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Peak Moments in eCommerce: How to Prepare with Data

eCommerce has had phenomenal growth putting even more pressure on small websites to meet rising demand. Now is the time to explore how you can prepare for the increasing numbers of peak periods occurring throughout the year.

Understanding the Peak Season in eCommerce

Even though online shopping has been steadily increasing over the past decade in Kenya, there are specific periods during the year where there’s a growth spurt such as during the mid-year sales or the festive season rush. This is the peak sales season for retail and eCommerce sites.


Unfortunately, the biggest opportunities can also be the easiest to miss with slow websites during the high traffic times or customers kept on hold for a longer time and not to mention poor user experience. A thousand things at key moments in the customer journey can stop your site, customer service team, or any other department from delivering optimum customer service.

Understanding High Risk and High Returns in the Peak Season

The old adage is true - the higher the risk, the higher the returns. However for many eCommerce players, the argument is whether increased revenue is a causation or a correlation factor of risk during the peak season. More customers, higher-value baskets, more repeat business: what’s not to like? But it’s also a time when most websites are operating at maximum capacity. So if an unexpected service issue jams up the help desk for hours, customers leave unsatisfied. And that means that shoppers will simply give up and go to a competitor or opt to shop from a nearby convenience store.

Proactive communication can solve the bulk of these issues. From basic SMS alerts to sophisticated chatbots and customer service software help you stay on top of your game during busy times.

But being responsive is only half the story. To make the most of eCommerce high season, you need to be predictive, anticipating where the pain points are going to be and being ready to answer them. Let’s look how data can help you out to tackle the most common challenges.

Understanding Customer Service and Marketing Data

Keep records of your service, marketing, and sales interactions. Perhaps a database of common Q&As for your customer service agents to refer to, customer problems divided by type; standard data points like the length of call, and scores from post-interaction customer surveys. So far, so normal. But it’s possible to think about that data in a different way: as indicators for peak-season problems yet to come.

Every service interaction – from the distribution of common queries, to the information requested by customers, to the channels they use to message you and the keywords that pop up time and time again – is rich with insights. And analysing them is the perfect prep for your busiest season ahead … if you start NOW.

Ecommerce data insights customer service peopleReview data from previous years. Where were the chokepoints and bottlenecks which interrupted customer journeys the most, and which interactions led to the most successful outcomes?

These are 7 data points that help you to define pain points and to tackle them:

1. Service Interactions

What proportion of interactions ended with a satisfied customer, and can you discover if they made a purchase afterward? And do you also know what kind of questions occurs the most? You can start by looking into the data of different interactions with your customers. Do you see any connections or common threads? That could help you to prepare for busier times and, for example, update your FAQ or even optimise your chatbot. And if you do not have any systems to organize your customer service interactions, then start researching which tool fits best to your needs.

Examples of data points to analyse:

  • Received messages

  • Phone calls

  • Handovers from chatbot to agent

  • Tags conversations - what kind of interactions are most occurring?

2. Communication Channels

Is there a big difference in customer satisfaction between email, WhatsApp, voice calls, or other channels? And do you know how long customers want to wait for answers or services on specific channels? The point of being multichannel is to be equally effective on each, so customers aren’t corralled into one. (And your capacity can be more evenly spread, too.) Look back into your data and see what channels are important during peak moments and make sure you have those covered when more customers want to get in touch with you.

Read our research to learn more about channels and speed in customer service and prepare yourself for Q4 in eCommerce.

Ecommerce peak moments channels responses

3. Chatbot Effectiveness

Chatbots help you to automate conversations and ensures that customers can contact you whenever they want. A chatbot provides you with very useful data about your customers. For example, you learn what customers are looking for and what kind of questions they ask. And what about the moment that a handover is needed to a human agent? As you now understand, your chatbot's effectiveness gives valuable information gathered during automated conversations. This will definitely help you to prepare for coming peak moments.

Chatbot data to analyse:

  • Number of interactions during previous peak season in the last year

  • Labels or categories of automated conversations

  • Completion of conversations

  • How many handovers from chatbot to agent - human takeover rate

4. Customer Journey Gaps

If you’ve mapped out typical customer journeys, are there specific points where losing the customer is higher than usual? Look for correlations between service interactions and abandoned baskets; look at returns due to a poor after sales experience. Or dive into your former marketing campaigns and search for opportunities to create even better one-to-one personalised campaigns. Maybe you'll discover that newsletter engagement is way higher via WhatsApp than traditional email. Map out the customer journey, combine it with data you have, and improve where needed.

WhatsApp open rate visual

5. Persistent and Repeated Issues

If one customer calls twice about the same problem, that’s a red flag. So if many customers are getting in touch with you about a type of problem at the same time, you need to start digging. Search these down and look for the root causes. Why do the same question arise? And how can you tackle this with your customer service and marketing team or optimise your web shop? Make sure you don't slow your service team to a crawl in peak season because you are not aware of the most common questions or repeated conversations.

Tip: check data points from different sources to understand the most common questions. Think about tagging your conversations, creating categories and look for what types of marketing campaigns generate more interactions with your service department.

6. Marketing Campaigns

Bring together marketers and service managers to ensure a smooth marketing calendar spread out across the whole year touching on the seasonal peaks. Also think about campaigns that will be released because this means more questions can come in. Is your customer service team aware of that? A solution is to integrate your customer service with your marketing campaign software. Why? Because customer service agents have more relevant information next to the conversation they are having with customers. So agents do not have to guess what kind of information or campaign has been send, and directly know what the customer is talking about. That is connecting data with service at the right time!

Ecommerce peak moments campaigns mobile marketing cloud

7. Key Performance Indices

Sometimes the problem is with the way you measure performance: an achieved goal doesn’t mean a good outcome. If your agents are rewarded for lower handling times of any kind of customer interaction, make sure to check if this is actually leading to higher customer satisfaction – or whether you’re just motivating them to end the call too soon!

Tip: Look into your metrics, back it up with your data to better understand what is happening.

Ask yourself: what metrics do I measure and do they really help to understand and tackle peak moments?

Start Preparing for eCommerce High Season with Data Today.

You’re probably already thinking about how you can resolve busy-period bottlenecks. And we’d like to help.

In summary, there are two themes; First, your data is connected and secondly, customer experience matters more.

Data is your friend. Every kind of customer interaction is a great learning point.

Customer journey as an integrated series of interactions, regardless of whether the data attributes to marketing, sales or customer service. Bring these teams and data points together with the help of's tools. is a platform for sales, marketing, and customer service, letting you engage with customers on their preferred channels – but it’s so much more.

Because with, all that data is connected. So you can see every customer journey, explore key interaction points, and optimise the experience for the customer. Over and over again, as you discover new insights in the process of continuous improvement that makes the most of your resources to serve as many customers as possible.

If that sounds like a successful peak season to you, get in touch!

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Request for a demo for eCommerce tools

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Kristian Verhoef
Kristian Verhoef,
Product Marketer
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Is Product Marketer for Customer Service and loves to make complex information simple and easy to understand. He focuses on understanding customers’ needs and behaviors to ensure our story and solutions match in the best way possible.

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