One in three retail businesses ‘not ready for golden quarter traffic’

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The ‘golden quarter’ (October – December) is fast approaching, but many retail businesses are not actually ready for the onset of increased website traffic this usually brings, according to new research.

A survey of 1,021 UK workers carried out by digital marketing agency, MarketingSignals.com, revealed that more than one in three retail businesses (39%) admit their website is not yet ready for the uplift in golden quarter website traffic.

In fact, more than one in seven (16%) say they are still unsure as to when they are likely to start preparing for this key period.

When quizzed on the specific ways in which retail businesses were not ready for the golden quarter, 37% said that their website was not yet fully device responsive.

In addition, a further 31% revealed they hadn’t performed any load testing on their website, ahead of the onset of golden quarter traffic, meaning some retailers could potentially see their website crashing as a result.

More than one in four (27%) also revealed that they hadn’t started to prepare or plan their PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns for this busy period of business.

This was followed by a further 22% who say they didn’t have analytics for their website set up correctly, meaning that performance over this period can’t be measured accurately.

Not fully optimising the navigation of the website for UX (14%) completed the list of the top five ways many retail businesses aren’t yet prepared for the start of the golden quarter.

MarketingSignals.com managing director Gareth Hoyle commented: “The research shows there are many ways that online retail businesses are not ready for one of the busiest times of the year for online shopping – the golden quarter. With events such as Black Friday and Christmas contained within this period, it is vital that retail businesses have their website fully prepared for the increase in online shoppers, so they can reap the rewards of this busy trading period.

“To maximise sales turnover during this period, businesses need an integrated approach to e-commerce so that all customer demands are understood.  It is for this reason that it is so important that businesses plan well in advance, as knowing whether your site can cope with some of the busiest shopping periods of the year can make the difference between a bumper earning period or a company-wide disaster.”

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