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Posted by Brian Walker on November 17, 2009
The holidays are now squarely upon us. While trying not to watch the Oregon State Beavers ransack my beloved Washington Huskies on television this weekend the holiday commercials were inescapable. And this was only November 16th.
For many online retail teams, however, it probably feels like they have been thinking about the holidays forever. For months they have been planning and developing the content; launching features on the site; planning marketing campaigns; meeting with managers of other channels; and working with their operations colleagues to ensure everything goes smoothly in the fulfillment centers and call centers.
All this is aimed at driving the largest holiday sales season online yet. My colleague Sucharita Mulpuru recently released her US Online Holiday Retail Forecast, projecting an 8% increase in US online sales over 2008, for a total of $44.7 billion during the months of November and December 2009.
But every year all these great efforts result in a few very anxious and upset eCommerce departments who discover their site is down or incredibly slow during the peak sales days — generally starting with “Cyber Monday” (the Monday after Thanksgiving) and running through December 12th or 13th. It is as if you can hear the sound of lost sales slipping out the door, or maybe that's up the chimney.
But isn’t it too late to do something about it, given that we are on the verge of Thanksgiving? Well, maybe not. Here are a few last minute tips that can help minimize the risk of a disaster:
These are simple steps to help ease the worry and mitigate the risk, and are practiced by many leading organizations this time of year. If you have other tips, please comment and share.
Have a great holiday season, may it be your best yet.
Follow me on twitter at twitter.com/bkwalker