Black Friday and Cyber Monday are without doubt the two most important dates in any e-commerce business’s diary. Last year’s holiday weekend yielded a record $6.59 billion worth of products in online transactions on Cyber Monday alone, a considerable 16.8% increase from 2016. With more products than ever set to hit virtual shelves we’re willing to wager that the record figure will rise again. So to ensure you can capitalize on the increased traffic, we’ve come up with a series of questions to help you understand if your site is Black Friday and Cyber Monday ready.
Secure Your Site
Security is now more than ever a priority for search engines, especially Google. The algorithm update in October of 2016 meant that users could see whether the site they were on was safe, by either displaying a lock symbol or a warning in the navigation bar saying ‘Not secure’.
The main deterrent that leads to people cancelling online orders is distrust. A consumer isn’t going to spend their hard earned money on a site that might be susceptible to losing their information, as a result of it displaying the fact it isn’t secure.
So, how can you combat this? To ensure your business doesn’t lose out on any prospective revenue on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Well by attaining a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate.
Acting as an encrypted link between the web server and browser, the SSL security protocol ensures that all data which passes through your website is completely secure and private, a critical requirement for a Black Friday and Cyber Monday ready website.
Once installed your website will load as an ‘https’, signifying to prospective consumers that their information is completely protected.
Make Sure Your Site Is Optimized For Mobile
Unfortunately, unlike the US, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not public holidays in the UK, so many consumers won’t have the luxury of taking a trip to shopping centers to scourer the shelves. Instead they’ll be doing their utmost to take advantage of the best deals on their mobile devices during their lunch breaks and commutes.
It is for this reason that it is of paramount importance that your website is optimised for mobile use to ensure you maximise your site’s intake of profits on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
You can do this by adjusting your website’s design with smartphone and tablet users in mind. Consider the size of each component, whether the font or call to actions are too big, if the site is easy to navigate on a smaller device.
As a general rule of thumb it’s suggested that fonts be just above 10 pixels in size and buttons around 45 by 45 pixels.
If you believe you don’t have enough time to make wholesale changes to your website’s design, the least you can do is adjust your home, main product & check out pages are all, after all, these will be the most visited pages during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Keep Up With The Pack
On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers buy solely on impulse, rather than waiting for a website to load, they’ll move onto the next e-commerce business from fear of missing out on deals only available for a limited amount of time.
As it is, 53% of average mobile visitors close a site after only waiting 3 seconds for it load. So as you can imagine that level of impatience increases dramatically during flash sales, which means your website’s speed needs to match those demands to ensure it is ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
A fantastic tool which you can use to find out what might be slowing your site down, is Google’s Page Speed Insights.
Simply enter your business’s URL and it will provide you with a score and a series of recommendations you can implement to improve its overall speed.
These suggestions can involve a range of factors but tend to include, getting rid of unnecessary and redundant data, leveraging browser caching and removing your site of any large images.
A great tool which you can use to identify what might be slowing your website down is Google’s Page Speed Insights, simply enter your URL, and it will provide you with your website’s speed and a series of suggestions as to how you can improve its speed.
These suggestions tend to include, getting rid of any large images, leveraging browser caching and removing any unnecessary or redundant data your website no longer needs.
A Game Of Inches
So now that your website is ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s a question of how you plan on enticing prospective consumers to purchase your products, one way in which you can achieve this is by creating an email marketing campaign.
With so many similar e-commerce businesses out there, the holiday weekend is a game of inches, so any way that you can encourage new or prospective customers to make purchases will be sure to make a big impact, creating more opportunities for profit.
Sending out an email marketing campaign lets you communicate and engage with your customers on mass, an act that shouldn’t be underestimated. Especially as it leaves your current crop of consumers feeling valued and appreciated, making them more likely to not only make a repeat purchase but also leave a positive review, which by proxy will influence first time visitors.
If your website, business and employees are seen as trying to resolve customer’s issues, caring for their consumer’s preferences and providing a good standard of service, you’ll be appear more appealing than other e-commerce site, when Black Friday and Cyber Monday eventually roll around.
I hope that this guide will serve as a valuable resource when it comes to preparing your site for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here’s a brief recap of what I’ve discussed:
- Make sure your website is secure, so it fills customers with confidence when they come to make a purchase
- Optimise your website for mobile use, as this is the most commonly used device during Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the UK
- Keep up with the rest of the pack, by increasing your website’s speed using Google Page Insights
- Entice your customers to make purchases on Black Friday and Cyber Monday through an email marketing campaign
If you have any other queries regarding website optimisation, you can contact the expert team at my digital marketing agency absolute digital media here.