Online entrepreneurs! It’s that time of the year where you all thrive to break your own sales records. The Holiday Season is the highest converting quarter for any online business, but with great sales comes great responsibility.
It’s about time you start optimizing your online stores for the holiday season traffic spikes and skyrocket your conversions during the holiday season 2019.
An Overview of the Holiday Spending Statistics
According to eMarketer, the total holiday retail spending in 2018 increased by 5.4% reaching $998.32 billion. Traditional brick-and-mortar retail also showed significant growth in sales with a 3.9% rise reaching up to $874.42 billion whereas the e-commerce industry grew 16.7% reaching up to $123.90 billion during the holiday season.
Additionally, Statista predicts a whopping increase in worldwide e-commerce sales reaching up to $4.5 trillion by the year 2021. With such impressive numbers, we must ensure our online stores offer a smooth customer experience so that we can make the best out of the holiday season.
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Online Store Challenges during Holiday Season
There are a number of challenges online businesses face, especially during the holiday sales season. For instance, page speed issues, storage restrictions, lack of connectivity, server downtime and most importantly, out-of-control web traffic.
These challenges are mainly due to poor e-commerce hosting. A high traffic spike during the holiday season gives birth to three major challenges that can strongly damage your business: Speed, Security, and Scalability.
It is a fact that if a webpage doesn’t load in under three seconds, the visitor will leave the website. This brings us to an important question: How can eCommerce store owners improve the load time on their websites?
Improving page speed isn’t directly in the hands of online business owners. They can make the page lighter by compressing the visuals so that it can load fast. However, if the server is far away from the location of the user, or it doesn’t have a cache in place, the website will still load slowly.
According to Kissmetrics, 73% of cell phone users encounter eCommerce websites that load slowly. Meanwhile, 38% of them said that they encounter websites that don’t load at all.
Needless to say, if your website is down, 100% of your visitors will turn away. It’s like locking the door to your e-commerce store. Now, why would you want to do that, especially during the most converting quarter of the year?
Moreover, studies show that online visitors will switch to a competitor’s website if your website fails to load quickly. Keeping this in focus, a higher bounce rate can prove to be extremely harmful to your online business.
Another major issue for e-commerce store owners relates to web security. Online stores have sensitive data comprising of customer profiles, credit card credentials, and bank account details.
With a large number of online prospects providing such sensitive information while purchasing from your online store during the holiday season, it becomes your responsibility to ensure their data isn’t at risk.
To define a basic but effective security approach, online entrepreneurs must ensure store level as well as web host-level security with AES encryption and two-factor authentication (TFA). Your online store’s security is not only essential for your business but it’s also important for the protection of your customers’ valuable data.
Another crucial issue for eCommerce stores is the scalability of their online store, particularly for the holiday season with high traffic spikes. Most e-commerce stores are not scalable and that’s because they are either on a shared host or a dedicated server. When they run out of bandwidth, their online stores shut down, and all their promotions go in vain.
Surprisingly, this isn’t a rare occurrence. As a matter of fact, many online businesses run out of bandwidth on special occasions, promotional days, and needless to mention, during the holiday sales season. The reason being, their web stores are not scalable. They lack the resources that can provide their customers with a seamless customer journey.
The Ideal Solution – A Reliable Ecommerce Cloud Hosting
You cannot imagine the significance of a reliable e-commerce hosting provider in today’s competitive business world. The e-commerce industry is making progress by leaps and bounds and your online business must have an efficient online presence in order to match global competition.
Ecommerce hosting is essential to your online business as it greatly contributes to your business’ efficiency. A good e-commerce hosting must be able to facilitate an arsenal of features that help your business grab the attention of your online prospects.
Consumers today have embraced the internet for purchasing goods, and your online business is far better off when your customers are able to enjoy a seamless online shopping experience. Therefore, it is significant that you must host your web store on a reliable eCommerce hosting service and accomplish your business goals with ease. Even if you have to pay for additional premium features, it will contribute to making the customers’ shopping experience better.
