A Unified Guide to Peak Season Preparation

31st August 2023

In the world of luxury ecommerce, Black Friday represents a unique opportunity. It's not just about discounts and deals; it's about crafting an unforgettable experience that resonates with your discerning clientele and stepping up. In fact when any peak season hits the world of ecommerce, the intensity is turned up to maximum – this means high open rates on emails, increased website traffic, and more eyes across all pages hunting for early purchases or promotional offers.

The more time spent upfront preparing for industry peaks will help mitigate visitor, or website issues, and can really assist in driving engagement and subsequently conversion rates – you have one shot, so put the preparation in early!

Make sure the basics are covered first - stock availability and competitively speedy delivery times are essential – but following that, make sure to optimise your website, ensuring it can handle the increased traffic by performing load tests and performance monitoring, followed by reviewing the user experience, site navigation, merchandising, optimising search and much more.

Here are our top tips that we run by our clients when they are preparing for peak seasons:

Take pride in your product data

If you are doubting the depth of information provided on your product pages, you can be sure your customers will. Take time to improve product descriptions, images, and pricing information, and try adding customer reviews and ratings to help build brand affinity.

We always recommend having a seamless Product Information Management system, such as Akeneo, to drive exceptional product experiences across owned and unowned channels during peak times. This will really help you to exceed customers' expectations while eliminating chaos and delays from siloed operations.

Offer more than discounts

While discounts have their place, luxury shoppers often value exclusivity over price cuts. Consider offering early access to peak season sales and Black Friday deals for your important and loyal customers. Host virtual events, webinars, or behind-the-scenes tours for them. It's about making them feel like an integral part of your brand's inner circle.

Embrace the art of storytelling

Luxury brands have a story to tell, and peak season is the perfect canvas. Start by crafting a compelling narrative around your brand's heritage, values, and the exquisite craftsmanship behind your products. Share this story through your website, social media, and email marketing in the weeks leading up to important dates like Black Friday. Give your customers a reason to be part of your brand's journey that leaves them coming back for more!

TOP TIP: Talk about sustainability. Luxury and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. If your brand is committed to ethical practices, showcase them in your brand’s story. Highlight sustainable materials, eco-friendly packaging, and responsible sourcing. Don’t forget luxury consumers increasingly value brands that align with their values.

Optimise the mobile experience

During peak sales periods, conversion on mobile devices increases 30-50% over normal trading days. Therefore, it’s essential to optimise for mobile visitors and transactions – helping visitors find products easily (by navigation or search) and move around to other categories and products with ease.  An optimised, fast-loading experience, with clear product pages and imagery.  Clear calls to action in prominent positions.  And above all, an easy-to-use, finger-friendly, simple checkout process (ideally with on-device payment options).

Conduct competitor analysis

We see many of our luxury clients not partaking in big ecommerce events such as Black Friday, and sometimes what you don’t do can be just as impactful as what you do. If you’re a luxury, high-end brand that doesn’t do traditional discounting then monitor your competitors’ promotions, pricing, and marketing tactics so that you can be clear with your point of differentiation – perhaps a unique proposition or offering.

Test, test, and test again

Don’t forget to prioritise testing before the peak season arrives. Run A/B tests on promotional messaging, landing pages, and checkout flows to optimise conversion rates. Then continue to analyse and track key metrics through the peak season and beyond, to help identify areas for improvement – either day-by-day or after peak.

And finally, remember to monitor customer feedback, stay agile, and leverage data-driven insights to make informed decisions that will drive sales during these busy times. By analysing and optimising your ecommerce website during peak seasons, you can enhance the shopping experience, maximise conversions, and capitalise on increased traffic.

Impeccable customer service

Outstanding customer service is the hallmark of many of our client’s luxury brands. Ensure your customer service team is prepared for any peak season rush. Be responsive, helpful, and empathetic in addressing customer queries and concerns. It's these interactions that can turn one-time buyers into lifelong brand advocates. And most importantly don't let the engagement end at the checkout or end when peak seasons end.

After an event such as Black Friday, continue nurturing customer relationships by sending personalised thank-you notes, request reviews, and engage with customers on social media; make them feel valued and appreciated long after the excitement has faded.

Peak season for a luxury ecommerce brand is not merely a single day of sales; it's an opportunity to showcase your brand's uniqueness, values, and commitment to your discerning clientele. By embracing our top tips such as storytelling and exceptional customer experiences, you can elevate your brand above the noise and create lasting connections with your customers.

If you have any questions around how you could optimise your ecommerce website, ready for peak season, then get in touch. Our door is always open! 

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