November 29, 2016

It’s Tuesday morning. Now what for eCommerce leaders?

by Danielle Savin

 

Stacks of gift boxes. Flat design

It’s Tuesday morning, and across the country eCommerce managers are taking stock of their Black Friday and Cyber Monday performance. While the temptation might be to sit down and take a nap (if not a week-long vacation, preferably in some warm and sunny spot!), the reality is now is definitely not the time to ease up on your holiday marketing and merchandising plans.

In fact, it’s a good time for a quick status check of your campaign performance, along with possible adjustments to your holiday marketing and merchandising plan.

If you made your weekend numbers, congratulations! Continue with your eCommerce plans based on the operational understanding of sales & conversion expectations. Don’t celebrate prematurely, however. Keep monitoring your results and be prepared to adjust downstream if sales results change.

If you didn’t meet your weekend expectations, here are three ideas:

  • Realize that you have two primary approaches to the remainder of the holiday season. It is important to decide if your priority is to drive more traffic in an attempt to recover lost sales, or if you would rather maintain profitability on a smaller revenue base. If you need to drive more sales (say to clear perishable inventory), you may need to increase promotional budgets to buy more inbound traffic.
  • Implement your recovery plan. We advise our clients to have a backup plan in place that enables them to ramp up external promotion and increase outreach to current contacts and customer lists. If your traffic is below expectations, pull out those plans and begin implementation.
  • Identify which campaigns are working (and which aren’t) and readjust accordingly. The marketing plans you created before this weekend aren’t cast in stone. If you found that some tactics outperformed others, see if you can adjust spending to align with the better-performing tactics. This seems like a pretty obvious approach, but too often we get locked into a plan conceptually and forget that ultimately people have control over what actually gets executed.

Finally, before you panic, review last year’s calendar and make sure you’re making a fair year-over-year comparison. Thanksgiving was earlier than usual this year, Cyber Monday is in November, and Christmas is on a different day of the week. You might find you’ve been comparing different timeframes.