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Prepare for Heavy Loads this Holiday Season
By: Terri Wells
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    Table of Contents:
  • Prepare for Heavy Loads this Holiday Season
  • The Three Types of Downtime
  • The Worst Type of Downtime
  • Minimizing the Damage

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    Prepare for Heavy Loads this Holiday Season

    (Page 1 of 4 )

    This year's holiday season looks like it will be a heavier time for shopping than last year's for online shopping. The problem is, most websites and web hosts can only handle so much traffic. How can you minimize potential problems?

    When e-commerce and online shopping were still new phenomena, many people held off from taking advantage of this convenient way to handle their holiday purchases. Even those who shopped for their friends and family through catalogs felt somewhat concerned about security and privacy issues. They may even have felt vindicated when they heard stories about hackers breaking into the databases of online retailers and exposing the confidential information belonging to thousands of customers.

    E-commerce is no longer new, however, and if familiarity doesn’t breed contempt, it certainly breeds decreased concern. That can be seen from the results of two surveys conducted recently about online shopping plans for the holiday season. While the combined surveys represent a sampling of only 3000 adults, any wise owner of a retail website will want to pay attention to the results. That goes double for the web hosting companies responsible for maintaining the uptime of these websites.

    Yahoo! Small Business conducted a survey that polled more than 1800 adults across the United States. Of the adults polled, more than eight out of ten (83 percent) said that they planned to shop for holiday gifts online. A similar number said that they planned to purchase gifts online from small businesses. Nearly a third plan to do half or more of their holiday shopping online.

    Online marketing and sales firm TradeDoubler polled adults in Europe about their holiday shopping plans, and came up with similar results. More than half of Europeans plan to do at least a quarter of their holiday shopping online this year. The numbers for the United Kingdom are closer to the numbers for the United States, with 80 percent planning to do at least a quarter of their holiday shopping online. As with the numbers for the United States, these show a rise over the previous year.

    The youngest group of shoppers from the UK (18 to 24 year olds) all plan to do at least a quarter of their holiday shopping online. Some will do all of their holiday shopping online. Add that into numbers from the U.S. poll suggesting that a large majority of holiday shoppers like small online retailers for the unique, distinctive gifts they offer, and suddenly a huge Internet traffic spike looms on the horizon. This is not the time to look like a reindeer staring into headlights; this is the time to do your best to make sure that you and your customers celebrate the happiest holidays ever. But that will take some work and preparation.

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