eStar client services and partner manager, Kylie Williams shares why peak trade success – is all about planning.
It’s all in the plan.
When people think about peak promotional trade it is the major industry events that come to mind like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day or the latest themed day - ‘10.10’.
But just as important are the internal events such as a new season or brand launch.
Whatever the event, when an irresistible offer is promoted it draws a lot of customers to your website.
The result is lots of category and product browsing, account and cart actions, and, hopefully, high conversion.
This puts your website, team, and service to the test especially when customer expectation is higher than ever.
Therefore, it is crucial to plan and remain flexible when it comes to peak trade events.
With the effects of the global pandemic, we are now seeing elevated EDM response rates, and overall record high demand.
Planning and preparation should start months in advance, take lessons from previous promotional events - enhance what worked, mitigate risk, and pre-prepare actions.
Top Tips to prepare for Peaking Trading:
- Website Health Check
Complete an overall review of your website and supporting functions and processes. From account creation to pick, pack and dispatching orders, ensure everything is working and processes are optimal.
Ensure the spaces that your fulfilment teams will be working in are clean and tidy, product is easy to access, packing benches are given enough space, and allow for sufficient pigeonhole areas.
Training of staff across multiple areas of the website’s operation is a huge benefit over peak events. This adds flexibility to cope with demand spikes, as team members can assist and move between teams as demand requires.
Test well in advance of the commencement date is most valuable. Ensure your offer is presented well, not just on the product detail page, but throughout the website. Is the offer correct, does it work with tandem offers? Does loyalty apply and are there any exclusions e.g. gift cards? Early testing will allow you to make any necessary adjustments well in advance.
Understand your website capacity and schedule your EDMs accordingly. Sending hundreds of thousands of visitors to a website that is sized to handle tens of thousands only results in brand and reputational damage.
- Inform your Customer Service Team
Let your team know the promotion details; when the expected peak time/s will be, including ‘hot hours’ and provide tools and insights to handle customers enquiries effectively.
Know what to report prior to the sale, put in place metrics and use tools to measure. Financial information and visitor analysis from tools such as Google Analytics is crucial, but don’t forget metrics like dispatch fulfilment time and accuracy, fraud analysis and returns.
- On Launch
Release the promotion early and complete an end-to-end run through of the offers available to ensure every aspect is presented and behaving as expected.
How can your eCommerce partner support you?
To support you for event success, you need tight collaboration with your eCommerce partner.
Invite them to be an extension of your team in preparation, during and post events.
Some of the collaborative activities you may want to consider include setting up a proactive discussion forum where you can cover:
- The type of promotions, how they are best to be presented within the structure of your eCommerce platform, the expectation of behaviour and discuss any cross-promotion considerations.
- Any best practices in presenting the assets and running of scheduled content, promotional banners, and personalisation.
- Revisiting any tasks or developments to ensure completion to aid and support high traffic days and peak trade.
- Forming a capacity testing programme to better understand any system capacity limitations.
- Creating a master sheet for escalations and responsibilities across all vendors that support your website.
- Post the promotional event, collectively look back and measure the success. Review order volumes, sales figures, fulfilment accuracy and efficiency, performance, visitors and their behaviour.
When preparing your physical stores for large scale promotions, lots of preparation goes into getting the store ready for your customers, your digital store is no different.
It takes planning, preparation, and collaboration with your partners to truly provide a successful shopping experience for your customers.
If you haven’t already, start planning now!