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

  1. 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. 2. Introduction Graham Leckie Sr Manager, Operations and Special Projects Demac Media Twitter: @gleckie85, @demacmedia
  3. 3. Overview • What the holidays mean • Code Freeze • Inventory • Email Campaigns • Sales • System Infrastructure • Planning ahead – 2014 • Discussion
  4. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 12. Discussion Time
  13. 13. Happy Holidays! Connect with us! {