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Holiday Readiness Testing: what to expect when expecting peak traffic

Holiday Readiness Testing: what to expect when expecting peak traffic




 It’s yesterday’s news that the popularity of online and mobile shopping is increasing every year. What makes it newsworthy today is the double-digit growth of consumer shopping online or via mobile devices. Shopper numbers are steadily increasing, just as well as their  UX expectations. These  high expectations are in addition to complicated shopping behavior that is common in this day and age.

For example, a search for the killer party dress can originate on a phone right there in the store, yet the purchase might be completed online via a different device, such as a laptop or tablet.

Your busiest and most profitable season is right ahead. You expect heavier than usual traffic, and you have performed many adjustments to ensure your site is mobile optimized for better Google indexing, improved add-to-cart conversions, and an enhanced omni-channel shopping experience.  You also went to great lengths to make sure the site performance is robust and can handle the loads of expected or unexpected peak traffic.

Have you covered all of the bases?

Is your testing realistic? Does it closely model real user behavior? Although trivial, it is still surprising how many real-life business flows or user scenarios are simply not tested. This results in great expectations turning into the great frustration—and we all know the consequences.

When you are expecting heavy traffic, expect to do more thorough and complete website testing that includes:


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  • Cloud testing- This is the only way to test outside of the firewall. Deploying clod load generators is the only way to mimic the load generated from your real users as well as to test the performance of your globally distributed content delivery networks.


  • Test with geographically distributed users impacted by different network conditions- To perform a real load test scenario, you have to make sure your virtual users are running over real network conditions, similar to the way it is in real life.


  • Testing for mobile users- Mobile connectivity inevitably increases server usage, in turn impacting the overall system capacity. When the backend capacity of the site becomes fully utilized, users will not be able to access the website, let alone complete their purchase.


  • Test for the growth- This simply reiterates the point that the number of consumers shopping online and via mobile devices is growing year-over-year. You should expect more visitors, so you have to double the users from last year’s test, simulate your peak, and then properly optimize your site for heavy load conditions.


With the holidays looming on the horizon, it’s natural that we talk about the vulnerability of the retail industry. But in reality, any website that is vulnerable to particular seasonality (university open enrollment, health insurance enrollment, etc.) should consider the above tests. Heck, if you are a major news media outlet, you never know when you’ll have the hottest news in town and users will flock to you. So simply be prepared, as unexpected traffic can come any time and from anywhere.

One stop for your holiday readiness needs

Luckily, we have the tool for you. A one-stop place to get all that you need to be ready for large amounts of load.  Get easy access to geographically distributed cloud generators deployed on-demand, to scaling for virtual users from all types of networks, to comprehensive and powerful analytics that help you with optimization- StormRunner Load has it all. The beauty of StormRunner Load website load testing software lies in its simplicity- sign up, upload your scripts and run test in under 10 minutes. The open architecture allows for integration with many third party proprietary and open source tools for monitoring, DevOps and more.

Get started with a 30-day trial and see for yourself. If you’re in retail- it will be just in time for your prime season. And in any other industry- you will simply be prepared to expect the unexpected.


  • Load Testing
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