It’s a big year for retail and online ecommerce alike, as the holiday seasons bring a wave of deals, discounts, special promotions and most of all shoppers with an appetite to spend! Black Friday and Christmas are two of the biggest to hit retailers, presenting an opportunity to recover lost profits and attract new customers.
However, in the aftermath of the pandemic outbreak, the face of shopping has changed. Rapid ecommerce adoption has left many brands feeling frustrated in keeping up with demand and adapting to constantly evolving shopping habits.
The main challenges retailers face:
- Sustaining a high-level of communication between suppliers, distributors, and customers as seasonal trends and sudden changes become frequent.
- Ensuring software is fast, efficient, easy to update and manage multiple processes or functions.
According to Modern Retail, two-thirds of adults say they will continue both current levels of spend (66%) and the frequency (68%) they shop online post-lockdown, while 26% said they will increase their digital spend after restrictions are lifted.
So, it seems this online shopping surge is unlikely to falter and given the current climate’s uncertainty, it is expected to rise with each passing day. You need to adequately check and prepare your software, retail applications and customer-service platforms to avoid complete disaster.
Now is the time to be forward thinking and drive for improvement across the entire network to stay relevant, flexible, and fit for future success.
Ways in which to boost your retail business’s performance for the holiday seasons include:
Identify critical KPI’s
Firstly, determining your key performance indicators (KPI’s) helps to outline your digital strategy and measure the overall success of your campaigns and services/products.
If your goal is to sell, and achieve the greatest ROI doing so, then streamlining your POS systems, marketing efforts and analysing error/crash rates, peak response times, resource-utilisation levels and conversion rates are vital, as all play a role in managing your retail’s ecosystem.
At Spike95, we can take a deeper look into the factors that influence your business’s decisions, understanding key metrics, project criteria and how well you are currently performing – pinpointing possible issues by creating automated scripts emulating user test cases.
Big Data implementation
Without data, we wouldn’t be able to predict certain outcomes or come up with new solutions to immediate and future problems. We’ve discussed the value of data before for retailers and customer-centric business, showing its ability to improve their CRM and the buying experience.
Processing the right information on consumer trends of the past and present gives you the best chance of fulfilling shopper’s needs today and into the future as these will differ largely from last year’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Data could also be helpful in the stock-flow management by predicting the spike in demand, improving productivity, and protecting the bottom line.
Checking your Digital Business Automation (DBA) processes is just one of the ways in which we can help to improve the performance of your operations in time for the holiday seasons, and in the long-run, retain loyal customers that trust your business during normal and abnormal periods.
The ability to scale your software and website is crucial to succeeding in today’s retail environment. Mega Sales is one tactic retailers could adopt in order to capitalise on the influx of online traffic, but only so long as your ecommerce technology is flexible and solid enough to support it.
To identify potential problem areas, we recommend load/stress testing in the back-end early and often to simulate the forthcoming volume of customers. This will better prepare your team in eliminating any eventual bottlenecks and evaluate the number of servers needed to maximise performance.
Enhance customer experience
Nobody wants to buy from a website that crashes all the time, so why leave it to chance? In the run-up to the holidays, the customer is always at the core of every business, and without a functioning app or website when Black Friday and Christmas comes knocking, you’ll be left to fall flat.
People expected bigger and better things to enhance the customer experience online, which means a simple discount won’t cut it. If you really want to up your game, whilst remaining strong in the aftermath, ratify your support and app navigation systems for people to easily get help or find what they’re looking for. The National Retail Federation found that 63 percent of survey respondents would like to use more retailers’ online wish lists or registries for gift purchasing in the future.
Again, measuring the data behind consumer behaviour through segmentation and A/B testing will also reveal what drives them to use your app throughout their user-journey.
Get started with a Performance Health Check from Spike95
At Spike95, we have a proven and structured methodology in assessing your site’s performance with our performance health check.
We’re able to bring years of technical testing knowledge to the table and help your business by:
- Identifying any limitations or issues that currently prevents you from maximising your IT environment.
- Highlighting potential cost savings
- Prioritise actions required to reduce risk and improve quality
- Map out a clear action plan that ties to your vision and strategy, defining where performance testing and tools fit in.
For a thorough, high-level report of your organisation’s systems, including tips from our leading technical testing experts, drop us your details below and we’ll arrange an introductory chat.