Amazon Prime Day 2019 attracted more customers and sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined that year, with more than 175 million products sold. This year, with the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to impact physical in-store shopping, attendance at the online event is expected to be even busier than before – which means big business for the retailers that contribute.
However, with this highly lucrative opportunity, comes the need for meticulous preparation to ensure retailers’ IT infrastructures are up to the challenge.
Effective Cloud Data Management enables retailers to prepare their digital channels for the extreme peaks in traffic generated by online shoppers. It also helps them improve the digital experience for customers, underpinning value-add promotions and discounts, and enabling transformation of the logistics and distribution process.
A digital infrastructure with fully available data means retailers can accelerate decision-making in real-time, offering them the agility that’s crucial to ride the challenges of these discount periods.
Here, Dan Middleton, Vice President, UK & Ireland at Veeam, outlines his top topics for retailers preparing for Amazon Prime Day 2020.
The Veeam 2019 Cloud Data Management Report found that on average, IT decision-makers (ITDM) from the retail, distribution and transport industries said their organisation had experienced six unplanned outages in the last 12 months, lasting an average of 77 minutes. Over an hour of downtime can have dire consequences on a retailer’s bottom line any day. During Amazon Prime Day, the impact would be even more severe. The same is true for transport and distribution companies, with demand for next-day, even same-day delivery services significantly higher than average. Any business which sees increased activity around Amazon Prime Day must act now to ensure that they are all systems go when the big day arrives.
Personalise customer service
Retailers know they must prepare for critical trading moments like Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday and the lead up to Christmas. However, it’s not only about being always-on and available during these flashpoints. The retailers who are able to provide personal and tailored interactions with customers over these periods will stand out from the crowd. Over half (52%) of retail, distribution and transport ITDMs believe Cloud Data Management will transform their organisation’s customer service. Moreover, 51% say it can increase customer responsiveness. Deploying Cloud Data Management will help customers maintain their highest levels of customer service, even during their busiest times of the year.
Provide instant gratification
Retailers must ensure their IT systems are scalable and are ready to deal with the uptick in traffic which sale-intensive moments bring. Three-fifths (60%) of ITDMs said their organisation is unable to meet its digital challenges due to legacy systems and technology. As shopping habits are driven more online and mobile-first – particularly in light of the pandemic’s impact on physical shopping – retailers risk losing their customers if they do not have the proper IT infrastructure to support a seamless experience which gives shoppers instant gratification. With consumers refusing to wait more than a few seconds for pages to load, retailers must be ready to achieve new levels of speed and agility.
Learn from the data
The online shopping experience is about more than just the point of sale. It’s everything from the first engagement with promotional marketing, to enticing television advertising, an enjoyable browsing experience, and eventually, receiving products on time, beautifully packaged and in working order. Over half (57%) of retail, distribution and transport ITDMs say Cloud Data Management is helping their business plan more effectively in these areas. Like all businesses, retailers need to listen to what the data is telling them: what are they doing well, what should they dial up, how can they improve, and what should they stop doing altogether?
Bring digital skills on-board
For retailers and distributors looking to enhance their businesses by deploying Cloud Data Management, it’s vital that they have the right skills on-board to manage these systems. Over half of ITDMs from these industries say there is a clear lack of digital skills within their organisation, with 94% agreeing that upskilling existing staff is vital to their organisations’ success in the next few years. As well as technical personnel who can ensure that the business’ digital infrastructure is fit-for-purpose, data-driven businesses will on-board data scientists and analysts to extract key insights from the vast pools of data at their disposal.