Many retailers, both online and offline, think that the December holidays are the busiest time of the year for their businesses and their websites. And while this true, there is are two other days of the year that you need to prepare for in terms of website functionality: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is one of the most manic shopping days of the year, and with online retail being as popular as it is, your website needs to be able to handle the massively increased traffic. 

If your site was built by a website development agency then it may be maintained during this time period. However, it is always good to have some tricks up your sleeve to ensure that you are fully prepared for the madness that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Starting early with your preparations will help your campaigns to run smoothly and will ensure that your website does not crash during peak online shopping hours. Below we give you some top tips to ready your site for the influx of shoppers. 

 

Think And Plan Ahead

 

While you might be annoyed at seeing the Christmas decorations already up in the stores, but this is one of the most important parts of preparing for the upcoming retail holiday shopping. Making sure that you have enough stock and planing out your marketing materials now will provide you with more time to put the best possible promotions in place for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Part of this planning ahead is to fix any issues your e-commerce website might be having, such as cleaning up any areas of your codebase that might cause problems, testing your website for any problems with checking out or adding items to a cart, and possibly changing the look of your website with banners and other marketing materials. In terms of apps, perform similar tests so that on the day, there are no issues that could cause them to crash and stop working. 

 

Prepare For Early Researchers

 

While you are preparing early for the rush of online shoppers, it is important to remember that many of these shoppers are also preparing by performing research about what stores are offering what deals. It is important to prepare for these people by sending out newsletters and even creating social media advertisements to showcase any deals you might have. 

According to recent research, over 70 percent of consumers plan to take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which means that a large number of people will be doing online research about stores and their offerings. Often, these consumers will use the day to find affordable gifts for the upcoming Christmas holidays, so be sure that pricing and shipping information for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is readily available and clearly listed on both your website and your mobile app. 

 

Tell The World About Your Sales

 

It might sound obvious to tell people about your sales, but if you are new to the online retail world and have not participated in either of these massive shopping dates, you might not be aware of how effective a digital marketing strategy can be during this time. You can write a blog highlighting your deals or telling people why they should start working on their holiday shopping now, in the lead up to your actual sales. 

Start creating a campaign for Black Friday and Cyber Monday at least two weeks to a month in advance to allow for excitement to build up as well as to show what deals you will be offering. Your social media marketing strategy could include posting fun graphics and wishlist ideas for people, with links that take them to specific pages, or you could create a countdown clock on your website, counting down the days to the big sale. 

 

Always Be Prepared

 

One of the best methods of preparing for BF/CM is to ensure that you have contingency plans in place. Having the proper backups in place should something go awry will help to ensure that the entire day runs smoothly and that your website is up-and-running throughout. 

Your other contingency plans should include choosing more than one shipping company as an option in case one is not working as well as ensuring you have enough inventory in stock for every item that will be placed on sale. If you have an app that allows consumers to buy from your e-commerce website, be sure that it will not stall and that any new downloads of the app are updated to the latest version. Being prepared for any eventuality is vital during this period. 

 

Simplify Your UX

 

If you are updating your website specifically for BF/CM or are building landing pages for your sales, it is important to keep the UX of your site simple. Not only will this provide a seamless shopping experience for consumers, but it will also help to keep page load time down by minimising the data that is needed to display products or services. 

For example, you could progressively reveal images as shoppers click through their buyer journey, or you could eliminate the need for people to sign up to newsletters and so on so that there are fewer steps in the buying process. Have all or most of your deals on your website’s home page and make it easy for buyers to navigate to other pages. Keeping the experience similar to that of your normal website is also a good way to keep UX simple and familiar for users. 

 

Don’t Forget To Boost Your SEO

 

A vital step in ensuring that your website is prepared for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is to ensure that your website, and all of the content, has been optimised for SEO (search engine optimisation). Be sure to research product names and terminology, as these might change during this period of time. This way, your content will be up-to-date and easily indexed by search engines. 

All product descriptions should be updated and lengthened and all meta descriptions and title tags will need to include relevant keywords. Improving your SEO will have a long-lasting effect on your website, but be sure to change the content and descriptions once the sales are over. If you have an e-commerce website and would like it updated, or want to build one for your business, contact NetMechanic today to find out how we can help you.