While it still feels like early autumn, those of us in the customer experience world are already feeling festive. It’s game time for holiday shopping — especially in a very different shopping season that began with Prime Day in mid-October. Marketers and customer experience professionals must be prepared on every front for what is typically the best time of year for driving retail revenue.
We wanted to ensure that our customers are as ready as you can be with our Acoustic solutions—and that you are set up to take advantage of how our technology can power online shopping communications and experiences. Within this blog, we guide you through a checklist of what to take care of leading up to and during your peak online shopping periods for a successful holiday season.
Look to the past
Sometimes the best place to look for answers is behind us. What has worked in the past? What’s gone wrong and what has failed? Document these past successes, failures, and solutions in a quick reference guide.
This guide can help solve any issues that arise—it certainly helps if there is already a tried-and-true solution. Consider the problems that have been roadblocks in the past. You can even document the successes and include the problems you avoided last time. Ensure that your team avoids repeating the same mistake twice and also enjoys the same success twice.
A detailed run book
The most important part of your holiday shopping strategy will inevitably be your run book. Create a detailed, thorough run book of all holiday plans and review them with relevant stakeholders to ensure everyone is ready to test, optimize, and execute on time.
Be sure to include support team information and support scenarios in your run book in case problems occur. Support’s key contacts should be detailed in the book, and include links to relevant Help Center content to aid troubleshooting.
Be clear and concise within your run book on who is in charge of each task. Include names, dates, and workflows of all deliverables included. Publish your run book in a safe and common digital area so all stakeholders have easy access. You can even print a physical copy if your team is back in the office or encourage your teammates to print a physical one to have at home if they are working remotely.
Get ahead of the curve
The first step in your preparation for the holiday shopping season with Acoustic should be to get your plans in place. Schedule any planned campaigns well in advance to avoid any last-minute delays. If the entirety of the campaign is already mapped out, there’s no use in waiting.
If your plans require implementations, complete those processes weeks in advance. This includes a thorough QA to ensure that any changes or optimizations will be completed and ready. Sufficient QA will prevent any surprise issues hindering your team during peak and critical shopping periods.
Should problems happen, ensure that all team members have a cohesive understanding of how to get in touch with support. Our support team is here to guide you through the Acoustic platform and get you up and running to enjoy the benefits of the platform. If needed, know how to escalate with our support team to get you back on track as fast as possible. In addition to support, we have a variety of Help Center articles that provide detailed walkthroughs of some of our most common questions and issues.
No matter how much we prepare, sometimes our initial plans fail. Create a detailed Plan B for this scenario. If Plan A does fail, document the performance of Plan B for future troubleshooting and team education.
Optimized data processes
To get your campaigns up and running, your team will want to ensure that the data informing them is top-notch. Without great data, there is no great campaign. The first step to great data is ensuring that your data is clean (current/accurate) and ready for use.
Once you’ve cleaned your data, optimize your data flows to ensure data can move quickly and unencumbered during “go-live.” Agile data can help your campaigns change if plans change.
Implement and test your assets and reports well in advance to ensure everything is ready to go. When gearing up for your campaigns, ensure that tracking is in motion so marketing leadership can quickly and easily analyze what’s working and what isn’t.
Get everyone on the same page
We recommend resetting passwords before critical periods to make sure there’s always an active login. Check with stakeholders that they are available during high-volume times and during large or significant campaign launches. Make sure everyone on the team bookmarks all important links in their browser.
Prepare additional people as backups in case something needs to be addressed during a time when stakeholders are unavailable, whether because they are executing on other projects, sick, or just if life gets in the way. Each primary team member should prepare a backup for their duties if needed.
Keep in mind that the holiday season is longer than ever this year
Finally, it’s important to continue optimizing with Acoustic tools throughout the holiday season. Don’t let this be a “set it and forget it” strategy once the planning phase is complete. Consistently A/B test to improve the performance of campaigns across segments and channels. Tweak until you find your very best results.
We look forward to supporting our Acoustic customers during this holiday season. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our Readiness Academy to access videos and guides with product-specific best practices and recommendations to optimize for peak program activity.