As the hol­i­day approaches, are you look­ing for­ward to some fam­ily feasts, merry-making, and good cheer?  If you are a retailer, these might be the sub­jects of dis­tant mem­o­ries only.  More often than not, hol­i­days mean rush­ing projects, headaches, long days, and sleep­less nights.  The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.  Here are a cou­ple tips to help your “days be merry and bright” this year instead of some­thing you “wouldn’t touch with a 39 ½ foot pole!”

 

 

Tip #1: Pro­mo­tion vs. Fulfillment

Unfor­tu­nately for some retail­ers, last year’s (2011) hol­i­day was any­thing but white (names will be with­held to pro­tect the guilty :).  While their pro­mo­tions and deals did the job of bring­ing peo­ple to the web­site and con­vinc­ing them to pur­chase, these retail­ers did not suf­fi­ciently fore­cast what the demand would be.  As a result, ful­fill­ment was not able to keep up with demand and many web orders ended up being can­celled.  Of course, cus­tomers do not soon for­get this sort of treat­ment.  Hell hath no fury like a cus­tomer who has her pre­cious online deal taken away and finds out she needs to pull off a last minute Christ­mas mir­a­cle.   Take­away #1: Don’t make promises you can’t ful­fill!  Get the Mar­ket­ing and Ful­fill­ment groups together!

Tip #2: Get Cre­ative with Hol­i­day Pro­mo­tions and Timing

For the 2011 hol­i­day, many retail­ers, such as Wal­mart, did not just stick to the Black Fri­day or Cyber Mon­day time­frame.  In fact, many opened up deals on Thanks­giv­ing or ear­lier in the week.  Think about it.  After sit­ting down to a nice fam­ily din­ner, you have a whole rest of the day open.  What are you going to do?  Ok, while you are watch­ing foot­ball, you have your tablet on to check if that big screen TV is going to get as low as you hope online.  It’s a prime oppor­tu­nity for retail­ers to pro­mote their goods to con­sumers!  Let’s take advan­tage of it!  Here’s to Cyber Week!

Tip #3: An Ounce of Preparation

Let’s be hon­est.  Who wants to be in the mid­dle of Turkey Time and get a call from some­one at work who can’t get their num­bers?  Not I.  There are a few things you can do to pre­vent this.  I’d rec­om­mend mak­ing sure you sub­mit any expected traf­fic spikes so that Adobe knows to allo­cate the appro­pri­ate resources to your account.  Believe me: this goes a long way!  One other rec­om­men­da­tion is to set up auto­mated report­ing to go to your busi­ness users so they have the data they need, when they need it.

Part of prepa­ra­tion means know­ing hol­i­day trends and what to expect this year.  The Adobe Dig­i­tal Index can help us there.  Here are some of the hol­i­day pre­dic­tions from the Adobe Dig­i­tal Index.

http://success.adobe.com/en/na/programs/digital-index/1211–13926-holiday-online-sales-forecast-report.html

 

Tip #4: Think Tablets!

No, I’m not talk­ing about headache med­i­cine!  We’ve seen some very inter­est­ing data over the past year or two specif­i­cally regard­ing the use of tablets in retail.  http://​suc​cess​.adobe​.com/​e​n​/​n​a​/​p​r​o​g​r​a​m​s​/​d​i​g​i​t​a​l​-​i​n​d​e​x​/​1​2​0​5​_​1​8​0​1​1​_​t​a​b​l​e​t​_​r​e​p​o​r​t​.​h​tml

In essence, tablet users have higher AOV than tra­di­tional devices (mobile and non-mobile) and com­pa­ra­ble con­ver­sion rates.  Also, tablets are typ­i­cally used more when users are in the com­fort of their home.  If you haven’t opti­mized your site for tablets yet, what are you wait­ing for?

Of course, it goes with­out say­ing that the hol­i­days are an impor­tant time to any retailer.  Doing what you can to opti­mize your expe­ri­ence and reduce the stress level at this time is essen­tial.  This hol­i­day, let’s have our­selves a merry lit­tle Christ­mas, Thanks­giv­ing, Black Fri­day, and Cyber Mon­day!  Best of Luck!

Have spe­cific ques­tions about Adobe Site­Cat­a­lyst?  Want to track a data point on your web­site, but not sure where to start with the imple­men­ta­tion?  Fol­low me on Twit­ter @sitecattips Please feel free to leave a com­ment here or send me an email at adobe­site­cat­a­lyst (at) adobe​.com

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