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Contentsquare Survey Reveals Half Of Marketers Feel Ill-Prepared For Black Friday And The Holiday Season

New research reveals 70% of marketers are concerned about technical issues for online shopping and 37% of marketers are already stressed out over sales season preparation

Although sales season is highlighted by retailers as the biggest revenue driver of the year, 50% of marketers say they don’t feel prepared for sales season and Black Friday, which is just 11 weeks away. Sales season pressure is already ‘stressing out’ 37% of marketers, according to a recent survey by leading digital experience analytics company, Contentsquare.

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Contentsquare 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% of retailers are concerned about technical issues; 36% are concerned they won’t know about issues on their website/apps in real-time and 34% are concerned their website or app will crash at some point during sale season.
  • Almost half of marketers (48%) are working overtime during the holiday sales season, making it no surprise that nearly 1 in 2 retail marketing leaders (43%) see staff burnout as their biggest worry during this busy time of year.
  • Over a quarter (26%) of respondents believe that preparing earlier in the year would make the season less stressful for them. Despite this, only 7% have finalized their sales season preparations and nearly half (45%) of retailers have yet to start implementing sale season plans.
  • The stress and pressure of the holiday sale season is causing retail marketers and workers to work longer hours (48% agree), lose sleep (41% agree), and have worsening work-life balance (37% agree).
  • Over a quarter of respondents (27%) want work wellness support, with 25% 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.
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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.

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Commenting on the findings, Niki Hall, CMO at Contentsquare said: “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.

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.”

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