With the holidays fast approaching, Bazaarvoice is ready to help your online operations run smoothly during this peak shopping season. This guide will help ensure your consumer-generated content (CGC) program delivers the information your customers need to make informed holiday purchases.

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General change freeze

November 5, 2018 through January 11, 2019

During the general change freeze period, we will not make any changes to deployed integrations of Bazaarvoice products. Changes, if any, will be to back-end systems that do not impact the consumer site experience or require deployment using the Configuration Hub. Normal release cadence will resume after January 11, 2019.

Critical change freeze

November 20 through November 25 and December 21 through December 27, 2018

During these change freeze periods, Bazaarvoice will further lock down our systems and make only critical system changes.

  • Critical system changes are infrastructure and configuration changes required to restore service or prevent a service disruption to one or more of our customers.
  • Other changes, including new functionality, may be deployed to the Configuration Hub, BV Console (Portal), Workbench, and other non-consumer-facing applications during this time.
Note: During the holiday period, Bazaarvoice will adjust the cache period for our edge network to 55 minutes to optimize the hosted display and the API.

Holiday preparedness tasks

Now is the perfect time to review and complete the Bazaarvoice holiday preparedness checklist!

Frequently asked questions

With Client Care offices strategically located across the globe, we ensure our clients have 24/7 coverage for outages and critical issues.

Yes, SLOs will be in place. Log on to the Bazaarvoice Support Community and read the Client Care Quick Reference Guide, which includes a process for expedited handling.

Our moderation team is staffed to moderate your content 24 hours a day / 7 days a week / 365 days a year. We carefully monitor the velocity of CGC submissions in order to maintain our authenticity standards and SLA attainment.

We will implement client-level changes as requested, but will not make any system-wide changes during the holiday period. To learn more about our code freeze, read General change freeze.

Before the start of holiday season, you should perform a health check of your Bazaarvoice components. It's important to check the integration and functionality of your submission form and display, and to verify your product (catalog) feed, BV Pixel, and post-interaction email (PIE).

Looking for more information? This topic offers helpful tips for identifying integration issues that impact the health of your implementation. If you have questions or need help preparing your site and product feed, you can start a live chat on Support Community , call us, or open a support case.

In the event of an outage, we will email or call your emergency contact. Please submit a support case to add or verify your contact's email address and telephone number.

Bazaarvoice adds server and database resources in anticipation of increased system load during the holiday season. We monitor system performance, uptime, feed generation, and other critical systems, and scale them as needed.

Update product catalogs and syndication connections

If you are planning to update your product (catalog) feeds, or are considering making changes, send the updated feed to Bazaarvoice by October 31st. We especially recommend this for retail clients with large product catalogs. We encourage sending updated feeds even before the products are live on your website. This enables us to set up syndication connections and ensure that all systems are properly indexed before those products hit your website.

Updates to the feed may include:

  • Changes to the product hierarchy to align with preferred reporting at brand, category, or product levels
  • Additions of new products or deletions of old ones
  • Updates to the product information required for syndication, including brand name, UPC, EAN, ISBN, product page URL, product image URL, or manufacturer part number

Large-scale product catalog changes during the holiday season

During both general change freeze and critical change freeze periods, Bazaarvoice will closely monitor all incoming product catalog feeds from clients.

During that time, if we detect large-scale changes in an incoming product catalog feed, we may pause the import of that feed if we determine that it may negatively impact overall system performance. We do this to ensure no degradation in the performance of the hosted display, API, or feed export systems. We have seen cases in which large product catalog changes can impact these consumer-facing systems, and we want to optimize our performance during the holiday season. We will resume import of the feed once we determine it is safe to do so.

Setting up new syndication connections during the holiday season

Bazaarvoice will activate new syndication connections throughout the general change freeze period. However, during the two critical change freeze periods Bazaarvoice will not activate new syndication connections.

Brands syndicating to retailers

We recommend that brand clients who syndicate content to retailers ensure their retail channel partners have the correct and complete set of product information needed for syndication.

Schedule pre-holiday load and performance testing in advance

Our number one objective through the holiday season is to be available and perform well during periods of high demand. Bazaarvoice proactively scales our systems to handle the increased holiday traffic and leverages a content delivery network (CDN) to ensure high performance. Because we serve many of the world’s largest retailers and brands, we add significant load capacity for the entire holiday season. Levels are based on historical data for the aggregate Bazaarvoice Network, taking into account factors such as network growth, the shift from offline to online, and the shift from desktop to mobile.

In recognition of the demands that the holiday season presents to production systems, Bazaarvoice has updated our policies around load and performance testing.

Going forward, all load and performance tests must be scheduled at least three weeks in advance. All requests will be assigned to an available testing slot, which are limited, so schedule early.

Bazaarvoice is adopting this approach because tests conducted outside of an approved testing slot may be negatively impacted because other tests are occurring at the same time, making the results invalid. Additionally, Bazaarvoice reserves the right to charge service fees for unscheduled load tests.

Please contact your Bazaarvoice Technical Support team as soon as possible to schedule any load or performance testing of your systems that incorporate Bazaarvoice products.

Note: Depending on the scope of your agreement, service fees may apply. Please contact your Client Success Director with any additional questions.

Bazaarvoice proactively scales our systems to handle increased holiday traffic and leverages a content delivery network (CDN) to ensure high performance. Because we serve many of the world’s largest retailers and brands, we add significant load capacity for the entire holiday season.

Security

The number of security attacks against online retailers is highest during the holiday season. Our priority is protecting your consumers’ data while supporting safe and secure shopping. To prevent malicious activity, Bazaarvoice provides continuous monitoring and blocking of application layer attacks.

We will alert you to any known security threats affecting Bazaarvoice systems. In addition, you can contact us about any security concerns by sending an email to security@bazaarvoice.com.

Verify and update your technical emergency contacts

Is your emergency contact information up-to-date? This information is crucial if we detect an issue and need to reach you during the holiday season.

To verify and update your technical emergency contacts, open a case with the Bazaarvoice Client Care team. To avoid single points of failure, we recommend you include a distribution alias in addition to specific individuals.

Contacting Bazaarvoice in the event of an outage

Now is a great time to ensure you know how to contact Bazaarvoice in the event of an emergency or technical issue, especially a display outage. Direct outreach to Bazaarvoice Client Care is especially important during the holiday season, as it’s the most direct route to resolve any issues you encounter. The Client Care team has special holiday schedules in place to make sure we are ready to help.

With Client Care offices strategically located across the globe, we ensure you have 24/7 coverage for critical issues.

Live chat

Available from the Support Community portal from 8:30am - 5:30pm CST UTC-5

Telephone

Available 24/7 for critical issues. All other requests will be managed during regional business hours.

  • Americas: 888-984-1381 (toll free)

    866-522-9227, Option 4

  • UK: 0800 368 0991, Option 4
  • France : 08 05 08 94 80
  • Germany: 0800 188 8904
  • Rest of EMEA: +44 (0)20 8080 1100, Option 4
  • Australia: 1300-089-962 (toll free)

    02 9362 2200, Option 4

Online

  1. Log in to https://support.bazaarvoice.com .
  2. Click Open a Case.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select the option that best describes your request.
  4. Submit a detailed request with screenshots and page links, and click Confirm.

    You will receive an automated response from Client Care indicating we have received your request.

  5. A service representative will respond to your case in accordance with the Service Level Objective (SLO).

To see the real-time status of your Bazaarvoice services, including maintenance reports, go to status.bazaarvoice.com .