Gifts and housewares merchant Miles Kimball shattered its one-day online sales record by more than 20% on Cyber Monday, according to e-commerce development manager Jason Poquette. So how did it drive—and—handle the surge in traffic to its site?
Although Poquette has been with the Oshkosh, WI-based company for nearly five years, this was his first year managing the Websites during Cyber Monday. To prepare for the Monday after Thanksgiving (when people use their office Internet connection to shop online), “we took a look at how our servers preformed with the levels of pre-Cyber Monday traffic,“ he says.
Poquette and his three developers then took a look at the forecasted amount of orders/traffic that the marketing department expected. “We could see that we needed to add a fourth Web server to handle the amount of requests that were forecast,” he notes. “On Cyber Monday, we put aside all development work, and focused on monitoring our sites.”
E-mail campaigns originating from the marketing department helped drive the record sales on Cyber Monday, Poquette says. “The amount of traffic that they drove to our sites during Cyber Monday and the days before and after were the largest traffic volumes we’ve ever seen,” he says. “We’ve also added a lot of new features to our sites to improve the customer’s shopping experience, which has increased our conversion rate.”
Miles Kimball’s Websites include Mileskimball.com, Mileskimballcards.com, Wdrake.com, Easycomforts.com, Exposuresonline.com, and Thehomemarketplace.com. “From what we’ve seen, the volume of orders on Cyber Monday is larger than the normal channel shift from telephone and mail to Web,” Poquette says. “So we are seeing that Cyber Monday is become a larger and larger day for us.” But the company is also finding that the sales the days before and after Cyber Monday are growing as well, he adds.