Black Friday is coming up, and that means a lot of people are going to be looking to buy things online. If you’re an online store owner, now is absolutely the time to start preparing for the rush. You definitely don’t want to wait until the week of Thanksgiving to make sure everything is in order. Talk about unnecessary stress!
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do now to make sure your store is ready for the influx of traffic prior to the big weekend. And we’ve compiled 9 tips to set you on the right path toward the holiday season.
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1. Create a Plan of Attack
First things first, you need to have a plan for how you’re going to approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This means having an idea of what sort of deals you want to offer, what kind of products you want to promote, and how you’re going to market everything to your customers.
This is the time to really sit down and think about your goals for the holiday season and what you need to do to achieve them.
2. Get Your Website Ready
Next, you need to make sure your website is actually ready to handle the influx of traffic it’s going to receive. This means doing things like the following:
Testing your site’s speed: If your site is slow, customers are going to get frustrated and leave without making a purchase. Use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see how your site is currently performing and get some tips on how to improve things.
Making sure your site is mobile-friendly: A large portion of online shopping is done on mobile devices these days, so you need to make sure your site looks good and functions well on smaller screens.
Making sure your payment gateway can handle the volume: You don’t want to run into any issues with your payment gateway on one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Perform any required updates and perhaps even reach out to your provider to ensure reliability.
Ensuring that your server can handle the load: Again, you don’t want your site to go down in the middle of all the Black Friday madness. Talk to your web hosting provider and see what they recommend in terms of preparing your server for the increased traffic.
If you’re not sure how to do this, we recommend working with a developer or someone who knows their way around these sorts of things. The last thing you want is for your site to crash in the middle of Black Friday!
3. Prepare Your Product Inventory
Of course, you’re also going to want to make sure you have enough inventory on hand to meet the demand of your customers. This is especially important if you sell physical products that need to be shipped out.
Now is the time to check in with your suppliers, make sure you have enough products in stock, and create a plan for how you’re going to keep everything organized during the holiday rush.
4. Create Black Friday-Specific Landing Pages
If you really want to take your Black Friday game up a notch, we recommend creating some specific landing pages for your deals and promotions. This is a great way to showcase everything you’re offering and make it easy for your customers to find what they’re looking for.
If you use WordPress, you can easily integrate these landing pages into your standard marketing efforts. For example, you can use a landing page plugin like Beaver Builder to create custom pages with ease.
A good Black Friday landing page should include:
A clear and concise headline
A description of the deals and promotions you’re offering
Images or videos to help highlight everything
CTAs for customers to take advantage of your deals
A countdown timer to create a sense of urgency
5. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise!
You also need to make sure your potential customers are actually aware of the deals and promotions you’ll be running for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The best way to do this is to start advertising early and often. This includes posting reminders and updates about your Black Friday deals, coupons, and special discounts across your social media accounts.
6. Get Your Email List in Order
Email is still one of the best ways to reach your customers, so if you haven’t already, now is the time to start building up your list. This way, you can send out special Black Friday deals and promotions directly to their inboxes. If your email marketing system isn’t yet integrated with your eCommerce platform, now’s the time to set that up.
Again, if you use WordPress, there are plenty of email marketing plugins that can help you get started, like MailChimp for WordPress.
And make sure you’re also segmenting your list so you’re only sending relevant information to people who actually want to receive it. No one likes getting bombarded with emails they don’t care about!
7. Offer Incentives for Customers Who Shop Early
If you really want to get people excited about your Black Friday deals, offer special incentives for those who shop early. This could be in the form of a discount code for those who make a purchase on your site before a certain date. Or you could offer early access to your Black Friday deals for VIP customers or email subscribers.
8. Make Checkout as Easy as Possible
Another way to ensure a smooth Black Friday for both you and your customers is to make the checkout process as easy as possible. This means having a user-friendly checkout flow on your site and offering a variety of payment options.
Some things you can do to streamline the checkout process include:
Offering a guest checkout option.
Making sure your forms are short and easy to understand.
Including a progress bar so customers can see how far along they are in the checkout process.
Allowing customers to save their information for future purchases.
9. Provide Excellent Customer Service
Finally, one of the most important things you can do to prepare for Black Friday is to make sure your customer service game is on point. This means having a team in place to answer any questions or concerns your customers might have.
You should also have a plan for how you’re going to handle any increased customer service volume. This might include additional staff, extended hours, or live chat support. Whatever you do, just make sure your customers feel taken care of and that their concerns are being addressed in a timely manner.
Plan for Black Friday Success with Online Store Prep
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the busiest shopping days of the year. But with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can make sure your online store is ready to take advantage of all the holiday shoppers. Just follow the tips in this post and you’ll be well on your way to a successful Black Friday!