Black Friday & Cyber Monday have quickly become important dates in the diary for eCommerce businesses and consumers. In fact, last year consumers spent a record-breaking £2.52 billion on Black Friday online alone.
Our web professionals at JSWeb understand the added stress of trying to create a successful sales campaign while running your business, so we have created a list of 8 ways to prepare your eCommerce website for Black Friday & Cyber Monday.
1. Test your store can handle a traffic surge
Once you have created your Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal you want to make sure your host can handle the increased amount of traffic hitting your site. Too many requests at once can potentially crash your site although it usually takes a very large amount of traffic to cause this to happen.
You can test the server load capacity of your store with tools like LoadImpact.com or Blitz.io.
With jsweb hosting, we provide excellent eCommerce hosting plans that cater for high traffic needs so you don’t have to worry about your site crashing in the middle of a sale. If you’re preparing for the busiest day of the year, talk to our team to make sure you’re on the most suitable plan. Online businesses with a cloud server should consider upgrading their server with additional resources for Black Friday and the festive season in the same way that a high street store would boost the number of employees during the busy period.
2. Create sale banners with impact!
You need to let your customers know when they hit your site that you’re offering great deals for a limited time and what better way to do that than with impressive graphics work. Your customers will be hitting your site on multiple devices so this is something to consider when designing your campaign.
At the JSWeb design studio in Birmingham, our team can work with you to design your Black Friday/Cyber Monday banners – just jump on the live chat or raise a ticket to discuss your requirements!
3. Build suspense and create a buzz
Announcing your sale will attract customers, but building suspense can help make it more successful. Start teasing deals to your customers through email marketing, social media and your web banners. Act on this quickly to reach as many potential customers as possible. You can even tie this in with paid advertisements on Facebook and Google.
4. Recover abandoned carts
According to reports, the average cart abandonment rate on Black Friday to Cyber Monday 2014 was 65%. To keep this number as low as possible, Zencart store owners should use the jsweb Automated Recover Cart Sales Plugin which allows you to automatically email customers who complete the registration process but do not complete the checkout.
If you want more information on our ARCS plugin, jump on the live chat or raise a support ticket!
5. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
According to reports, last Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend saw over 26% of orders come from a mobile device and we expect that to increase this year. What that means to you as a store owner is you should be thinking mobile first.
What does Google think of your site from a mobile perspective (use the tool at https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly )? Even more importantly, look at your current site on a mobile device. What is the experience like? Can you check out quickly and easily? If not then you should consider going responsive. If you want to know more about responsive design then read our previous article on What Is Responsive Design?
6. Email Marketing Campaign
Every business owner should have a structured email marketing campaign that encourages customers to return to your website. Email marketing drove over 27% of last year’s holiday sales for online retailers and we should see that increase this year.
We use MailChimp for our marketing emails at jsweb. Once you have signed up it’s time to start planning your campaigns so here are a few ideas:
- Announcing Black Friday Cyber Monday sale
- Last reminder before sale ends
- Exclusive sale for email subscribers
- Tease/anticipation email, sneak-peek of what sales are to come
7. Is your store fast enough?
Anyone running a website, especially an eCommerce one, is probably well aware that page loading speed is a crucial element in retaining a potential customer.
Check your site speed using http://gtmetrix.com/
In most cases, we will be able to get your performance grade up to a very high B, possibly an A with a few hours work. Speak with our team for more details
8. Secure your site
2017 is a crucial year for website security. Search engines and web browser providers have been pushing 100% site-wide encryption for a few years now, and the number of websites using HTTPS went from 25% to over 50% in a twelve-month period. Full HTTPS (where 100% of pages/content on your website uses SSL encryption) is now a standard feature for new websites, and existing websites should convert to full HTTPS at the earliest opportunity. Whether your website is selling products, advertising your services, or even a personal website or blog, full HTTPS is the way to go. Read our article on HTTPS for more information :
Contact JS Web now for more support!
To find out more information about preparing your eCommerce website for those busy periods of the year, or to discuss WordPress, WooCommerce, or ZenCart with our team, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us today! We’re here to help and we can’t wait to hear from you!
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