Tis the season, and the pressure is on! Although the holiday sales season is highlighted by retailers as the biggest revenue driver of the year, 50 percent of marketers say they don’t feel prepared and Black Friday, which is just 10 weeks away—and that pressure is already “stressing out” 37 percent of marketers, according to a recent survey by digital experience analytics company Contentsquare.
The firm’s latest Sale Season report asked 300 retail marketers across the UK, US and France about plans, concerns, frustrations, and the lasting impact of the upcoming holiday season. Overwhelmingly, data shows that marketers are under increased pressure to maximize revenue but feel ill-prepared, and are generally frustrated with the technology that’s meant to help them be more successful.
Technical challenges are a big concern this year
Although most retailers have invested in better digital shopping solutions, a whopping 70 percent of retailers are concerned about technical issues; 36 percent are concerned they won’t know about issues on their website/apps in real-time and 34 percent are concerned their website or app will crash at some point during sale season.
Almost half of marketers (48 percent) are working overtime during the holiday sales season
As a result, it’s no surprise that nearly 1 in 2 retail marketing leaders (43 percent) see staff burnout as their biggest worry during this busy time of year.
Over a quarter (26 percent) of respondents believe that preparing earlier in the year would make the season less stressful for them
Despite this, only 7 percent have finalized their sales season preparations and nearly half (45 percent) of retailers have yet to start implementing sale season plans.
The stress and pressure of the holiday sale season is taking its toll
Retail marketers and workers to work longer hours (48 percent agree), lose sleep (41 percent agree), and have worsening work-life balance (37 percent agree).
Over a quarter of respondents (27 percent) want work wellness support
One in four (25 percent) specifically citing they want office puppies. Creating a supportive, calm work environment has proven to help teams feel less stress, provide needed mental breaks, and to motivate and drive success.
With online customer experience the cornerstone of digital success today, having a holistic understanding of customer behavior and quick access to actionable insights is key. Digital experience analytics go beyond traditional web analytics to help teams measure and understand every facet of digital experience and customer engagement.
“Sales season is often the most critical time of year for retailers, and the industry as whole is under a lot of pressure to bounce back after a couple of very difficult years. These pressures are a double-edged sword—from the top, performance and revenue is key to the retailer’s survival, but on a practical level, success can’t be at the cost of the well-being of those putting in the work day in and day out,” said Niki Hall, CMO at Contentsquare, in a news release.
Ensuring that workers have proper support, the business has realistic reach goals for the holiday season, and providing the technology solutions that can make life easier and goals more attainable is of paramount importance. Retail leadership needs to prioritize alignment between departments and technology and provide support to the workforce, especially in the weeks and months leading into sales season.
“Whether it’s A/B testing your UX solutions in advance, ensuring the checkout process is as smooth and frictionless as possible, or checking your website speed performance, completing these steps before the sale season rush will help retailers to ensure they have a relaxed, rewarding, and ultimately profitable, sales season,” Hall added.