There are times when you know you’re not going to be able to do everything you need to do. And then you have to prioritize. Pick your battles, if you will. When it comes to e-commerce, your priorities are:
- Generate sales.
- Delight those customers.
- Convert those to repeat business.
- Convert them to brand evangelists.
But I am seeing some businesses missing out on the first item on that list. By now, you should know how things are shaping up for the season. If your sales aren’t up for the holidays, if your total daily isn’t higher than it’s been all year, you’ve screwed up. (Note that your holiday sales growth depends on your product, but I think you know how well you should be doing.) In this past year, I made a great suggestion to an online retailer about how to turn their sales from ho-hum to ho-ho-ho! And what did they do? They focused on a redesign of a section of the site that generates no revenue.
Fast forward a few months, and these great suggestions I gave them aren’t implemented while they wallow in mediocrity. Why didn’t they go for it? A lack of focus and inability to prioritize – neglecting the basics.
If your management can’t pick a great idea out of the stack and make that the priority, then they don’t have a prayer of making Christmas shopping season work for them – ever. And if senior management can’t spot the problem and replace that person with someone who knows how to make those decisions (or make them let someone else prioritize), then they are as much to blame.
This may sound harsh and even hostile. Not at all. I say it with frustration. Like throwing the ball to home plate to make the out and win the game only to see the catcher daydreaming and chatting it up with the ump, it is just something that shouldn’t happen. If it is happening, take a good look and get someone in there who knows. Listen, watch, learn. And stop getting in the way of success. In other words, don’t screw with Christmas. 2-4 depends on it – as does a happy New Year.