Hold on tight! November kicks off the most stressful time of year for any online retailer, and having gone through the holiday season 12 times as a retailer and 5 times supporting retailers, it never got easier. If anything it gets harder. Last year I wrote a blog about how to be prepared, each year is a bit of Groundhog Day, but in the end we will all get through this time of year.
That stress doesn’t stop with the online retailers. As a key technology provider to online retailers, we have our own stress levels as any hiccup on our side can impact almost 2,000 clients. This is why I don’t really sleep much between Black Friday and Green Monday. It’s a terrible 10 days of nail biting but it is so rewarding and worth it.
It isn’t that I thrive on stress, it is that I know how key we are to the success of so many sites. Search is so integral in any website’s performance, with Search usually out performing browse traffic by 4-6x in conversion. I know that our technology is helping people sell a lot more than they otherwise would be selling. Each technology in the chain of a website is vitally important, I watched PayFlow go down for almost 30 minutes and wreak havoc on so many sites, I never want to be The One, contrary to what Taylor Swift says. During this period you actually want to be forgotten and just in the background doing your job.
Since there is always a possibility of something tragic happening, we spend countless hours preparing, eating our own dog food of my preparedness post to ensure that we are in a position to reduce the risk and minimize the chance of something tragic. Should something happen, we are equally prepared to deal with it and most importantly, communicate with our customers. Nothing is worse than silence when something is wrong.
Here’s to a kickoff of the best/worst time of the year to all retailers or anyone that supports them, we will get through this, just like every other year!