For retailers, the use of promotions is an extremely effective way of driving both revenue and customer traffic. To achieve the desired results, offers must be what the market needs, be consistent and your promotion execution tool must be able to handle increased sophistication and volumes, in a timely manner. With many retailers now relying on major annual sales events (Black Friday and Cyber Monday as examples) to drive their bottom line, it is critical they ensure their systems can handle the increased load resulting from substantial traffic increases to their stores and eCommerce sites. In a world where no one has time to wait, delays in processing online baskets, or checkout lines in stores, simply won’t work, customers don’t have time to waste while your systems work things out.
It is true to say that basic calculations of simple promotional offers can be managed fairly easily. However, an increasingly savvy customer base and a more competitive retail environment makes today’s promotions anything but basic and simple. Today’s promotion engine must efficiently and consistently deal with multiple sales channels, an unlimited number of promotion types and digital coupons, together with a wide variety of reward types. Compounding the challenge further, retailers need to ensure overlapping promotions are handled as expected, otherwise they may experience a loss in profit and customer loyalty.
The number of permutations and combinations to consider and compute are enormous for the promotion execution tool. Unfortunately for the retailer, handling all of this is not a simple technical problem, solved by throwing development resources at it. Those days are long gone.
The solution is to externalize the promotion functionality, with an application that is scalable, allowing more processing to be applied at peak times, and to be scaled back at others. In doing this, retailers must consider the volumes and load during their BEST periods, and ensure the solution has the ability to handle this load and more, otherwise they will quickly become their WORST periods.
The XCCommerce Promotions Solution provides extremely fast yet sophisticated rules-based conflict resolution allowing the retailer to implement the offers they want while still protecting themselves from unintentional deep discounting or loyalty rewards resulting from overlapping offers. The promotion execution engine can be run centrally for stores or distributed to the stores running on each POS terminal or on a back-office server. Centrally the solution can be scaled using multiple instances to handle the spikes and peaks. In the cloud environment this scaling can be automated, adding instances at peak times and removing them when they are not required. Typical response times are sub-second, with each instance being able to handle 200 or more transactions per second.
Contact the XCCommerce team for more details on the extensive promotion functionality that is available in the Promotions Solution Suite.