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Presidents’ Day Sales Rival Cyber Monday: Preparing for the Online Shopping Rush

The beginning of a new year often brings a sigh of relief for retailers. The end-of-the-year holiday rush can put a lot of pressure on companies, especially when it comes to ensuring that they are ready for the influx of users who will leverage their online platforms to make purchases. With December well behind us, many brands may not consider that they must also be prepared for the traffic they'll attract with their Presidents' Day deals.

In fact, Presidents' Day discounts have become so popular that some rival the sales offered on Cyber Monday – one of the most hyped shopping days of the entire year. When providing deals like these, businesses must be sure that they have extensively tested their resources to guarantee that the proper support is in place for the rising traffic levels they'll likely experience.

Presidents' Day: The new Cyber Monday?

"Presidents' Day discounts have become so popular that some rival the sales offered on Cyber Monday."

Forbes recently reported on findings from a 2014 Shop It To Me survey, which found that Presidents' Day has become the leading holiday of the year to make purchases. The personal shopping company discovered through discounts on full-price merchandise, free shipping and sale-on-sale codes, shoppers can get an average of 47 percent off of items on the holiday.

When compared with other top shopping days, Presidents' Day discounts came out on top. The survey found that on average, Black Friday shoppers see 44 percent off online sales, Columbus Day brought 45 percent discounts and Labor Day customers typically got 45 percent off their purchases.

An older Shop It To Me survey from 2011 revealed that that year, Presidents' Day beat out Cyber Monday sales, offering 42.1 percent off in February in comparison with December's 41.1 percent discounts. While a 1 percent difference may not seem like a lot, it could be just the thing to encourage shoppers to put off major purchases until after the holidays.

Oftentimes, Presidents' Day deals aren't just beneficial for customers, but simply make sense for retailers as well.

"The buzz around Presidents' Day markdowns makes sense," noted MintLife contributor Morgan Quinn. "Presidents' Day is hot off the heels of Valentine's Day, one of the top gift-giving days of the year, and just before spring merchandise arrives in stores. Retailers are looking to unload leftover holiday and winter merchandise before the season ends."

Preparing for the Presidents' Day rush

"Presidents' Day preparations are just as critical as those the company makes before the December holiday season. "

As with Cyber Monday, retailers need to put just as much effort into preparing their websites for the boosted traffic that comes with Presidents' Day. Because the vast majority of brands are leveraging the holiday to clear warehouse space for spring inventory, it's critical that their online portals can support the increased activity. Especially around the holidays, customers have more than a few choices at their fingertips, and if one site doesn't perform up to their expectations, chances are good that they can find the same item for a similar price from a competitor.

In this spirit, Presidents' Day preparations are just as critical as those the company makes before the December holiday season. With SOASTA's range of load and performance testing solutions in place, businesses can be sure that their online platforms are supported and can offer the best user experience possible.

Industry-leading solutions like SOASTA's CloudTest enable organizations to effectively test their websites and ensure that rising traffic levels won't result in poor performance. By pinpointing any specific instances where issues could occur, businesses are able to bolster their resources and prevent increased customer demands from slowing them down. To find out more, contact SOASTA today.

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