Now, what are you doing to get your Web site ready for Black Friday 2011?
While this may be a shocking slap in the face, it is a very realistic one. If you take what happened today, and what you think may happen over the next 4 weeks, what will your organization really need to be ready for next year - same time, same place?
You were thinking about that as you got ready for this year, right?
Well, it's never too early to start planning. Here are some items you should be putting on your January 1 2011 wish-list.
- Better Web monitoring. What did you get caught without any insight into this year? Where do you need to get more information? Inside or outside the firewall? Third-party components? What surprised you this year?
- Earlier load testing. Is it less stressful to test your capacity and focus your optimization efforts in Q1 2011 or in October 2011? The advanced customers we work with start running their load tests in April, not September. How much change can you make to your systems by the time you discover a problem in September?
- Real-world inputs and projected growth. When you take your analytics data and project your growth for next year, are you factoring in macro-economic inputs? No, I'm not an economist, but if the economy isn't projected to grow as fast, aim your projected growth for the middle of the range for testing, not for the top-end.
- Test capacity to the maximum. No, this is not mutually exclusive of the previous item. When you test your capacity, you want to make sure that you know exactly how much growth it can take. Even if growth is not projected to break it this year (and you can prove this with load testing), how about in 2012?
- Mobile Commerce Readiness. Mobile is the latest buzzword. But do you have a real plan to handle a rush of people checking your prices from other stores on Black Friday? And if they want to buy it right there, can they? Mobile is not a separate silo; All sales channels make you money, so stop treating them differently. If you are going mobile, do it with a plan that scales with sales.
Whatever you do, don't rest on your laurels (or bed of broken glass, depending on how your day went). Have a plan. Write it down. Set some deadlines.
Give yourself a head start.
Black Friday 2011 is only 364 days away.