What Online Retailers Can Do to Prepare for Cyber Monday
Are you ready for Cyber Monday?
Online retailers across the country are gearing up for the biggest shopping day of the year, and if you’re not prepared, you could miss out on a lot of sales.
This article will discuss six ways online retailers can ensure their website is safe, secure, and ready for the onslaught of Cyber Monday shoppers.
1. Make sure your website is up and running properly.
Cyber Monday is one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, and online retailers must be prepared.
Making sure that your website is up and running properly is essential. Sluggish load times and crashed pages will frustrate customers and lead them to take their business elsewhere.
In addition, retailers need to ensure that their website’s security systems are up to date-and able to handle the influx of traffic.
We spoke with Kelsie Moak, Business Development Manager with Gulf South Technology Solutions, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based IT company. “We always recommend that retailers ensure their websites are running optimally prior to Cyber Monday,” Moak said. “This includes ensuring all of your systems are up to date and secure, as well as making sure the website is running properly.”
With so many people trying to access your site at once, it’s essential to have robust protection against data breaches and cyber-attacks. By taking these steps, retailers can ensure that their website is secure and ready to handle the influx of customers.
2. Secure your website with an SSL certificate
As the holiday shopping season approaches, online retailers are preparing for one of the busiest shopping days of the year: Cyber Monday.
According to the National Retail Federation, Cyber Monday is now the biggest online shopping day of the year, with sales predicted to reach $158 billion in 2022. With so much money at stake, it’s no wonder that cybercriminals are also ramping up their activity during this period.
“We always recommend that retailers secure their websites with an SSL certificate before Cyber Monday,” said Moak. “SSL certificates encrypt the data being sent between a website and its visitors, helping to protect personal information like credit card numbers, passwords, and other sensitive data.”
What is an SSL Certificate?
One of the best ways to protect your website and your customer’s data is to install an SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it is a protocol that provides communication security over the internet.
SSL certificates encrypt data transmitted between your website and your customers’ browsers, making it much more difficult for cybercriminals to intercept and steal information. In addition, SSL certificates also provide authentication, meaning you can be sure that your customers are communicating with your website and not a fraudster’s site.
How to Install an SSL Certificate
Installing an SSL certificate may seem daunting, but plenty of resources are available to help you get started.
Your web hosting provider or e-commerce platform may offer SSL certificates as part of their services, or you can purchase a certificate from a reputable Certificate Authority such as Symantec or GlobalSign.
“The most basic of certificates is usually enough to get the job done,” said Moak. “At the very least, you should be looking for an extended validation certificate that provides additional layers of security and customer trust.”
Whichever option you choose, make sure to get an SSL certificate before Cyber Monday and give your customers peace of mind when they shop on your site.
3. Double Check Your Site’s Security
Firewalls, malware scanners, and other security measures are essential for protecting your website from cyber-attacks. Before Cyber Monday, double-check these systems to ensure they are up to date-and functioning properly.
Firewalls are what protect your website from malicious traffic. Make sure that your firewall is configured correctly and updated regularly to ensure that it can keep attackers out.
Malware scanners are designed to detect malicious software on your website. Before Cyber Monday, run a scan of your website to make sure no hidden threats are lurking in the background.
4. Make Sure Your Servers are Ready
The influx of traffic on Cyber Monday can cause even the best servers to crash. Make sure your servers are up to date and able to handle the load by running stress tests before Cyber Monday arrives.
Even the best servers can be brought to their knees if the proper settings aren’t in place. Check your server’s PHP settings, such as memory limits and maximum execution times, to ensure they are correctly set.
RAM and CPU
Make sure your server has enough RAM and CPU to handle the increased traffic on Cyber Monday. If necessary, upgrade your hardware or rent additional servers to ensure your website remains up and running.
“We’ve seen instances where websites have been taken down due to server overload,” said Moak. “It’s essential that you do whatever it takes to make sure your servers are ready for the increase in traffic on Cyber Monday.”
5. Monitor Your Website Traffic
The best way to prepare for Cyber Monday is to monitor the traffic on your website throughout the holiday shopping season.
Using a web analytics tool such as Google Analytics, you can track how many visitors are coming to your site and where they are coming from. This data can help you identify any areas needing improvement to handle the increased load on Cyber Monday.
By monitoring your website traffic, you can make adjustments, if needed, before Cyber Monday arrives to ensure a successful shopping experience for your customers.
6. Test Your Payment Gateways
Payment gateways play a critical role in e-commerce, so it’s essential that they are secure and functioning correctly. Before Cyber Monday, test your payment gateways to ensure that customers can complete their purchases without issues.
This includes testing your gateways for security vulnerabilities and ensuring that all payment information is being transmitted securely. Additionally, check the user experience of your checkout process as well, making sure that it is easy and intuitive for customers to use.
“The last thing you want to do is have your customers frustrated by a slow or complicated checkout process,” said Moak. “Make sure it’s as easy and secure as possible for them to complete their purchases on Cyber Monday.”
By following these steps and preparing your website correctly before Cyber Monday, you can ensure that your website remains secure and functioning smoothly throughout the holiday shopping season. With a few simple steps, you can protect your customers’ data and provide them with a great online shopping experience.