Top E-Commerce and Site Optimization Tips for 2019
Total Retail recently released its 50 Best Retail Tips of 2018 report, featuring valuable insights from our e-newsletter (Total Retail Report) and website over the course of last year. The 50 best tips were chosen by Total Retail's editorial team, and they cover nearly facet of running a successful retail business in 2019 and beyond. As part of our coverage of this report, we'd like to share select tips with you. Today, we're revealing tips from the E-Commerce and Website Optimization categories. In addition to the tip itself, each source article will be linked so that you can enjoy the full-length articles.
If your e-commerce site is experiencing major unexpected traffic, and you don’t yet have a fully baked disaster recovery plan in place, don’t panic. A reliable short-term fix is caching. To cache effectively, start by identifying the pages that have the greatest influence on conversion and a low cache (activity storage) ratio. These pages should be prioritized to meet high traffic in the short term. Low-priority pages, images and anything else that will remain static should be immediately cached.
Manuel Alvarez, Akamai Technologies, “How Retailers Can Avoid a Website Outage Disaster,” Total Retail Report, Feb. 7
By creating scarcity with stock level messages such as “only five left in stock” or urgency with “20 people are also viewing this product,” consumers will be more compelled to add the item to their cart for the fear of losing out if they don’t act quickly.
Jay Radia, Yieldify, “3 Ways to Mirror Your In-Store Experience Online,” Total Retail Report, June 29
Build for recovery. Failures happen. They don’t determine success; your ability to react to failures is what does. Therefore, be able to react and fix quickly by building for recovery. Reuse test scripts to create monitors so you can debug and reproduce problems faster, reuse monitor scripts in test environments, monitor key user journeys, and build contextual error codes and alerts that help pinpoint where issues are coming from.
Saoirse Hinksmon, SmartBear, “4 Ways Retailers Can Benefit From Amazon’s Prime Day Outage,” Total Retail Report, July 19
Having a fast website is a vital foundation for driving sales. Therefore, retailers need to continually look at how to make their sites faster and more resilient.
- Caching really matters: If you give long cache lifetimes to static files that don’t change very often, visitors will be able to load them from their cache rather than from the site. This means there will be less pressure on the website’s systems.
- Page size matters: Smaller web pages load much faster than big ones.Retailers can reduce page sizes and speed up websites by optimizing images, minimizing text files and removing redundant content. Failure to do this increases the risk of the website slowing down.
- Content Delivery Network (CDN): CDNs make websites more resilient and can make sites faster by delivering content closer to the end user.This means websites have less work to do at peak times.
Antony Edwards, Eggplant, “How Retailers Can Optimize Their Sites for Peak Holiday Sales,” Total Retail Report, Oct. 16
To gain access to all 50 tips, which cover a variety of categories, including marketing, merchandising, inventory management, omnichannel, and others, download the full report today!
Related story: Total Retail's 50 Best Retail Tips of 2018