have to occasionally accept last-minute updates beyond this point in time, most components should enter a freeze now," said Barney. "This time is also good for delving into analytics again to see where you have potential weaknesses in the system. Start applying load tests to see how all your infrastructure changes are holding up. Testing at high load now gives you time to address any issues you uncover."

More from Barney and ScaleArc later this week, including how merchants should approach the autumn months.

Tags: Black Friday tips, ecommerce, ecommerce tips, holiday shopping tips, ScaleArc

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