Blog Post - Mario D'Cruz, Nov 25 2020

​Ready to tackle our clients’ “unknown unknowns” during Peak 2020

​Ready to tackle our clients’ “unknown unknowns” during Peak 2020

Black Friday 2020 is proving to be like none other that’s gone before, with more retailers launching discounts early as Black Friday approaches and more shoppers than ever likely to buy online, with all non-essential shops closed until the 2 nd December, due to the second Covid-19 lockdown. 2020 sees Wunderman Thompson Commerce launch its first remote Peak Operations Room, a dedicated, multi-disciplined team of engineers ready to provide an escalation path for online operation teams in the event of performance and system related issues as our clients ready themselves for what could be their busiest peak ever.

So, what are we seeing as retail moves up a gear, and we approach Black Friday?

With Black Friday falling on November 27th, we are seeing more retailers launching their Black Friday deals early. Amazon kicked off what we are calling a 10-week “mega peak”, starting before anyone else with its Prime Day (rescheduled to October 13/14 th) with 10,000 early Black Friday deals available.

From inside our remote Peak 20 War room, we’re pleased to report that the team and our clients are in great form! So far, we’ve reported a 93% conformance rate and currently 0 high level risks have been identified. The team are prepared for whatever happens this week and confidence is high due to the amount of work that has been completed over the last few months to ensure our client’s busiest time online goes without a hitch. As well as the preparation work undertaken in the build-up, the Peak teams are continually monitoring all areas of our client's application and infrastructure estates, performance, sales data and multiple other key performance metrics around the clock, across 4 regions, to ensure our clients are able to trade during this mega peak. At WTC we take this one step further and enhance our managed clients with dedicated support teams that provide first-line cover to complement our Peak Team, ensuring our clients are fully supported to really benefit from the Peak season. As Donald Rumsfield once said, “All that is left is the unknown unknowns”.

Mario D’Cruz, Head of Service Operations at Wunderman Thompson Commerce said: “We’ve seen a trend towards starting sales early as retailers look to their online channels to make up for sales lost in store due to the pandemic. Many of our clients are offering early deals to signed up shoppers and are offering tailored promotions, targeted offerings, either through well designed websites or incentives to capture consumers hearts and minds and encourage them to return.”

Mario continued, “With Prime Day, Black Friday and Christmas sales coming together to form a Quarter 4 mega peak, our research suggests it will command 43% of all consumer sales spending across the year. Consumers also told us that 67% of their Black Friday spend will be online. That’s why it’s critical that retailers test their operations and get their marketing - and deals - right.”


Wunderman Thompson Commerce runs the largest UK-based Trading Operations Centre from its headquarters in Watford, supporting clients trading globally including DFS, Hotter Shoes, Game and Selfridges.

In line with the latest governmental advice, we offer a 24-hour service operation to support clients’ online retail operations throughout the peak trading period - and for the first time, we’re doing it remotely. Our multi-disciplined, globally located eCommerce professionals are strongly positioned across the UK, Australia, China and India to gather performance data directly at source and offer actionable insight to support organisations when they most need it.

If you’d like to discuss how we might support you through peak, please contact us.

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