STORES Magazine - July 2010 - (Page 10)

trEnDS COMPILED BY STORES EDITORS Averting an Online Meltdown A voiding a website meltdown during the holiday season requires plenty of blocking and tackling in the months leading up to the critical selling period. Darl Crick, CTO of CrossView, has seen even some of the most sophisticated retailers allow matters to get to the point where they face critical failures at the most inopportune moments. A retail technology specialist who has worked with Advance Auto Parts and Moosejaw, Crick recently shared with STORES five steps that online retailers should take right now if they intend to improve site reliability and end-user response time during the make-or-break fourth quarter: • Optimize pages for faster loading. A cached page should load in less than two seconds, and order flow pages should execute in three to five seconds. • Document your requirements, then test against them. Quality performance testing allows retailers to create the anticipated holiday load to be sure the site will perform. • Clean out old data. This includes items like abandoned carts and past guest users, which take up valuable space in the system. • Follow monitoring tools closely. Watching alerts throughout the year allows you to proactively recognize small indicators, like CPU utilization, that can quickly escalate into serious site malfunctions. • Establish a process for failures. Run your own fire drills based on anticipated issues so that the IT team isn’t scrambling to figure out how to react while holiday revenue slips away. download the reader and scan Tags, as well as create their own Tags, for no charge. The Microsoft Tag Reader is now available on the Windows Mobile, iPhone, Symbian, Android and J2ME platforms. How can retailers use Tag? For starters, they can provide visitors to their bricks-and-mortar stores with immediate access to the same types of in-depth product information shoppers have come to expect online. Retailers can also use the technology to engage with consumers via ads. Adding Tag to a print advertising campaign creates an interactive experience for consumers; it also can be used to add a new dimension to couponing campaigns. And the flexibility of Tag gives retailers the ability to change offers on the fly. Tag provides analytics and reporting capabilities, so retailers can monitor and measure their interactions with consumers. There are additional benefits for shoppers, too. When Tag is added to a gift card, customers easily check their balance, find the closest store or view or listen to a message from the gift giver. WWW.STORES.ORG Tag … You’re It T he average mobile phone now has more computing power than a typical computer had a decade ago. It’s no wonder today’s consumer rarely leaves home without one, and that mobile shopping is beginning to gain traction around the globe. One of the key enabling technologies for “linking” realworld, physical objects to digital information and experiences is 2D bar-coding, and Microsoft’s Tag is setting the stage. Tag is now coming out of its ‘beta’ phase. Over the past 18 months, more than a billion Tags have been created by people and businesses all over the world, including brands like Cadbury, Procter & Gamble, General Mills, Domino’s, Best Buy, Porsche and Ford. In April, more than 20 million Details, Lucky, Self, Conde Nast Traveler and Woman’s Day magazines featuring Tags were in the hands of U.S. consumers. Use of Tag is free; customers can 10 STORES / JULY 2010 http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - July 2010

STORES Magazine
Editor's Page
President's Page
Retail People
Corporate Leadership
Top 100 Retailers
Location Apps
Food Safety
Risk Management
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - July 2010