The Holidays Are Here – Is Your Situation Room Ready?

This holiday season, customer experience is taking its rightful place in the retail situation room.

For e-commerce retailers, holiday season stakes are high. The weeks from Black Friday to Christmas can account for up to a quarter of annual sales, and daily revenues can be up to double those of non-holiday periods.

That’s why you optimize customer journeys and stress-test your site months in advance. That’s also why, come January, you follow up with deep analyses and takeaways.

But what about during the holiday season? What can you do to keep virtual registers pinging by more quickly spotting and resolving snags that jeopardize customer journeys?

Why Customer Experience Belongs in the SitRoom

Especially during the holidays, retailers depend on round-the-clock situation rooms to monitor and quickly catch technology glitches to keep sites cruising at peak performance.

This year, smart retailers are adding customer experience monitoring to their situation room mix.

In your holiday situation room, the right customer experience platform can help you quickly detect, diagnose and address glitches that interfere with conversion. It can give you hard data for tough decisions, such as whether issues require immediate repair, even if it means overriding a holiday code freeze. Moreover, adding customer experience to your Situation Room enables you to:

  • Understand VoC feedback while it’s still just a whisper
    How can you tell if a complaint is an important early warning or just a gripe? During peak seasons, waiting for feedback patterns to emerge can put sales at risk. Advanced customer experience solutions allow retailers to view the behavior that led a customer to leave feedback. This way, you can determine what visitors were trying to do when their journey went sour, better diagnose the source of the problem, and – most importantly - quantify its business impact.
  • Discover the causes of analytics red flags
    Analytics can alert situation room staff about drops in conversions or increases in bounces, but can’t offer insights into the extent of the problem. A customer experience solution enables analysts to quickly characterize and quantify issues by comparing visitor segments that behave similarly – until one abandons the site and the other does not. Isolating behavioral differences helps analysts quickly surface the issue, identify root causes, quantify business impact of leaving it unfixed, and get IT the exact data they need to fix things, fast.
  • Get rich data for fast decisions
    By tracking the details of every instance in which an error occurs, retailers can calculate the actual seasonal revenue impact. This hard data about frequency and costs of site issues helps you weigh benefits of correcting serious issues against risks of changing site code in the midst of the holiday rush.   

Case in Point: The Mystery of the Missing Buy Button

Just past midnight on Cyber Monday, irate feedback of the “I hate your site” variety was picked up in the situation room of a huge online retailer. Soon after, a situation room staffer noted a drop in conversions on a product detail page on the site. While he was quite sure that the drop merely indicated a stock outage, the analyst on call chose to explore.

Leveraging Clicktale’s VoC integration, he quickly drilled down to a session recording of the visitor who left feedback – and was dismayed to see the customer search again and again for an “add to cart” button which just was not there. Puzzled, the analyst defined a segment of visitors who experienced similar issues, and discovered disappearing buttons on numerous pages, costing the retailer millions in sales each day.

Presented with loss projections, backed up by recordings of customer distress on button-less pages, managers agreed that immediate repair was essential, despite their holiday season code freeze. Thanks to the quick action of the situation room staffer – and Clicktale – the retailer saw tens of millions in holiday uplift that would otherwise have been lost and prevented costly, hard-to-repair damage to their brand.

To learn more about how Clicktale can keep your site humming during the holiday season and throughout the year, contact us now.

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