Retailers - Prepare your software for peak seasons

Retailers – Prepare your software for peak seasons!

As we move towards the end of 2020, we’re approaching the most wonderful (and stressful) time of the year where retailers are not only facing one holiday, but several! However, it’s never too late to develop a plan of action now and prepare your software for peak seasons.

The final months of the year bring a list of red-letter days for retail:

  • Back to school, college, and university
  • Singles day
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • Christmas and New Year

In addition, there are niche retail opportunities like Halloween and Bonfire Night, as well as seasonal changes as days grow shorter and the weather turns colder and wetter.

All of these opportunities are short-lived, often lasting for just a day, so it’s essential to be proactive, not reactive. Arguably, retailers should be in a state of permanent readiness every day of the year. According to a 2019 report by Tribe, 83% of consumers would shop elsewhere due to poor website performance, with the biggest pain being slow loading webpages for 37%. This is no longer an option these days and post-COVID retailers really need to be on their game.

By testing software now for performance issues, retailers can ensure they are armed for an invasion of shoppers this year, adapt to changing consumer habits as they happen and are ready to profit from these seasonal peaks.

A peak season for COVID-19?

In 2020 there is an inescapable complication in the form of COVID-19. Many health experts predict an increase in infection during the winter months, a time of year when other coronaviruses are typically seen in greater numbers.

COVID-19 has already transformed the way many people shop. People are staying home more, avoiding non-essential shopping trips, and buying more online with home delivery.

Retailers who have reacted by quickly implementing ecommerce platforms need to take the current breathing space as a chance to rigorously test those implementations, ahead of a potential second spike in infections during December to March.

The same goes for retail apps and online customer service platforms, along with any other software that is mission-critical to generate income in the coming months.

Ongoing support from Spike95

Spike95 are already working with retailers to implement AI and automation, optimise supply chains and ensure operations are sustainable in a COVID-secure way, without sacrificing revenues. We provide the software performance testing and ongoing support they need to be ready for whatever the coming months bring.

We are helping our retail clients on those landmark dates and in the weeks leading up to them with quick wins and clear initiatives – so whether your business focuses on niche markets like Halloween, or taps into the marketing fervour that surrounds Black Friday, we can help.

Recently, a new client came to us with concerns about their website’s performance for peak trading of Black Friday (end November) and through to Christmas. They expected to possibly see a 30-50% uplift on normal traffic as people who’ve held back during COVID-19 finally splash the cash and spend more.

Time pressures mean a significant change or redevelopment of their systems was unlikely. Therefore, Spike95’s team are running targeted performance tests on key scenarios and focusing their attention towards critical problems that could drive the need to re-prioritise projects, as well as working out any system tuning or any short-term investment they need to make to get through peak.

Are you ready for whatever autumn-winter brings your way? Drop us a line or leave us your details and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible to help get your entire retail technology running at its best.