It’s summer – but Christmas is already approaching. With the global pandemic, a new era has begun for e-commerce companies. Before the holidays in 2020, the shopping industry looked completely different – no hustle and bustle in the shops, but all the more hectic on the keyboards. The companies had to adapt ad hoc to the increase in traffic volume and the demand for online shopping. In the period before Christmas Eve, online purchases rose by 32 percent compared to 2019 – twice as much as in the previous five years.
And this could be similar this year. So in order not to have to lapse into hectic hustle and bustle shortly before Black Friday, it is important for retailers to develop a strategy for the Christmas business now and to start the preparations early.
Control center online shop
The linchpin for the e-commerce business is a stable online shop. Here, cloud platforms have gained a dominant position in recent years. They support all types of customers on the basis of a uniform and always high-quality IT architecture. Probably the most important property of such platforms: They can be scaled and thus enable online retailers to react automatically to sudden traffic peaks or seasonal fluctuations such as the Christmas business. Customers receive excellent service worldwide and at all times. In addition, cloud-based e-commerce platforms offer clear advantages over on-premise infrastructures in terms of security: the provider takes on security requirements in connection with maintenance, care and access.
Preparation for the Christmas business: customized customer centricity
Regardless of the technical details, e-commerce companies have another important task ahead of them: analyzing customer behavior. Who are my clients? Which Christmas presents are of interest to whom? What are customers willing to pay? The answers to these and other questions lie in the data and its analysis. They play the decisive role in personalization. Because the more retailers know about their customers, the more granular they can share their products or content and adapt products to their needs and interests.
In other words: customer centricity by watering does not work. But even the most modern personalization tools based on artificial intelligence need data in order to achieve the best possible results.
Once the technical requirements and questions of customer behavior have been clarified, the infrastructure must be tested. The wording of subject lines, the dispatch times of newsletters and even the dispatch days have a direct impact on sales. Experience shows, for example, that 17 percent of companies prefer to send on Thursday. Saturday is unpopular at just nine percent, but the average click rates are the highest on this day. And these are only the adjusting screws that can be used in the e-mail channel for higher conversions. You should also experiment with optimizing the landing page and other channels in your own marketing mix.
Na-kd: This is how e-commerce goes during the Christmas season
How successful online marketing can work is shown by Na-kd, an online brand with the latest trends in fashion and accessories and one of the 20 fastest growing companies in Europe. In 2019, the fashion specialist was able to generate sales of 25 million US dollars during the Black Friday week. In 2020 Na-kd registered 1.7 million visits on Black Friday and 5.4 orders per second.
In modern retail, it is about using data to quickly adapt offers and content to new customer behavior and trends. Na-kd therefore needed page speed, performance and a solid basis for its website in order to keep pace with the wishes of customers – especially during peaks like Black Friday or the Christmas business – and to stand out from the competition.
This is possible today because investments were made early on in a highly scalable e-commerce solution. It meets the individual needs of customers and meets the enormous demand even at peak times. With the help of the commerce platform from Optimizely and Avensia’s Storefront Nitro e-commerce framework, Na-kd was able to guarantee its customers blazingly fast loading times and excellent performance even on mobile phones.