In case if you’re still wondering, why a cloud hosting solution is the best answer to your e-commerce hosting concerns, following are the few reasons:
- A cloud hosting service is fast and not limited to a single server like other hosts.
- Cloud hosting offers online business scalability like none other.
- Shared hosting will only offer two to three different domains at one time. However, a cloud server can offer unlimited domains that you can point to a single server.
- You can also virtually manage your server or hire a managed host to do it for you.
- It offers data backup and recovery solutions that many web hosting companies do not offer.
- The biggest advantage of a managed e-commerce hosting is that you only pay for the resources you consume. This means you don’t have to pay hefty charges for a single website. No more paying for the downtime. Turn the server off and you are done!
Cloudways – The Perfect Managed Ecommerce Cloud Hosting For Your Online Business
Cloudways is a leading managed cloud hosting provider that offers seamless cloud management services by popular infrastructures like Digital Ocean, Vultr, Linode, Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Engine.
It’s an ideal solution for every entrepreneur who lacks the technical skills required to manage a server effectively as it manages all server related technicalities for you. With it 1-click solutions, you can have the peace of mind you’ve been craving while continuing to do what you do best.
Some of the many worth-mentioning features of Cloudways include:
Cloudways ensures your online store loads in under one second. Yes, you read that right! It doesn’t matter whether your online business is on WooCommerce or Magento, you can see promising results every time.
Although many web hosts assure you 99% uptime for your websites, many times they are unable to keep their promise, whereas the servers of Cloudways are rarely down, and they work very hard to ensure they keep their promise of providing your website great uptime every time.
Most of the e-commerce websites need scaling because whenever an important promotional event occurs, they run out of server bandwidth. That’s where a managed cloud hosting like Cloudways assists greatly. It offers one-click scaling solutions for memory, bandwidth, and storage.
The security of an e-commerce website depends on the web hosting service. Most shared hosting services don’t even offer an SSL certificate or CDN (Content Delivery Network) service. But with Cloudways, you will not only get a free SSL certificate to secure your online business, but you will also enjoy 24/7 server monitoring and support, Cloudways CDN, SSH & SFTP, consistent backups, and much more.
#5 Expert Support
We all know that the best web hosting for ecommerce service always offers 24/7 dedicated expert customer support with email, telephone, and live chat facility. Cloudways offers all types of support alongside constant server monitoring and notifications through its cloud bot.
#6 Automated & Managed Backups
What if you accidentally delete something from your website? What if somebody hacks your website? Most web hosting services don’t offer automatic backups. Even if they do, they don’t allow users to set their own frequencies. Meanwhile, Cloudways conveniently lets you set your own frequencies of automatic website backups so your data is always safe.
#7 Pay-As-You-Go Pricing Model
Here’s the silver lining. Where most people pay more or less around $20 to $25 per month for a reliable web hosting service, you can host multiple websites on Cloudways platform for as low as $10 per month.
The cherry on the top, you only have to pay for the resources you consume. Their pricing plans is a jackpot for people who run multiple dropshipping or e-commerce stores.
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Ecommerce hosting plays a vital role in the success of your online business. It’s not only responsible for your profits, but also for safeguarding important data. Your customers put their trust in your brand and expect no harm in return, whether it be in the form of damaged products or leaks of sensitive information.
The holiday season is high time when web traffic increases exceptionally. As an entrepreneur, you must ensure that your e-commerce hosting provider is reliable enough to cater to your business needs when traffic spikes come into play. It must ensure that you’re neither out of resources when needed, nor face downtime during the largest online shopping sales season of the year.
Hence, the success of any e-commerce business relies heavily on the capability of its hosting service. Risking all your efforts to save petty amounts by acquiring cheap hosting services is never a wise call. Instead, plan and state your requirements accordingly. A reliable e-commerce hosting solution will be there for you, and help grow your online business with minimum effort.