Black Friday was started in America and takes place on the Friday after Thanksgiving each year. This huge retail event sees thousands of brands and stores slashing their prices as consumers flood the shops trying to bag the best deals in time for Christmas.
But the event has also taken off in other countries around the world in recent years and thanks to the boom in the e-commerce industry, many brands and service providers have now extended their deals to their online stores as well.
As this has become such a big event, it’s one that businesses cannot afford to miss out on. It’s a chance to boost your sales and create long-lasting customer relationships. But as with any important event, getting ready for Black Friday takes a lot of careful planning and preparation.
So if you want to harness the power of this giant retail event this year, you need to make sure you’re putting in the work early. Below, we’ll look at six ways you can start preparing your e-commerce site for Black Friday, starting right now.
1. Check your site speeds
If you’re running a successful Black Friday campaign then you’ll expect to see traffic and sales increasing on your e-commerce website. The problem is, slow loading pages can cause people to abandon your site, with most consumers unhappy to wait more than three-seconds for a page to load and 70% confessing that loading time influencers their likeliness to buy from an online retailer.
As such, you need to make sure that your website is going to be able to cope with an increase in visitors and that the user journey won’t be interrupted. This might mean making some changes to your site or hiring in a professional service provider to help you get your webpages up to scratch or just installing some speed improving plugins. Either way, this should be one of the first things you do when preparing for Black Friday because a slow site ultimately means less sales!
2. Streamline your checkout process
One way you can make the customer experience as enjoyable as possible is to streamline the checkout process. This will not only make it quicker and easier for consumers to purchase your products, but it could also reduce the volumes of traffic if they’re able to make their purchase quickly, this in turn could help your page loading speeds – it’s a win win situation!
In order to make the checkout as seamless as possible only ask customers to provide information that is essential for you to be able to send them their purchases. Similarly, offer the option to ‘checkout as a guest’ so they don’t have to jump through hoops signing up to your site if they don’t want to. Remember, people are more likely to make impulse buys when there’s a good deal on and it’s quick and simple to check out, so make it as easy as possible for them to do this. To further enhance the experience of your customers, you may want to invest in inventory management software that can help you to inform them when the items they are looking at are out of stock. There’s nothing worse than getting to the checkout page to be told you can no longer purchase an item!
That said, remember, customer experience can not be only improved by checking if products are in stock or not. It can also be improved by providing them with hassle-free payment. For instance, if you are a business that deals with other businesses (B2B) on the e-commerce website, then seamless B2B payments could be a must for you to better your consumer experience. To do that, however, you would need a PaaS similar to the ones offered by firms like Paystand (if you are interested, you can have a peek at this site to learn more).
3. Advertise the event
It’s going to be important that you put together a Black Friday marketing strategy and part of this should be making sure you’re effectively advertising the event on your e-commerce site. This could be done through creating new webpages dedicated to the upcoming sale or adding banners and pop-ups which display the date and any other important information. Give yourself plenty of time to start advertising the event because it can be a very competitive day for all e-commerce sites.
4. Add reviews to your website
Adding customer reviews to your e-commerce site can help to boost sales not just for Black Friday, but in general as well. Peer reviews and social proof are very valued amongst today’s consumers. In fact, most people are more likely to buy a product if it has been recommended to them buy another happy customer or if they can read honest reviews and feedback to decide whether the product is right for them.
So if you haven’t already, spend some time adding reviews or testimonials to your site. You might want to add these under specific products so that customers can see what others have said about it. Alternatively, you could have a dedicated page entitled something like ‘what our customers say about us’. This might be easier if you provide a service rather than a product and you’ve received great feedback from clients in the past.
5. Display your discounts clearly
We’ve briefly touched on user experience already in this article in regards to streamlining your checkout process. But another important way to prepare your site and make the customer journey as simple and enjoyable as possible is to ensure your discounted prices are clearly on display. If a customer is drawn to your site by the promise of lower prices, they want to be able to immediately see that they’re getting a deal. This again can influence impulse buys and increase the likelihood of making a sale.
It can be beneficial to choose bright colours or banners to display your deals and it can also be a good idea to include the percentage price drop or the RRP so customers can quickly see that they’re making a saving. Getting all this ready in plenty of time can leave you feeling excited and prepared when the event finally rolls around.
6. Include keyword optimised content
One final way you can help to drive more customers to your e-commerce site in time for Black Friday is through creating relevant, keyword optimised content. For example, you might want to have a page on your site dedicated to your Black Friday deals, as well as creating blog posts and social media content which includes relevant keywords and links to your products.
A quick Google search (and any other keyword tools you use) will reveal some of the most relevant keywords and queries associated with Black Friday and your industry. You can add the best ones to your product descriptions and other content to give your SEO efforts a real boost.
Written by Sarah McCann, Blog Editor at Irish Parcels a courier comparison service that helps ecommerce stores find the best shipping deals.