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Preparation for Black Friday

Seasonality has long presented challenges in estimating the resources organisation’s need to support critical periods of trading and fulfilment. With so much choice for customers, ensuring you attract and influence customers, deliver a highly responsive and engaging experience and fulfil this promptly has never been so important. Some seasonal trends are better understood and more data exists to prepare for the expected increase in customer demand and activities whilst maintaining that all important customer experience for each and every visitor.

In recent years the increase in online activity has presented many organisations with new challenges in terms of how and where to influence, promote and attract as well as predicting performance and corresponding capacity requirements for customers to maximize the potential of festive trading. If we consider the supply chain, customers are looking to the very best deals which can be fulfilled as quickly and as reliably as possible. The data we collect upto and including the transaction and previous fulfilments enables both historic and real time identification of trends to calculate promotions for more creative mixes or packages to maximize the customer spend not just in that one transaction but also future opportunities.  As we know, the challenge begins long before the buying decision in terms of influencing and attracting new customers to the organisations promotions and securing their transaction. This period of influence and attraction can be extremely short, omni-channel in reach and touch as well as search. In other cases, the individual may be seeking inspiration, ideas and creativity to help them with that all important purchase. For the seasonally popular items and gifts, the decision may be influenced by stock availability and fulfilment capability.

With so many variables, just how should your organisation best plan and prepare for Black Friday and the festive peaks in sales activity. Understanding the trends from data is only part of the jigsaw. Each year the promotions, packages and activity will change. Whilst we can model this and test against previous trends and profiles, it can be difficult to gain higher levels of confidence this will represent the actual trends.

When we consider the preparation activities, these include but are not limited to, understanding how your systems will respond to different activity volumes and this converts through logistical and fulfilment processes. The objective is to provide a consistent, simple to use, responsive and highly available service for your customers. It should include all aspects of the customer experience, which increasingly includes partners in terms of stock availability and order fulfilment as well as logistics, delivery and after sales support. For every customer. The issue is maintaining this experience as volumes increase, specifically providing the same experience at peak volumes of activity.

This is where Pulsant can assist. Over the last 15 years, we have supported a wide range of customers in providing additional capacity to service seasonal increases in activity. This starts with our assessment engagement which seeks to understand your existing infrastructure, performance profile and scalability potential. Using our modelling tools which we have developed over the last 10 years, and our highly experienced solution architects, we can then profile volumetric characteristics to determine how the platform can be configured and optimised for the seasonal peak activities. We then discuss these options with you and agree an implementation plan. This plan includes maximising availability at all times, including ramp up and ramp down of capacity. Our service includes comprehensive monitoring across our multiple service operation centre’s to ensure the right capacity is available when needed to optimise your customer experience. 24 hours a day. If you wish to change something, that’s simple to. Just contact our service management team who are available 24 hours a day.

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