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Unwrapping Success: The Art of Running Ecommerce Website Tests During the Holiday Shopping Frenzy

December 8th, 2023 | 4 min. read

Unwrapping Success: The Art of Running Ecommerce Website Tests During the Holiday Shopping Frenzy Blog Feature

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The holiday season is a magical time for ecommerce businesses, marked by surges in online traffic and a flurry of festive purchases. As ecommerce leaders, navigating through this hectic period requires strategic planning, and one critical aspect often debated is the idea of running experiments on your ecommerce store during the holiday season. We recently polled our customers to gauge their sentiments on this matter, and the responses were as diverse as the array of holiday decorations adorning storefronts. 



Understanding the Peaks and Valleys


Ecommerce sites experience significant spikes in traffic during the holiday season, with consumers on the lookout for the perfect gifts. While this surge in visitors can undoubtedly boost sales, it also presents a unique opportunity to conduct experiments and gather valuable insights. However, opinions on the feasibility of testing during this period vary among ecommerce leaders. 



Exploring Divergent Perspectives


Our poll revealed a spectrum of viewpoints, ranging from those who believe it's not an ideal time for testing, citing the potential skewing of results due to gift purchases, to those who see it as an opportune moment to gain faster answers with increased traffic. A notable 40% of respondents advocated for limited testing during the holiday rush, striking a balance between gathering insights and not disrupting the crucial holiday sales. 



The Argument Against Testing: "It's not a good time."


Some ecommerce leaders argue that the holiday season is not conducive to experimentation. They contend that consumer behavior during this time is driven by the spirit of gift-giving, making it challenging to extract accurate data that reflects regular shopping habits. This perspective emphasizes the need to prioritize stable, proven strategies over the potential risks associated with testing during the holidays. 



The Advocates of Limited Testing: "Striking a Balance."


On the other end of the spectrum, a significant portion of our audience believes in embracing the opportunities that the holiday rush brings. They endorse limited testing, acknowledging the heightened traffic as a chance to fine-tune their strategies and gather valuable data without jeopardizing crucial sales. This balanced approach aims to reap the benefits of experimentation while respecting the unique dynamics of the holiday season. 



The Risk-Averse Stance: "Too Risky – We Test Before the Holidays."


For some ecommerce leaders, the stakes during the holiday season are too high to gamble with experiments. Preferring a more risk-averse approach, they advocate for thorough testing before the festive period to ensure a seamless and glitch-free shopping experience for customers. This viewpoint prioritizes stability and reliability over the potential rewards of testing during the holidays. 



The Optimists: "It's Great – More Traffic Means Faster Answers."


A minority of ecommerce leaders see the surge in holiday traffic as a golden opportunity for rapid experimentation and learning. They argue that the increased volume of visitors provides a quicker feedback loop, allowing businesses to adapt and optimize their strategies in real-time. This optimistic perspective sees the holiday season as a catalyst for innovation and improvement. 



Conclusion: What's Your Stance?


As we navigate the complex landscape of running ecommerce website tests during the holiday season, it's crucial to consider the diverse perspectives presented by fellow industry leaders. Now, we turn the question to you: after hearing what others think, what's your opinion on running experiments on your ecommerce website during the high-traffic holiday period? Share your insights, and let's unwrap the collective wisdom of the ecommerce community this holiday season.