Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner. The sooner you start preparing for the highly anticipated weekend, the better your business will do. If you start preparing now, you'll have plenty of time to get your promotional material ready, plan out your sales throughout the season, and restock inventory. Here are some tips to help ensure that your online store is ready for the upcoming shopping season.
Make a Sales Plan
Decide and plan which sales you will have and when they will run. Will you run different deals on Black Friday versus Cyber Monday? WIll you offer a site-wide discount or different deals on different products? Will you use discount codes or will the deals be redeemed automatically at checkout? Organize all of your various deals and discounts, and decide where and how you will advertise them.
Prepare for Increased Traffic
Plan for increased site traffic. An online store can crash if it isn't prepared to handle a sudden influx of customers. Test your website's servers beforehand with a tool like CyberFlood to ensure that your site will function well with increased traffic. Crashing or lagging will definitely deter sales and drive consumers away. If you’re using an eCommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, you shouldn’t have any issues with up time, as these platforms are made to handle spikes.
Create Unique Landing Page(s)
A landing page dedicated to holiday items and deal is a quick and easy way for visitors to explore the festivities at a glance. This draws attention to other products consumers may be interested that they may not have otherwise been aware of, and can create organic visibility on terms like “Black Friday deals,” “Cyber Monday offers” or “holiday sales.”
Create Holiday Advertising
Decorate your online store for the holidays. Include festive banners, holiday-themed photos and social media imagery, product images, logos, automated emails, and holiday-deal-themed keywords for paid search campaigns, etc. Now is the time to start planning for, designing and scheduling everything.
Consider the Mobile Experience
Many shoppers use mobile devices for online shopping ease. Consider the appearance and functionality of your eCommerce mobile site. Your mobile site should look professional. Site navigation and checkout should be simple and easy to use. Again, Shopify and BigCommerce handle the responsive design here, but make sure you also consider the look, feel and navigation, and tweak as necessary.
Prepare Gift Guides
It can be difficult for some customers to find the perfect gift. Provide organized gift guides to help shoppers find the right present. Gift guides organized by age, gender, interest and price can be a useful tool for online browsing, and provide varied ways for you to market your products into new groups, and cross-promote across categories.
Encourage Customers to Complete Their Purchases
Make sure you have automated emails for cart abandonments and browse abandonment. These email reminders can be a gentle yet successful way to redirect customers back to your site if they got distracted or are still researching their purchase decisions.
Leverage Deal Sites
Submit your Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials to coupon and deals websites. This will help deal seekers find your sales. Some of the top deals sites are: RetailMeNot, PromosPro, Coupon Chief and MyCoupon.
Don’t Stop at Cyber Monday
Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren't the only days for holiday shopping. Shoppers will continue to make purchase throughout the season. Keep your customers engaged by keeping your deals and ads consistent throughout the entire holiday season. Planning your specials gives you an opportunity to strategically map out deals and make sure nothing overlaps or conflicts, as well as giving multiple products or categories a chance in the spotlight. Consider marketing around the last guaranteed shipping date for your business, which will vary depending on your shipping and fulfillment process.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest days of the year for retail and online stores. In 2017, online businesses raked in 72 billion dollars in sales revenue. Don't miss this opportunity. The sooner you start preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the better your business will perform.