Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring tremendous opportunity and an overwhelming amount of competition. Here's how you can prepare your business to take advantage of these timely opportunities.
Simplify the buying process. Take some time before the holidays to refine the checkout process on your website. Try to eliminate steps and streamline transactions as much as possible, so your customers can get in, get what they want, and get on with their lives.
Improve your loading times. Online shoppers aren't known for their patience, especially when they are trying to take advantage of timely deals. Make sure your page loads quickly by resizing images or compressing high-resolution photos. You should also test your server load capacity to make sure your website can handle a surge in traffic.
Test your site on multiple platforms. Even if you think your website is mobile friendly, it's a good idea to test it on multiple devices. This means checking every single product page to ensure that it loads the way you want it to. One way to do this is by entering the urls into Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test bar.
Create contingencies. Where will you turn if your shipping outlet becomes too busy? What will you do if your website goes down for an extended period of time? Can you wake your developer in the early morning hours to get it back online? Try to imagine the things that might cause problems and create backup plans that will get you through.
Advertise your promotion. Plan advertisements and promotional tactics well in advance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Use your social media accounts to let people know about your sale. Use your blog to give tips on the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping practices. Email marketing is also a great way to tease your upcoming promotion, especially if you've done a good job building your subscriber list.
Start early. Contrary to what you might think, many customers start planning their Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping strategies weeks in advance. Make sure your site is engaging when they drop in, and consider advertising your sale as early as possible. This may mean going over your product list months in advance to target which products you want to include in your sale.
Create seamless communication. Make sure your staff is ready to answer questions as soon as possible. The last thing you want is for customers to spend their money elsewhere, because they can't get fast responses. Consider integrating live chat into your website, so you can quickly resolve timely issues.
Create long-term customers. If you are viewing Black Friday and Cyber Monday as nothing more than a chance to boost sales for a short time, you are missing the point. By offering products at discounted prices, you are really leveraging the occasions to build positive goodwill about your brand. Make sure you are capturing emails, gaining insights and harvesting data that will allow you to engage these customers long after your sale has ended.