DDoS attacks and eCommerce – Be ready to tackle them in future
Thousands of online stores suffered a great loss from the DDoS attacks on 21st October. These distributed denial of service attacks coordinated with a series of phone calls and emails proved to be situation that were totally out of control of the website owners. On the whole, whatever be the reason, truth is, thousands of eCommerce and other websites suffered some losses that could have been converted into the customers.
A DDoS attack is based on sending an uncontrolled number of useless traffic to a server that overloads it. As a result, the server reaches to its saturation and starts denying the legitimate connections. After effects can be seen as slowdown of the server or ever a complete shut down of the server is not surprising.
Unfortunately, the case was totally out of control of the website owners. One thing that would be in control at the moment is your website and your conversion optimization strategies to tackle any such situation in the future. For example, A smaller eCommerce site owner was unaware of the attacks until his technical team let him know that credit card transaction are not being processed at the moment.
It’s not just about the credit card transactions, it’s about the effect of those lost customers that would cripple your conversion rates and ultimately the fate of your online business. It’s smart to be prepared for such situations in future. You need some serious alternatives that would not just let you connect to your customers in the hard times but would also help you convert those customers who abandoned your site during that moment.
A survey led by Incapsula from 270 North American organization, presents some serious interpretations. Here, is a scan from Incapsula’s infographic:
How can you be prepared for DDoS attacks in the future?
Start tracking your user’s activity- There are several scripts which allow a website owner to track the visitor’s activity on the whole site. Heatmap tools are one of those scripts that do not only track the user’s activity but also give a visual representation of the data collected through the tracking session. These data are represented graphically based on the type of tracking used. For example, the free heatmap tool by MockingFish tracks and represents the heatmap data in several formats like:
A Click heatmap- Used to track the clicking activity of the visitors on the website
A Scroll heatmap- Used to track how far visitors scroll on your web pages and for how much time they pause a particular fold on the page.
So, utilizing a light script of heatmap tool on your online store will let you discover the hidden insights that will later help you in optimizing your conversion rates. These data will also help you in contacting and inviting a shopper when your site recovers from the DDoS attack. In this way, you will have a backup plan.
Abandoned cart management- Abandoned carts are the most seen after effects of the DDoS attacks. In any DDoS attack, the website fails to present the faster loading and quick transactions. As a result, people leave the carts unattended and exit the sites. For those who know that DDoS are out of control and it is not the fault of the website, they mostly return back to the sites after it is all over.
However, for those who do not know about the DDoS attacks, in frustration, they see the websites as the culprit and decide never to return back. It is your job as the website owner to get those customers back on the site and encourage them to trust you again.
There are numerous abandoned cart module and extensions that are available for the eCommerce platform like, PrestaShop, Magento, OpenCart, WooCommerce and so on. These modules and extensions can help you capture the abandoned carts and also the email Ids of the customers. Using the data from these modules, you can contact your customers and let them know that it is not your fault and have plans, offers or discounts to make up for it.
Provide your contact details on every page- During the DDoS attacks, the customers who don’t know, or even those who know about it would feel clueless. In confusion or frustration, they would be inclined to leave the site. Don’t let your customer be clueless. Make the contact between you and your customers so smooth that they would prefer to let you know before abandoning your site.
Mentioning the contact details on every page of your online store will establish an effortless way for your customers to contact you in time of distress. Integrating a live chat support is one of the finest ideas that will not only improve your eCommerce conversion optimization while DDoS attacks but will also propel your conversions in regular times. So, find the ways to make the contacting effortless for your customers. It can be a live chat, email details or anything of your choice.
Be Prepared with the alternatives- During the DDoS attacks, everything on your website becomes slow. Most of the effects are seen on the checkouts where customer cannot select a shipping option or a payment methods keep loading forever. To avoid this, it is always recommended to keep alternate option ready with you. Alternate shipping options, alternate payment methods, or an alternate email server will help you deal with the situations when your regular options are kicked out of the game.
The only way to regain the customers lost due to DDoS attacks is to let them know what happened. In most of the situations letting your customer know id just enough to regain their trust and reliability. Loyal customers will always understand. So, draft some suitable messages and let them know the case; they will surely understand.