In this Forbes Technology Council post, Nisum’s CEO, Imtiaz Mohammady, talks about the importance of a proactive customer communications strategy in retailers’ ability to have a successful holiday sales season.
Read the article text below or view the full post here.
12 Tech Tasks E-Commerce Companies Need To Tackle Before The Holiday Season
The holiday season is a particularly busy time for retailers—especially e-commerce companies. In addition to increased inventory and marketing needs, they also need to address technology needs and strategies.
As technology leaders, the members of Forbes Technology Council have seen holiday seasons come and go, and they understand what must be done from the tech side to prepare. Below, they share 12 tech-related tasks e-commerce companies need to address to gear up for a successful sales season.
1. Personalize Your Digital Experiences
E-commerce companies can maximize the impact of the holidays by tailoring their digital experiences for each unique visitor in the moment. Try to meet visitors where they are in their journey with you, whether as a first-time visitor, repeat visitor or loyal customer. Show website visitors the layout, language, content and products that are right for them to drive more revenue this holiday season. - GuyYalif, Intellimize
2. Speed Up Your Mobile Site
To prepare for the holiday season, e-commerce companies need to make sure their websites are able to handle all of the extra traffic they’ll be getting. For example, they should focus on speeding up their mobile sites by leveraging an AMP open-source library to create blazing-fast mobile pages. A slow mobile site will lose you a ton of potential customers, so speed up your website in preparation. - Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
3. Incorporate Artificial Intelligence
AI technology can be a key factor in improving user experience and brand performance in e-commerce. The field has taken massive leaps in the past couple of years, and the possibility to offer consistent, innovative and personalized solutions is now a reality. Incorporating tools like voice assistance, smart recommendations and visual search engines could be a game-changer for any e-commerce company. - Nacho De Marco, BairesDev
4. Increase Your Server Space
Picture this: You worked all year preparing for the holiday surge. You developed the perfect marketing strategy. You stocked up on inventory. You staffed up for extra support. You see that first surge in traffic, ready for the influx of sales. Suddenly, the site goes down. All those people and no way to monetize them. Wherever you host, make sure you stress test to prepare for anticipated traffic. - Patrick Ambron, BrandYourself.com
5. Focus On ‘High-Touch’ Service
Smart companies will add personalization and additional data-driven product recommendations and build their server capacity. These are important; however, one blind spot could be focusing heavily on high-tech instead of high-touch when issues and mishaps occur. To keep customers coming back during and after the holidays, also increase your capacity to serve technologically and wow as you scale sales. - Marlyne Pierce, Modern Mogul Ventures
6. Set Your CRM Up To Collect Sales Data For Your 2020 Marketing Campaigns
The dream: An immediate spike of buyer interest. Not everyone will be a buyer, but let’s capitalize on this opportunity of interest. Confirm your CRM is collecting as much customer data as possible early on and in multiple areas of your store. With a level of forward-thinking, start segmenting the data, knowing your marketing team will start 2020 campaigns and hit the ground running. They will thank you. - Dalip Jaggi, Vincit
7. Devote Time To Infrastructure Planning
Infrastructure planning is a must for any successful e-commerce business during the holiday season. If not planned you might face an outage or end up overspending on your infrastructure. Analyze your traffic patterns and your auto-scaling policies. Plan your product updates and campaigns going live so you can monitor your traffic and add more servers if needed. - Amit Ojha, Diamond Foundry
8. Enable Proactive Customer Communication
Make sure your order/warehouse management systems are robust enough to process large numbers of orders in a timely manner, and enable technologies for on-demand and proactive communication with customers at all stages of order processing. Customers should know exactly when and how their purchases are arriving. Also, have a system in place to resolve any post-delivery issues promptly. - Imtiaz Mohammady, Nisum
9. Monitor And Manage Your Reviews
Consumers will research your company and read product reviews before buying from you. Will the reviews they find make them more or less likely to trust your business? Make sure that you’re monitoring and responding to reviews on the sites that show up highest in Google because they’re a huge deciding factor in people’s purchasing decisions today. - Pete Kistler, BrandYourself.com
10. Invest In An Anti-Fraud Solution
The holiday season is a fertile ground for fraudsters to target your e-commerce site since you as a company want to reduce friction and give the best experience for your customers but are also resource-constrained. Fraud prevention should be part of your strategy to protect your customers and brand. Have an anti-fraud solution in place and train your customer support/operations to manage risk. - Swetha Ganeg Basavaraj, Datavisor
11. Automate Your Customer Support
Customer service automation is critical for e-commerce companies to implement ahead of the holiday season. Smartphones have conditioned our brains to expect near-instant answers, and by implementing automation businesses will be better equipped to manage surges that come during the holiday shopping season. - Antony Brydon, Directly
12. Create A Seamless, Trusted Checkout Process
Data was a hot topic in 2019 and consumers are feeling the pressure to avoid giving out their personal information at all costs. As an e-commerce company, you need to make sure your checkout process is seamless and trusted. It needs to guide the consumer towards payment while showing badges that prove their information is safe with you (in this case, the more the merrier). - Ben Lee, Rootstrap