‘Tis the season to be jolly!
So Christmas is upon us once again, and already we are being influenced by the Christmas spirit with numerous adverts on TV, Radio and the Internet.
And whilst we all may dread how quickly the Christmas season comes round the corner, for businesses Christmas is a crucial time of year.
It can be the biggest grossing time of year, particularly for the retail sector. For many businesses it is also a flagship for dictating how the next year is going to look; a bad taking in the Christmas period can lead to a very lean year ahead. For this reason the Christmas spend is closely watched by everyone in the business world, from the government to the economists.
The Power of online shopping
The last five years have seen a dramatic change in the way consumers spend their Christmas money. Online shopping has taken a dramatic rise, with a 20% rise year-on-year seen in online retail, driven by the increasing number of purchases made from mobile devices such as iPad’s and smartphones. More and more consumers are favouring the added convenience of ordering from the warmth and comforts of their own home rather than braving the cold and crowded streets of high-street retail outlets. As Tesco’s Marketing Director, Andrew Mile, states, ‘The appeal of online shopping is broad and across all affluence groups. Growth is being generated by the less affluent because online provides a great way to manage a budget and avoid general merchandise”.
These buying trends are of great benefit to any business which has a strong online presence, though it does also highlight an expensive challenge with businesses that rely on servers and systems. The more traffic to a website means more RAM and CPU power is required to match the demand.
There is nothing worse than a slow website!
A slow and congested site can be very off-putting for consumers who will simply look elsewhere if pages are taking too long to load. Having a large number of simultaneous connections is often teh primary culprit, but also third-party plugins (such as Live chat etc) or security and verification seals can be one of several causes for a slow-loading and congested website. Therefore it is important to make sure your site has the server resource to cope with the strain of demand.
Coping with demand throughout the year
Coping with demand or an increase in service activity to your website can be tough. Peak periods can come at other times of the year too, for example spikes in demand could occur around Valentine’s day or Mothers day if you are n online florist, or they could occur around the time of a new product launch, as a result of advertising campaigns.
Flexible cloud hosting
Managed cloud servers are inherently dynamic. They only require you to pay for the resources that are required at the time. Thus for the other 11 months of the year you are able to run a more basic setting and then only increase it as and when it is required.
Secondly, a decent cloud server setup will run a dedicated monitoring application, which constantly monitors the system and will notify you (or the development team) if it thinks the server traffic is increasing, and that your system would benefit from an upgrade. This means that your website should no longer struggle for resources to support demand at any time of the year, even Christmas. What’s more, as your business begins to grow, then your system will expand accordingly to meet the demand that increased server traffic puts on it.
If you would like to find out more about how a managed cloud server can benefit your Magento e-commerce website, then please do not hesitate to give one of our team a call on 0117 205 0425.
If you’re interested in working with Newicon on your next digital project, get in touch now.