The holiday season is approaching, meaning that two of the busiest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner. As an online business owner, you probably have a million things to do at this point, but focusing on these two days is crucial. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become important dates in the diary for eCommerce businesses and consumers alike – so important, that last year, consumers have spent over £2.52 billion on Black Friday online alone.
The competition for holiday shoppers will be fierce – that’s why we would like to recommend a couple of last-minute tips before the holiday madness to help you get your website ready for Black Friday.
Make sure that your website can handle the traffic surge
Once you have created your Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, you would want to make sure that the host can handle the increased amount of traffic hitting your website. You will have too many requests, that could result in your website crashing – which would mean that you will lose a lot of potential sales.
There are some tools out there like Loadimpact that allow you to test the load capacity of your eCommerce website. Make sure you
You should also review your hosting plan to be sure that you have enough resources – Will your site go down if you reach your traffic limit? Will you be charged if the traffic spikes over your limit? If you overlook these points, they might end up costing you extra.
The surge in traffic can bring down the biggest of websites, for example, in 2016, because of the traffic spikes, websites like Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic have experienced outages – so be sure that your website hosting is ready for Black Friday.
Check your site speed
This is almost as important as the stability of your website under load. The holiday season is busy as it is, shoppers don’t want to waste their time waiting for pages to load. If your online store’s pages are taking too much time to load, then the shoppers will go elsewhere.
Customers prioritize website speed and ease of use above everything else. According to the Imperva/Incapsula eCommerce survey, 63 percent of users will only wait for five seconds or less for a site to completely load. And according to Google, “two seconds is the threshold for eCommerce website acceptability.
At Google, we aim for under half a second.” Amazon even calculated ( a couple of years ago) that a page load delay of just one second would cost them a whopping $1.6 billion in sales each year – this figure would be undoubtedly higher now. You won’t have the traffic that Amazon has, but there’s no question that your sales will suffer if your website load time is slow.
Make sure that your website is mobile responsive
In 2019 having a smooth working online website is no longer enough – in the 2018 holiday shopping season, mobile orders have passed the number of online orders for the first time ever. Mobile shopping is the new norm, and by 2021 it is expected to account for 75 percent of all online orders. Be sure that you test your website for mobile compatibility and that if you find any pages that look off, be sure to let your development team know so that they can fix it.
For mobile shopping, you have two options: as mentioned before – a mobile-optimized website or a mobile app for your store. While many eCommerce websites are already mobile-optimized, a large portion of these websites are not up to standards. In addition to speed, users expect mobile websites and apps to function independently, allowing them to do everything that is possible on a normal website, from researching products to returning items. If you really want to stand out, then you need a very sleek and functional mobile app – for this, you’ll have to get it professionally designed and coded – which can be well worth the time and money.
Check your checkout process
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday, online shoppers will have thousands of options for hot sales – so be sure not to give them a reason to skip your website in favor of a competitor’s. One reason this might happen is if your checkout process proves to be too slow or cumbersome. Be sure to remove any unnecessary steps during checkout which could interfere with buyers making a purchase.
The checkout process should be as streamlined as possible at all times, but it’s crucial to have it working perfectly at these important shopping dates. Consumers have too many options to bother with a lengthy or cumbersome checkout experience.
Recover Abandoned carts
The fact that 7 out of 10 customers abandon their online carts is just quite a hard fact to forget. Be sure to have a plugin on your website that will track the abandoned carts and email customers who complete the registration process but do not complete the checkout – this will serve as a gentle reminder to ask your customers to complete their purchase.
You can also implement an Exit-Intent Popup, that works by detecting when a user is about to leave the page, it then sends a popup message that encourages them to stay by presenting more information.
Black Friday is considered the kickoff to the holiday shopping season. It’s even made its way around the world, changing shopping habits in many countries around the world. With the right preparations prior to the holiday season, you can benefit from increased sales and you can even earn a new base of loyal customers. You can use the tips mentioned above to get your eCommerce website ready for Black Friday.