Bazaarvoice is ready to help your e-commerce systems run smoothly during the peak holiday shopping season.
Use the information in this guide to ensure your user-generated content (UGC) program delivers the information your customers need to make informed holiday purchases.
Change freeze periods for 2023
General change freeze period
November 6, 2023 12:01 AM CST through January 8, 2024 11:59 PM CST
During the general change freeze period, Bazaarvoice:
- Will maintain a 55-minute cache period for our edge network to optimize the hosted display and API.
- Will not make changes to our products or any technology on which our clients and partners depend for integration, except to fix critical issues.
- May make changes that do not impact the consumer site experience. These could include changes to configuration settings, Workbench, Portal, or other applications.
Normal release cadence will resume January 9, 2024 12:01 AM CST.
Critical change freeze periods
- November 21, 2023 12:01 AM CST through November 28, 2023 11:59 PM CST
- December 21, 2023 12:01 AM CST through January 2, 2024 11:59 PM CST
During the critical change freeze periods, Bazaarvoice will further lock down our systems and make only critical system changes. Critical system changes are infrastructure or configuration changes required to restore service or prevent service disruption.
The following image shows the correlation between API calls, product page views, and order count from July 2022 to January 2023 and how they spike during the holiday shopping period.
Holiday preparedness tasks
Review the following list of tasks as you prepare for the peak holiday shopping season:
Hosted display for Ratings & Reviews and Questions & Answers
Ratings & Reviews API
Content Activation Solutions
Product catalog updates
If you plan to update your product catalog, do so as soon as possible. Updates might include:
- Changes to the product hierarchy to align with preferred reporting at brand, category, or product levels
- Addition of new products or deletion 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
Updates through Portal
Use Portal to quickly view and manage your product catalog. Common tasks include correcting errors that originate in your feed and adding missing product data.
If you provide product catalog data in a single feed file, send the updated feed to Bazaarvoice by October 31. We strongly recommend this for retail clients with large product catalogs.
We also recommend you send updated feeds before the products are live on your website. Doing this enables us to set up syndication connections and ensure that all systems are properly indexed.
Large-scale product catalog changes
During the general change freeze and critical change freeze periods, Bazaarvoice will closely monitor all incoming product catalog feeds. If we detect large-scale changes in an incoming product catalog feed, we may pause its import if it could negatively impact overall system performance. We do this to ensure no degradation in the performance of the hosted display, API, and feed export systems. We will resume importing the feed when we determine it is safe to do so.
Brands syndicating to retailers
If you are a brand client that syndicates content to retailers, ensure your retail channel partners have correct and complete product information.
Pre-holiday load and advance performance testing
Bazaarvoice proactively scales our systems to handle increased holiday traffic and leverages a content delivery network (CDN) to ensure optimal performance during periods of high demand. 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 Bazaarvoice Network, taking into account factors such as network growth, the shift from offline to online shopping, and the shift from desktop to mobile.
In recognition of the demands that the holiday season presents to production systems, load and performance tests must be scheduled at least three weeks in advance. All requests will be assigned an available testing slot.
Why this approach? 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.
Testing slots are limited. Contact Bazaarvoice Support as soon as possible to schedule load or performance testing of your systems that incorporate Bazaarvoice products. Depending on the scope of your agreement, service fees may apply. Contact your Client Success Director with any questions.
The number of security attacks against online retailers peaks during the holiday season. Our priority is protecting your customers’ data while supporting safe and secure shopping. To prevent malicious activity, Bazaarvoice provides continuous monitoring and blocking of application layer attacks.
System status notifications
Bazaarvoice will send email notifications about incidents and security threats through the system status notification system.
To receive email alerts about issues affecting Bazaarvoice systems, go to status.bazaarvoice.com and select Subscribe to updates.
Technical emergency contacts
Accurate contact information is crucial if we detect an issue and need to reach you during the holiday season. Contact Bazaarvoice Support to verify and update your technical emergency contacts.
With offices strategically located across the globe, the Bazaarvoice Support team has special holiday schedules in place to ensure you have 24/7 coverage for critical issues. Bazaarvoice defines a critical issue as an outage impacting the following services:
- Submission or display in production
- Publication to social networks
- CAS or Social Commerce dashboards
- Influenster app
Direct outreach to Support is especially important during the holiday season because it’s the quickest way to resolve any issues you encounter.
Available from the Support Community as follows:
- 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM CST UTC-5 on regular US business days
- 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM GMT on regular UK business days
Available 24/7 for critical issues. If your call is not answered, you must leave a voicemail with your name and phone number to ensure a return call. All other requests will be managed during regional business hours.
- Americas: 888-984-1381 (toll free) or 866-522-9227, option 4
- United Kingdom: 0800 368 0991 (toll free)
- France: 08 05 08 94 80 (toll free)
- Germany: 0800 188 8904 (toll free)
- EMEA (other than Germany): +44(0)20 8080 1100, option 4
- Australia: 1300-089-962 (toll free) or 02 9362 2200, option 4
- APAC (other than Australia): 061 2 9362 2200, option 4
- Sign in to the Support Community .
- Select Open a Case.
- From the drop-down menu, select Production Outage/Legal/Privacy Breach.
- File a case describing the details of the problem, steps to reproduce, and example links.
- Select Confirm.
- If available, attach a screenshot as a case comment.
You will receive an automated response from Support to confirm receipt of your request. A service representative will respond to your case in accordance with the Service Level Objective (SLO).
We ensure our clients have 24/7 coverage for outages and critical issues.
Bazaarvoice is in the process of introducing new support packages with differentiated SLOs. However, during the upcoming holiday season, a Support representative will respond to critical case submissions within one hour. To learn more about SLOs for the 2023 holiday season, refer to the Holiday 2023 Support Reference Guide .
Contact us by live chat or telephone, or open a support case. If you do not immediately reach someone by telephone, leave a message to ensure the most timely response. For more information, see Contacting Bazaarvoice.
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 UGC submissions to maintain our authenticity standards and SLA attainment.
We will implement client-level changes with written confirmation from authorized client contacts. However, we will not make any system-wide changes during the holiday period. To learn more, see Change freeze periods.
Before the start of the 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 feed, BV Pixel, and review requests.
Integration health 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.
Bazaarvoice will send email notifications about incidents and security threats through the system status notification system. To receive email alerts about issues affecting Bazaarvoice systems, browse to status.bazaarvoice.com and select Subscribe to updates.
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 appropriately throughout this critical window.
Bazaarvoice also doubles the API key rate limits for all active API keys from November 1 through January 9.
Bazaarvoice architecture provides scalability through the use of redundant and secure data centers. This infrastructure scales during peak demand and performs full failover in the event of a catastrophic event. Data is fully redundant through replication to multiple data centers. To further mitigate risk, we pre-scale our environment ahead of the holiday load profile.
Bazaarvoice conducts a high level of test automation, performing continuous integration testing as a best practice year-round. In addition, we execute a full set of load and performance tests as well as disaster recovery scenarios and simulations to ensure all systems and personnel are prepared for any contingencies during the holiday season. Analysis of three years of previous holiday traffic has shown a predictable increase of approximately 2x the highest load average over the past ten months. Our preparedness and testing efforts are designed to ensure our systems are performant beyond the expected load profile.