It’s that time of year again, and retail storefronts have transformed into hustling hubs of activity as shoppers hunt for the perfect holiday gifts to give their loved ones. That means no slow days for brick-and-mortar operations and e-commerce merchants from mid-November through the end of the year. Holiday retail soared to $936.3 billion according to the National Retail Federation, and experts predict this year’s sales will eclipse that number by several percentage points.

Stocked shelves and positive customer experiences are essential elements that can shape how successful this year can be for stores of all sizes. There’s one thing, though, that matters even more but doesn’t get the credit it deserves – reliable, high-speed internet access.

The Bustle of e-Commerce

Picture this: a cozy couch, a cup of hot cocoa, and your favorite device – the quintessential digital holiday shopping scene. Digital merchants have been prepping for this moment since mid-summer, optimizing their product descriptions, testing new online shopping experiences and fine-tuning ad campaigns to compete for attention and convert browsers into buyers.

Consumers love the experience of shopping from wherever they are for whatever they want without having to set foot in a physical location packed full of people. As the Q4 shopping season kicks into high gear, online retail infrastructure will have to hold up to the flood of users scrolling through digital racks, filling their carts and spending tens of thousands of dollars every second, putting immense pressure on the digital infrastructure. Handling that much activity requires connectivity that can keep up without collapsing.

Don’t Forget About In-Person Experiences

Physical storefronts are no match for the sheer volume of online shopping, but that’s no excuse to overlook the economic activity they contribute, or the need for speedy and secure internet service. Dependable connectivity is the unsung hero of their operations. Supply chain coordination, vendor management, POS terminal operations, inventory tracking, marketing and promotional activity, customer service … without a reliable, high-speed internet connection, in-store operations would grind to a halt in mere seconds.

It’s Okay to Speed

In the whirlwind of holiday shopping, speed is the name of the game. Shoppers want websites to load in the blink of an eye, and brick-and-mortar stores want to keep every check-out interaction moving smoothly and swiftly. Time is of the essence, and any lag — even for a few seconds — can turn merriment into meltdown. Fast internet is not just a luxury; it’s a lifeline for retailers looking to delight customers and outshine the competition during the peak shopping season.

Quick internet speeds translate to a seamless shopping experience – speedy page loads, snappy checkouts, and happy customers.

Network Downtime — A Ho-Ho-Holiday Nightmare

No matter what they’re selling, their size, or their specialty, retailers have one fear in common this time of year — service outages. Whether it’s caused by technical glitches, cyber-attacks, or servers that don’t have the capacity to keep pace with wave after wave of customer traffic, any interruption in internet connectivity can turn holiday joy into a retail nightmare. Every moment spent struggling to get back online comes at the cost of losing out on potential sales and increasing customer frustration.

Wrapped Up With Ribbons and Bows

Holiday retail is driven by people, but a reliable internet connection is what makes every checkout possible. With the hustle and bustle of the shopping season well underway, few things are more important than reliable, fast connectivity. If your provider isn’t helping you get ahead, it’s time to find service that won’t hold you back.

Empire Access can help you get the internet connection you need to keep your business up and running.

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