Charles Costa

How online merchandisers can improve seasonal store performance

By using a CDN, online merchandisers can optimize their websites to cater to customers in different climates.

As e-commerce has continued to grow in popularity, merchandisers have been able to carry immense amounts of inventory year-round to cater to customers across the globe. While just having an online presence was once enough to set a business apart from its peers, e-commerce today has become competitive to the point that merchants are making use of computing-intensive tactics such as flash sales and highly targeted content as a way to drive sales in a tough economy.

How a CDN can be used to expand your global presence
In the past, merchandisers who wished to optimize their websites for seasonal sales needed multiple data centers to handle customers in different climates — a very expensive option for any company. Today, however, content delivery networks (CDNs) allow businesses of virtually any size to tap global server networks as necessary for a fraction of what it would cost to lease international servers. This means that a business can ensure that customers in cold climates have faster access to fall and winter items, while customers in warmer climates can access summer and spring goods.
The real benefit of CDN systems is that content can be stored in specific regions. When customers visit your website, they receive data from the server closest to them. If you are running a sale on beachwear, you can cache the content on servers in warm regions; as summer turns to fall and winter, you can reallocate resources to focus on servers in colder regions when you have a sale on hats, gloves, and scarves.

Picking a CDN vendor
Most CDN vendors have dedicated teams to assist customers with integrating their services. Regardless of whether you have an in-house IT team or you outsource these duties, a CDN can be implemented for virtually any website with ease with the vendor’s assistance. Aside from the benefits of their customer assistance services, it is important to note that most CDN vendors are pay-as-you-go, meaning that you can mix and match different servers to fit the peak sales times of your customers’ different regions.



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