E-Commerce Security: Keep Your Website Up this Holiday Season

e-commerce securityFor many companies, the holidays are the busiest time of year. 74% of retailers say that they make 20% of their annual sales each December.

Now, that’s a reason to be merry! But a lack of e-commerce security could put your company at risk.

But, let’s take a step back for a second. BecauseĀ a lack of e-commerce security could put your company at risk.

While your site may run fine the rest of the year, the increased traffic around the holiday season causes many unprepared retailers to experience crashes. These crashes are caused because too many users are trying to access your database at once. Since it can’t handle all these requests, it crashes.

Any downtime on your website means that customers will go looking elsewhere. They’re busy and trying to get all the gifts they need in time for the holidays. They won’t wait around for your site to come back online. This is why small companies lose more revenue because of IT issues than any other sector.

While essential to be informed if your site goes down, in the best case scenario, it won’t go down at all.

So how do you keep your site from crashing and ensure that even if it does, it gets back up in no time? Read on to find out.

Read on to find out.

Prepare For Increased Traffic Through Scalability

Gone are the days when companies would buy excess server space that would sit unused most of the year, just to be prepared for December spikes.

To avoid this massive expense while still ensuring you’ve got the extra capacity when you need it, look for a web hosting service that provides a flexible, cloud-based plan.

This way, you can increase your plan’s capacity just for when it’s necessary, and go back to regular levels throughout the year. You only have to pay for what you need, but you still get the security of knowing that your website will be prepared for the incoming flood of holiday shoppers.

You only have to pay for what you need, but you still get the security of knowing that your website will be prepared for the incoming flood of holiday shoppers.

Even Traffic Distribution Through a Load Balancer

Related to scalability, load balancing helps spread out the traffic coming to your site across multiple servers, reducing the chance of a crash.

Even if one of the servers fails, your website won’t go down. Instead, your traffic will be distributed across the remaining servers until the crashed one can be repaired. This is a valuable redundancy that decreases the chances of crashing.

In addition to providing e-commerce security and ensuring your website stays up and running throughout high traffic, load balancing also reduces overall latency for site visitors. This is great news for the busy holiday shopping season!

Session Persistence is a Must Have for E-Commerce Security

The only thing you need to worry about is ensuring that your provider for your load balancer ensures session persistence. When a shopper is filling their online cart, the information about their selections is stored in their browser until they move to the purchase page.

If the load balancer changes which server is handling a shopper’s request partway through their purchase, it can lead to errors and failed transactions.

Session persistence means that a user’s entire shopping session is handled by a single server. As long as your load balance provider guarantees session persistence, you won’t have to worry about any purchasing issues. You can rest easy knowing your shoppers’ purchases will remain secure.

Load balancers can be provided by your hosting service provider.

Content Delivery Network

A content delivery network (CDN) can prevent crashing as well as increase your website’s speed. This is highly important considering 51% of online shoppers say that slow speeds are the number one reason they abandon a purchase online.

This option makes use of pulling and caching content from your server and distributing it to secure servers all over the world. When a shopper accesses your site, their computer will pull the information from the server nearest to them. This reduces the overall stress on your server and increases the efficiency of your system.

A content delivery network system shifts the burden of your traffic load from your own server to the CDN’s network.

This is an especially good option if your business plans on selling internationally. Your customers will have a good online experience whether they’re in New York, Paris, or Tokyo.

Use caution with this option. Some content delivery network services don’t manage dynamic content very well. If your website uses a good deal of dynamic content, make sure that your provider will accommodate your website properly; otherwise, your shoppers won’t get the full benefit.

Making Sure Your E-Commerce Security Solution is Working

Once you’ve selected a way to manage spiking traffic around the holiday season, you must monitor your website’s performance to ensure that everything is working as well as you would hope.

This means being constantly vigilant for site outages and crashes. For example, if you scaled up your website plan to account for additional traffic but visitors exceeded your expectations, your website could still go down.

That’s why many companies use a website monitoring service. A monitoring service will let you know the moment your website crashes so you can fix it immediately. Remember, you can lose about 8% of your daily sales for every hour that your website is down. This is even worse if your website goes down during peak shopping hours.

Knowing the moment your website goes down means you can reduce downtime and reduce the amount of lost revenue by getting it up and running again as fast as possible.

You can also use statistics gathering about your uptime and downtime. By getting hard data about your website’s performance, you can improve on your crash-prevention solutions. For example, if you notice your website is still going down at certain times, you can increase your data plan or speak to your hosting service.

By bringing them useful data, you can determine a solution that provides what you actually need, instead of just springing for larger, more expensive plans.

(Gift) Wrapping Up

Now that you know what solutions are out there, you can upgrade your website to avoid any costly outages during the holiday season.

Whether you go with a load balancer, a scaled-up cloud plan, or a content delivery network, always make sure to monitor your website’s performance and watch for outages.

By keeping your website up and running, you will ensure a magical shopping season for you and your customers alike!