Build Your Best Holiday Strike Team
Cara Wood | September 20, 2018
Speed is critical in making Q4 product page edits. Every moment is a sales opportunity. And with brands pushing 76% more product page refreshes during the holidays, according to Salsify research, your brand needs a plan—and a team to swiftly execute that plan.
There’s much to consider. Team silos and too loosely defined roles will crinkle the smooth Q4 you hope to have. Both poor communication and over-communicative meddling can be equally disastrous. Team members need to know when it’s their time to act and when to let others make the move.
Guidelines for your holiday strike team
- Store all information needed for online sales and operations in one centralized place. As mentioned in Salsify’s “Improve your Digital Shelf to Drive Holiday Sales,” Rawlings saved five months of time and prep work just by housing their content in one place accessible to everyone within the workflow.
- If an edit is required, the team should address it on the consumer-facing platforms, and also the home base. A PXM platform is the most solid way to ensure edits are made everywhere and all at once.
- In smaller companies especially, but also larger ones, we’ve seen the e-level get involved with day-to-day operations (like content edits and push notification wording) at first signs that sales are not performing. Let us advise: Let the writers write and the marketers market. Be clear about each person's role in order to avoid confusion, mistrust, or repeated efforts.
- Keep the strike team small, tight, and on-call, with understudies trained in case of illness or unforeseen events. They should meet often and be in communication always.
Who should be on your holiday strike team?
A team leader. Coordinates efforts across all the different stakeholders and disciplines. When an edit or refresh need arises, it is first brought to the attention of this person so she can ensure the information is complete and then funneled to the appropriate strike team member. This person, likely from the ecommerce or marketing group, is completely empowered with decision making and also trained in all strike team areas so she can step in as needed.
Customer service experts. Always on-call and available, and also scouring platforms for issues and conversations relating to product page information and product concerns. This team member collects relevant consumer feedback found on social media, product reviews, manufacturer’s questions, and then communicates them to the strike team leader. After the fix has been made, in-store associates, and other need-to-know staffers are apprised.
Product development managers. As the creator of product specs, this person must maintain the home base of these vital details, especially as those details change when products alter and consumer questions are answered. The updates and answers must readily be dispatched without delay so the rest of the group can complete their tasks with the most current intel.
Marketing Copywriters. Write, rewrite, and edit copy and other content for product pages and other urgent needs. A big note here: This person has full creative approval authority without the need for bottleneck oversight. The content team member is punctual, error-proof, and knows the brand inside and out. If you have a rising star among your group, give that person a chance to shine by taking on this responsibility.
IT Professionals. Technical processes, systems, and data standards are this person’s forte. Alone, he or she can solve any issue, malfunction, or concern and has the resources to do so. Product data should be made easily accessible by this team member, who is the ultimate collaborator. No territorial issues here.
Sales and merchandising specialists. Manager of retailer relationships, the sales and merchandising representative must be comfortable with being a go-between. In this holiday role, closing deals takes the backseat. Fluid and complete communication between the retailers and your brand is his or her job.
Fulfillment and logistics experts. Product availability must be current and up-to-date at all times, especially during this fast-moving time of year. With constantly shifting inventory, any near-depletions must be remedied and this person should have access to all knowledge, systems, and authority to make in-the-moment adjustments to shipping methods and restocks. He or she should also have a solid relationship with the in-store contacts.
Legal and compliance advisors. These team members have done their job if the holidays unfold without issue. However, they should continue to watch for regulatory and compliance breaches with each refresh. To save time, stay out of the way unless dire.