First and foremost, Christmas is not here yet. We have two more months before we have to sit down with our most annoying relatives. Phew.
But, if you’re in retail, you’ll know how important the next two months are. The next two months pay for the rest of the year. If they go well, you’ll be in great stead for 2018. If they go badly, you might get your P45 in your Christmas card.
If you have physical stores, you might be advertising temporary vacancies to help cope with the rush. Good thinking, Batman.
Your online store might not have the capacity it needs.
There are four factors that influence the capacity of your online store:
- The number of people who visit your website
- How they interact with your website
- Your online store’s coding
- The servers that host your online store
If you use Google Analytics, (1) and (2) are really easy to find so you should definitely do this now.
Log in and select your store and go to Audience > Overview.
Drop down under Overview. You’ll probably see Sessions selected. Choose Pageviews.
On the right hand side, choose Hourly.
Then, hover over the graph and you’ll see the number of pageviews per hour.
Select your busiest period. This might be your Black Friday or Christmas sale from last year. Find the busiest hour or the busiest day.
To make the maths easy, let’s say there were 36,000 pageviews in that hour. There are 3600 second in an hour, so divide that number by 3600 to get your pageviews per second. In our example, we arrived at 100.
We then need to adjust this number for your projections this year. If you’re spending more on advertising this year, you might want to add 20%. If you’re spending less, you might want to subtract 20%. It’s better to overshoot than to undershoot, though, and it’s worth adding a buffer in case your estimate is a bit out.
The number you arrived at is the number of pageviews per second that your store and hosting need to be able to accommodate so your Christmas card contains an awful joke and not a P45 (I’m not selling this well, am I?)
Armed with your pageviews per second, your developer and hosting company (or Coherent… just sayin’) will be able to run tests to determine if you’re already in good stead or if you need to make changes so your online store doesn’t fall flat when you most need it up and running.