Everybody knows that Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the most popular shopping day of the year. In fact, more than 151 million Americans shopped during the retail-holiday weekend in 2015, spending an average of nearly $300 each. In recent years, the shopping extravaganza has spread into a weekend-long spree with Cyber Monday offering some of the hottest deals for online shoppers.

With such great consumer demand and competition, many online retailers offer coupons and deep discounts to entice shoppers. But did you know that an increase in online traffic can actually kill your ability to sell?

It’s true! Some of the biggest ecommerce sites (like Best Buy, Target, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s) have received so much traffic that their network crashed for hours, leaving behind tens of thousands of dollars in potential sales and a whole lot of disgruntled customers.

How can you prevent increased web traffic from overloading your online store? Whether you are a small business or an enterprise giant, here are a few tips to improve your online resilience during the digital onslaught of eager holiday shoppers.

Stagger Deals to Stagger Traffic:

While door busters love to get in on the action early, fragile networks and ecommerce sites might benefit from staggering their sales throughout the weekend. If you store sells a plethora of products, offer coupons specific to certain days. For example, offer 15 percent off athletic clothing on Black Friday; 10 percent off memorabilia on Saturday; coupons for books on Sunday and technology discounts on Cyber Monday. This will work to better distribute traffic throughout the weekend and prevent any unfortunate technological mishaps.

Virtual Waiting Lines:

To prevent websites from buckling under heavy traffic, some companies have implemented virtual waiting lines to slow down the number of visitor requests to a network. Similarly, queue management systems are often used by ticketing websites to handle mass service requests along with limited offerings. An added benefit is the timer which motivates customers to complete their transaction within a set unit of time. No more abandoned carts!

Offer Cyber Monday Deals in Store:

We tend to think of Black Friday as the boon for brick-and-mortar stores and Cyber Monday as the windfall for digital retailers. But the lines between these consumer holidays have already begun to blend as technology becomes an inseparable part of our daily lives. Think about honoring your most desired online discounts in store and vice versa. This will help cut down on the number of visitors flooding your site; making it easier to complete purchases and giving buyers more choice in their shopping habits.

Encourage Users to Order by Phone:

When Macy’s website crashed due to overwhelming Black Friday traffic, it provided an alternative avenue for shoppers to complete their purchase, by phoning in. Include a phone number to reach you customer service department and encourage your visitors to buy over the phone instead. Admittedly, this technique isn’t perfect since online shoppers typically prefer to shop online. Adding this extra step could do more to frustrate your customer base than help it.

Test Yourself Under Pressure:

In 2015, Target offered a daring 15 percent discount on nearly every item for Cyber Monday. Not only did this lead to a record number of online sales for the retailer, it also crashed their site for almost 40 minutes. This year they offered the same deal with even more items! But thanks to stress testing the company was able to better handle the massive number of service requests from shoppers. Consider working with your network provider to test your website’s breaking point to prepare yourself for the holiday rush.

Use a Better Enterprise Ecommerce Platform:

Not all enterprise ecommerce platforms are created equal. If you are experiencing slowed operations or a complete website blackout due to excessive holiday traffic, you may want to put more time into the comparing enterprise ecommerce platforms to decide what will best fit you network demands. While there are several techniques for managing exaggerated requests, as mentioned above, it’s probably best to tackle the problem at its roots and find a better ecommerce platform able to handle the increased traffic.