As retailers enter the 2013 holiday season,
Avnet Technology Solutions
, the global IT solutions distribution leader and an operating group of
), is offering advice that solution providers and value-added resellers (VARs) in the U.S. and Canada can use to help their retail clients optimize e-commerce systems for the end-of-year increased demand. These practical steps are designed to help partners address their retail clients’ business challenges, such as e-commerce system slowdowns and failures.
E-commerce system performance will be a significant source of revenue generation and an especially important area for retailers’ attention as 2013 draws to a close. Shop.org, a digital commerce community for the world’s largest retail trade association – National Retail Federation (NRF), anticipates that 2013 online holiday sales in November and December will grow between 13 percent and 15 percent over last year’s holiday season, to as much as $82 billion.
“Solution providers and VARs are in an excellent position to contribute to trouble-free online ordering, transaction processing and logistics for their retail clients,” said Tony Vottima, senior vice president and general manager, Avnet Services, Americas. “These tips demonstrate the skills and capabilities Avnet can provide to partners to help them engage their retail clients in conversations about the readiness of their IT systems before the holiday season hits full force, especially since retailers’ success relies on strong holiday sales.”
Avnet, through its
organization, has helped some of the world’s largest retailers create exceptional digital shopping experiences through e-commerce strategy development and solution design. Avnet’s e-commerce experts have identified five key areas for partners to explore with their retail clients in advance of the holiday season, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These include:
- Determine the “now” normal – Partners should work with their retail clients to baseline e-commerce sites before the holiday season begins, helping retailers immediately recognize if something abnormal occurs during the holiday season. Also, auditing sites allows partners and retailers to identify small and recurring errors that could multiply during heavy site usage. Remediating these seemingly small problems before the holiday season, such as simply reducing errors written to logs, can significantly improve site performance during critical periods.
- Reduce risk areas – Partners should also carefully review retailers’ local and edge caching strategies, which often have not been updated since their sites went live. Any adjustments made should be tested to reduce the risk of a poorly performing site. Additionally, partners should examine retailers’ sites holistically. An assessment of items such as infrastructure stability, bandwidth usage, network backups and other back-end systems can help identify areas that could have a negative impact under increased holiday transactional loads.
- Optimize channels – Customers expect easy access to e-commerce sites through any device. Partners can work with retailers to incorporate solutions, such as responsive web design (RWD), into retailers’ sites. This allows retailers to build one set of source code that can be adapted to any new device—smartphones, tablets, desktop browsers, etc.
- Detect early, resolve quickly – Partners should also ensure that their retail clients have quantitative and qualitative tools to help IT support teams proactively manage the site during heavy loads. Actively monitoring user experiences can help retailers rapidly pinpoint issues, such as long-running pages and bad promotion codes, as they arise, reducing their impact.
- Check in – As trusted advisors, partners should also discuss customer support team communication strategies with retailers. Customer support teams are often not as familiar with e-commerce sites as they need to be. By making time before the holiday season to gauge the support team’s confidence, retailers can help ensure support teams have 100 percent proficiency navigating and working e-commerce sites. If needed, partners and retailers can create refresher training programs to review overall operations, with an emphasis on explaining changes that have occurred since the previous holiday season.
Additionally, the Avnet Services team has a wide range of e-commerce expertise partners can leverage to help their retail clients develop strategies and systems for driving more business to e-commerce sites and retain and attract customers through mobile and traditional methods. Partners can also hone their retail industry knowledge and skills through
which is built on the proven
methodology to help partners specialize in high-growth markets such as retail. Avnet RetailPath provides partners with in-depth industry training, detailed sales guidance on what and how to sell IT solutions to the retail market, and demonstration capabilities to bring IT solutions to life for potential clients.
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About Avnet Technology Solutions
As a global IT solutions distributor,
Avnet Technology Solutions
collaborates with its customers and suppliers to create and deliver services, software and hardware solutions that address the business needs of their end-user customers locally and around the world. The group serves customers and suppliers in
Latin America and Caribbean
Europe, Middle East and Africa
. It generated US $10.36 billion in annual revenue for fiscal year 2013. Avnet Technology Solutions is an operating group of Avnet, Inc. For more information, visit
Avnet, Inc. (NYSE:
), a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest distributors of electronic components, computer products and embedded technology serving customers globally. Avnet accelerates its partners' success by connecting the world's leading technology suppliers with a broad base of customers by providing cost-effective, value-added services and solutions. For the fiscal year ended June 29, 2013, Avnet generated revenue of $25.5 billion. For more information, visit