Maintaining Brand Image

You can bet that when over 55 major retailers experienced glitches on their websites during Cyber Monday in 2011, shoppers weren’t especially pleased. But for clothing retailer Urban Outfitters, its 2013 Cyber Monday website crash presented an opportunity to connect with shoppers and reinforce its youthful brand image. They promptly apologized for the crash over Twitter, releasing a single brilliant tweet: “Sorry for breaking the internet.”

While a snide social media dispatch may not be enough to assuage your customer base, you should be prepared to jump into damage control mode for any Cyber Monday missteps. Since a glitch can compromise brand image so significantly, it’s important to have a team of committed social media staff on hand to communicate with disgruntled customers, notify them of delays, and provide the same unparalleled customer service they might receive in a brick-and-mortar store.

Supply and Demand

Once you’ve ensured that your retail site will function flawlessly on the big day, you must ensure that your warehouses are fully stocked and ready to fulfill every order that comes in. Just as retailers may have to invest in extra server space to accommodate increased traffic, obtaining extra warehouse space may be necessary to harbor the holiday season’s increased stock. It’s critical that warehouse operations remain flexible and able to adjust to changes in demand on the fly. Rather than waiting for an IT department to address any hiccups, a mobile-enabled warehouse allows employees to responding quickly and proactively to shifting customer demands.

While the huge spike in consumer demand can seem daunting, retailers that effectively plan ahead and leverage the right technologies can fully capitalize on the massive revenue opportunity Cyber Monday represents -- instead of letting it get the best of them.

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