Holiday Ramp-Up: Tips and Tricks - What you need to know to survive and thrive

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It's that time of year again: Back to school, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day... the list goes on. Heading into the holiday season can be overwhelming and incredibly …

It's that time of year again: Back to school, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day... the list goes on. Heading into the holiday season can be overwhelming and incredibly busy for all merchants. It's important to not only prep your online store but your eCommerce team as well. What are the most important things to consider? Learn some of the best tips and tricks for ensuring your holiday season is a successful one!

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  • Make sure to have all development solid and on production (tested) by mid-OctoberTable any new development ideas or initiatives for development over the season on staging
  • Make sure that correct counts are in place to limit customer service issues (phone calls, emails)Should already have buying complete as inventory from manufactures will be hard to come by
  • Segment the listDo not send a blast to the whole list at onceTest all links from an external environment before sendingNEVER use a search string as a link in the mailingCache pages that are going to be visitedTell a story, not just the sale (higher value items)Mobile Friendly / cross platform – in 2012, 45% of holiday emails opened on a mobile device - Make sure that the UX is favorable and they can actually buy!
  • Make sure that all content is in place before the 11th hourCMS content staged ahead of timeTest on a staging environment if availableSite wide sales can be a bit tricky – especially with catalog updates as opposed to cart rulesTest all rules for all segments before handCross-sell/up-sell for loss leaders – target attach!Index/Cache completedDrive traffic as well from social media
  • Risk Mitigation – know what to do if the site goes downAbility to spin up VMs on demand?Stress Testing ahead of time - AM/KM for toolsMake sure all servers are up to spec and no excessive or unwarranted logs are being stored
  • Make sure that they know what the holidays mean – especially for new employeesIncentives for extra hours – pizza, liquid refreshers, coffeeSaves from them having to go offsiteCustomer service is key, know how to make a customer happyReplacement for ‘hot’ items that go out of stock – inventory fulfillment issuesSMILE!
  • What to do to fill in the valleyIncentives for return shoppers in the new yearDeploy what was in development over the holidaysNew features/functionalityCode audit/clean up

Transcript

  • 1. Holiday Ramp-Up: Tips and Tricks What you need to know to survive and thrive during the holiday shopping rush Graham Leckie, Operations Manager Demac Media
  • 2. Introduction Graham Leckie Sr Manager, Operations and Special Projects Demac Media Twitter: @gleckie85, @demacmedia
  • 3. Overview • What the holidays mean • Code Freeze • Inventory • Email Campaigns • Sales • System Infrastructure • Planning ahead – 2014 • Discussion
  • 4. What the Holidays Mean • Increased: – Concurrent users – Sales/promotions – Revenue and hopefully profit! – Hours!!! • Big dates: – Black Friday – Cyber Monday – Christmas – Boxing Day
  • 5. Code Freeze! • Make sure to have all development solid and on production (tested) by mid-October • Table any new development ideas or initiatives for development over the season on staging
  • 6. Inventory • Limit customer service issues with correct counts – Eg. Phone calls, emails etc • Buying should be complete – Inventory from manufactures hard to come by
  • 7. Email Campaigns • Segment your lists • Do not send a blast to the whole list at once • Test all links externally before sending • NEVER use a search string as a link in the mailing • Cache pages that are going to be visited • Tell a story, not just the sale (higher value items) • Mobile Friendly / cross platform – In 2012, 45% of holiday emails opened on a mobile device – Make sure that UX is favorable and they can actually buy!
  • 8. Sales • Make sure all content is in place before the 11th hour • CMS content staged ahead of time • Test on a staging environment if available • Site wide sales can be a bit tricky – Especially with catalog updates as opposed to cart rules • Test all rules for all segments before hand • Cross-sell/up-sell for loss leaders – target attach! • Index/Cache completed • Drive traffic as well from social media
  • 9. System Infrastructure • Risk Mitigation – Know what to do if the site goes down • Ability to spin up VMs on demand? • Stress Testing ahead of time – Staged environment – Server ‘attacks’ • Overall server health & specs
  • 10. Staff Awareness • Team knowledge of ‘the holidays’ – Especially for new employees • Incentives for extra hours – Examples: pizza, liquid refreshers, coffee – Saves from them having to go offsite • Customer service is key – Know how to make a customer happy – Replacement for ‘hot’ items that go out of stock – inventory fulfillment issues • SMILE!
  • 11. Planning Ahead - 2014 • What to do to fill in the valley (Jan/Feb) • Incentives for return shoppers in the new year • Deploy what was in development over the holidays – New features/functionality – Code audit/clean up
  • 12. Discussion Time
  • 13. Happy Holidays! demacmedia.com/blog @demacmedia.com linkedin.com/company/demac-media facebook.com/DemacMedia Connect with us! {