Holiday Readiness starts TODAY
Great to see you (again)!
We know it is still early in the year, but preparations for the Holiday Season 2023 have already kicked off. As in years past, SAP recognises the importance of ensuring our customers are “Holiday Ready” and is teaming up, yet again, to help them overcome challenges associated with holiday sales events.
In the years since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the shifting landscape of online consumption has significantly increased and we saw a record breaking Holiday Season 2022. As the trend will continue this means customers should anticipate a significant increase in traffic, executed orders and gross merchandise value on orders.
Customer Experience is SAP’s priority. To ensure customers have a winning holiday season by giving their online shopping consumers a best-in-class experience, SAP is launching the 2023 Holiday Season Readiness Program (HSRP).
This blogpost is targeted at all SAP Commerce Cloud customers and their partners who plan to run sales events with their customers during the holiday season.
All about the 2023 Holiday Season Readiness Program
As holiday shopping means increased traffic on online stores, November and December are traditionally very high-turnover months for SAP’s customers. With increased focus on online business and high consumer expectations, preparing for the holiday associated sales promotions, well in advance, takes on greater importance.
The 2023 HSRP is an initiative that helps both our customers, their partners, and SAP. It has a strong focus on SAP’s customers and on supporting them in their preparations for the peak season. The program is also of great importance for SAP, because succeeding in the peak season is a joint effort. SAP leverages the dialogue with its customers in the preparation phase to deliver a great customer experience throughout this crucial time of the year.
Due to the large volume of holiday season promotions running simultaneously across all our commerce customers, SAP utilizes the 2023 HSRP to actively stay in contact with participating customers and to drive success.
We’ve again learned from our experience in the last year. The general structure of the program will remain identical but we have streamlined our processes and enhanced our toolset for an even better experience and even better results.
What holiday events/dates will be covered?
The program includes preparations for the following events and days:
- Singles’ Day (Nov 11th, 2023)
- Armistice Day (Nov 11th, 2023)
- El Buen Fin (Nov 17th – Nov 20th, 2023)
- Black Friday / Cyber Monday (Nov 24th – Nov 27th, 2023)
- Christmas / Holidays (Dec 24th – Dec 26th, 2023)
SAP is aware that many promotions also take place outside these official events during these high revenue months. These occasional promotions are run under the official processes Surge Event Preparation Checklist and are not part of the HSRP.
Who can participate?
The HSRP is aimed at all SAP Commerce Cloud customers who are planning to run promotions on their Commerce platform during the official covered event days (noted above).
Traditionally, this critical period mainly concerns SAP customers who are active in the B2C business. However, all customers in the B2B, B2C or B2B2C business who are planning sales events with their customers are welcome to participate in the program, too.
What do participating customers get with the program?
The 2023 HSRP helps customers prepare for a successful peak season. Signed up customers can expect the following from SAP:
- a Database / Platform analysis and preventive temporary scale up of resources in collaboration with the customers and their partners
- Checklists with preparation activities to be conducted by the Customer/Partner
- List of recommendations and supporting SAP articles
Customers can still decide to run sales events without signing up for the program. Participation in HSRP is free of charge for customers and provides an extra security layer.
We generally recommend to continuously run load & spike tests and optimize performance. If you require help from our experts, our Performance Review Service is for you! For more information please check this blog post.
Why customer enrollment is important for SAP?
SAP does not know all our customers’ promotion plans and an organised dialogue is very important. Therefore, teamwork between SAP is necessary during crucial holiday periods. As part of the HSRP, customer inputs about expected peaks and promotion events allows SAP to optimize services accordingly to deliver best-in-class customer experiences throughout the holiday season.
What is the 2023 HSRP timeline?
Once enrolled, participating customers will receive information via email. Before any planned events, customers will of course be informed about their Upscaling and Downscaling processes and schedules. Individual follow-ups might take place, if required.
The following graphic shows the relevant 2023 HSRP phases on a high level:
How can customers enroll and what happens after the enrollment deadline?
The registration for participating in the HSRP 2023 starts on June 26th, 2023 is open until August 31st, 2023. SAP HSRP will contact registered customers in September and follow up with guidance, recommendations, best practices and other opportunities.
What if customers are not sure about their expected Holiday Season traffic?
It is important that customers sign up for the program, regardless of if they know exact numbers of expected traffic. SAP will share a tooling to determine forecasts and include a buffer for registered customers.
What if the Customer is still in the project phase but plans to go live before the Holiday Season?
The HSRP is primarily targeted at all live clients and all project clients who are planning to go live before the events.
If a customer registers but does not go live before the holiday season, this is not a problem for SAP.
What happens if a customer misses the registration cutoff or if customers are not sure if they will be running sales events with their customers before the deadline?
If clients have not enrolled for the HSRP but would still like to hold sales events with their customers, this is no problem. SAP has a standard process for surge events in place that must be followed (SAP Commerce Cloud Services Description; 5.5 Scalability). As a best practice, when the Customer is expecting an increase in traffic to its website, the Customer should notify SAP (via a support ticket) at least 3 Business Days in advance to ensure adequate resources are provisioned and to avoid performance lag.
In this case, the responsibility for the analysis and preparation lies exclusively with the customer.
During the events, each customer receives the identical best-in-class support from SAP. There is no support difference whether enrolled for HSRP or not (also read “How SAP detects a Business Down Situation in SAP Commerce Cloud”).
What if a customer plans to run a sales promotion the week before Singles Day or a week after Christmas?
If customer sales events differ from the official dates listed above, the event is out of HSRP scope. Individual sales events or promotions outside the official timelines must follow the standard process. Customers must inform SAP about their plans via a support ticket at least 3 days in advance by following the standard processes for surge events. However, being signed up for the HSRP is still recommended. The plans can be specified during the enrollment process or later via the SAP-HSRP inbox.
How will customers be informed about changes on their environments?
For Up and Downscaling activities, a customer facing ticket will be raised by SAP using the SOC S-user that is provided by the customer.
How can customers ask questions or give feedback?
Feedback should be passed on to the Customer Success Partners (CSPs). The HSRP management is in constant exchange with the CSPs and will take the feedback into account. Customers and partners can also contact the HSRP management directly by the SAP-HSRP inbox.
How can customers subscribe to receive notifications for their SAP Commerce Cloud solution?
To ensure customers and their organisation receive important Commerce Cloud system notifications, customers must ensure all team members subscribe to the SAP Cloud System Notification Subscription (CSNS) service and select preferred notifications by clicking here. For more information on the CSNS, including a help guide, please visit our Support Portal and check out the solution brief or user guide.
There is no legal or contractual basis for SAP to deliver this Holiday Season Readiness Program. It is a voluntary initiative by SAP to achieve the best possible result together with its customers.
If customers wish a level of support for the holiday season preparation that exceeds the standard preparations of this program, they can get in touch with the SAP Commerce Cloud Services Team. The consultants can offer an all-around carefree package that is more tailored to the individual needs of individual clients.