Lessons learned: Early marketing takeaways from the holiday shopping season

By: Susan Ganeshan

December 17, 2014

Originally posted in RetailDive on December 10, 2014

Retail marketers do more than sell during the holidays—​they go to school.

With hordes of customers in stores, it is a time for moving merchandise. But how they do so is closely scrutinized for lessons that can lead to improvements during and after the holidays.

Early holiday faux pas

There are, of course, some crash courses, with Best Buy so far the standout. Over the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend, web managers had to engage in fast on-the-job training to bring up a massive online system that broke down…twice. While this is (so far) the highest profile holiday faux pas, problems are occurring across the board.

Empty shelves bear witness that some popular products did not receive enough orders. Conversely, stacked merchandise demonstrates the overzealousness of some merchandisers.

Some people are still waiting for products they ordered before Thanksgiving. And long lines are blemishing customers’ shopping experience.

While mistakes are costly, savvy retailers also plan to learn from them.

“The holiday is the real litmus test for retailers,” said Robb McCarter, senior product manager at Newgistics. “Is everything going to hold together? Because every second that something happens means money.”

Retailers must take time to prepare for what may happen now, and how it will be addressed after the holidays.

To read the rest of the article, please refer to RetailDive.