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Like their offline counterparts, online retailers make mistakes throughout the year. Those mistakes are most cringe-worthy, however, they can be disastrous during peak holiday (looking at you, Black Friday and Cyber Monday). For some perspective, according to Anodot, a typical issue that happens outside of these major holiday sales days usually sets a company back about $40,000. Move that incident to Black Friday and Cyber Monday and the lost revenue is closer to $250,000. And if the issue is defined as ‘catastrophic’, the financial implications are exponential. Here’s what all retailers need to do to keep smaller, more insidious errors that will hurt at time that matters most.

1. Keeping an eye on your customers.

Do you have a lot of referral traffic coming through Facebook and snapping up a particular item? What about using a particular payment method? Honing in on this type of information allows you to quickly modify how much and where you’re marketing, and to proactively predict potential inventory or service concerns. It also lets you avoid unnecessarily drastic price drops that could cost you thousands of dollars. Data analytics software can aggregate many pieces of customer information for you and present it in a way that’s easy to understand. When you couple this with AI and machine learning, adjustments can be made automatically.

2. Tracking third-party data.

Third parties of course can be your competitors, but they also can be organizations like your fulfillment & logistics providers. Data from these groups can help you plan and make adjustments that avoid disruption of service and enhance the customer experience. For example, if you know awful weather is coming, you can make sure in advance that you have systems in place to handle an outage, adjust…