Digital Transformation Insights

Thu, 29 Sep 2016

Omnichannel Retailing Lessons for the Holiday Season


The 2015 holiday season set some impressive new records:

Key Learnings

Consumers' shopping behaviors and preferences are evolving rapidly. They are shopping more frequently online and via mobile. In fact, the 2015 holiday season witnessed days when holiday traffic from smartphones surpassed that of desktops. With more customers shifting to mobile and demanding richer, faster omnichannel experience, companies must cater to an increasing volume of mobile devices and hyperconnected shoppers.

Slow is the New Downtime

With 40% of shoppers not willing to wait more than 3 seconds for a page to load before abandoning your site, slowness, downtime, and application failures are simply inadmissible if you want to win at 2016 holiday retailing. But how do you ensure a speedy web performance during holiday shopping frenzy?

Speed is a Game Changer

With holiday revenue making up as much as 28% of annual online sales, digital performance during the holidays can make or break your annual revenue goals.

Site interruptions, slower checkouts, poor mobile performance, and application unavailability puts immense pressure on retailers.

Paradoxically, unplanned downtime, sluggish performance, checkout problems, and data center outages are most rampant during retail’s biggest season—the holidays. And there’s a lot riding on your web performance. (For example: if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1-second delay in the average site load time could potentially cost the site owner $2.5 million in annual lost sales.)

Cloud Migration

Migrating to the cloud can help you Cloud Migration before the retail holiday season deliver modern digital experiences at the speed your customers expect. Unlike on-premise solutions, cloud computing is adaptive and agile. It helps you scale resources to meet the fluctuating traffic spikes, build and deploy modern apps faster, speedup load time, and offer glitch-free digital experiences to engage and delight festive holiday shoppers.

If you want to handle holiday traffic without the fear of breakdowns, consider migrating to the cloud before the 2016 holiday season.

Holiday Sales Strategy of a Fortune 500 Omnichannel Retailer

In the summer of 2014, one of America’s biggest retailers faced a challenge. Its market value had plunged 64% and it had lost half a billion dollars in e-commerce sales. Wanting to step up its digital engagement and sales for the holiday shopping season, the retailer partnered with Photon to overhaul its e-commerce platform and relaunch an adaptive/responsive website with a mobile-first approach in 90 days.

The new site was launched in time for the holiday season, and thanks to the new strategy and website, the retailer saw a whopping 400% lift in shopping cart activity.



Modernizing the retailer’s shopping experience meant:

  • optimizing the UX across all devices
  • a completely rebuilt shopping cart flow, adding features that are now considered table stakes:
    • buying online and picking up in stores
    • split shipping
    • split payment methods

These UX changes also came with a wealth of internal benefits: faster development, higher performance, and better operations. But most importantly, it created a superior web and mobile shopping experience for modern consumers who jump from channel to channel to research, shop, and buy. All of these measures provided the retailer a big boost in a rapidly evolving omnichannel marketplace.

According to eMarketer, US e-commerce sales are forecasted to jump 17.2% this holiday season. If you're looking to take advantage of this huge revenue opportunity, consider improving your shopping UX and overall online performance by working with an experienced omnichannel partner.

 Get Holiday Ready Migrate to the Cloud