Is Your Website Ready for Black Friday?

Black Friday is quickly approaching, which is exciting if you’re hoping to score some great deals, but it can be mildly terrifying if you operate a retail site or eCommerce store. Make sure your website is ready for Black Friday with this checklist.

Fine-Tune Your Funnel

Create a landing page for deals. This landing page should highlight what Black Friday sales are in place. Explain the details and what makes this offer so monumental so users know exactly why now is the time to buy. Clearly spell out when the sale starts and how long it runs. Create excitement using a countdown to when the sale starts, or use a countdown after the sale begins to let users know how much time is left.

Open the Lines of Communication

Dust off your mailing list and get the word out about your sale beforehand. The goal is to let people know what’s going on so they can be ready when the sale starts. Create a sense of excitement and urgency.

Write and schedule social media posts about the sale. The posts should inform anyone not on your mailing list about the sale and create more excitement for people on your mailing list who already found out about your Black Friday sale.

Pro tip: Create all of your graphics and have everything ready to go ahead of time. Preparing allows you to enjoy your Thanksgiving without rushing to put the finishing touches on things, and it ensures you’ll be available to put out any last-minute fires on the big day (which, hopefully, won’t occur, but just in case).

SEO

Prepare for the Surge

Make sure your site can handle added traffic. If everything goes according to plan, your site will be slammed, and orders will pour in. A site failure will cost you sales and leave potential customers with a bad experience. One bad experience can impact whether that user gives you a second chance, especially if they’re upset about missing out on a major sale because your site crashed. Remember that your competitors are likely offering their own Black Friday sales, and if users cannot make a purchase on your site, they may head over to your competitors.

Test your site’s performance on desktop and mobile using GTmetrix, a free tool that analyzes your site’s speed and performance. There is no reason to have a laggy site, and most users won’t stick around if there is a delayed load time. A slow load time on Black Friday can mean your sale fails, but long-term, a laggy site can negatively impact your bounce rate and hurt your SEO. Something as simple as setting photos to lazy load can make a huge difference.

Policy Review

Double-check all information on your site, but pay particular attention to shipping and returns. Make sure everything is correct before the sale even starts. Clearly explain how long it takes to pack tangible orders and how long items are typically in transit. Outline the process for delivery of digital gift cards or electronic items.

Review the return policy. Explain what the customer needs to do if they wish to return an item and the specific steps they must take. Let users know how your team will respond, the timing, and what to expect overall.

A good rule is to review everything and then try to figure out if a customer could possibly have any questions after reading the fine print. These website pages should answer any possible questions, and if they don’t, you may lose a sale, or your staff will have to field questions when they could be doing other, more productive tasks.

There’s Still Time

Preparing your eCommerce store for major sales can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve worked on websites for leading retailers and small startup brands, and I can help you, too. Get in touch, and let’s work together to ensure your site is ready for Black Friday and every other day.

Let me know what you think!

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