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How to Prepare Your E-Commerce Website for Black Friday

Black Friday is right around the corner. Is your e-commerce website prepared to make the most of it?

This multi-billion dollar spending season is no longer limited to only a single day, with many businesses opting for weekend-long sales extending into Cyber Monday or even as far out as the second Monday of December (which eBay coined as Green Monday in 2007).

It’s a span of time that any e-commerce owner should be acutely aware of. According to analysts, consumers are likely to perform 20% or more of all holiday shopping during this period.

In this post, we’ll examine a few important ways you can prepare your website for this massive opportunity.

Let’s begin with the most important part:

Handle The Technical Details With Care

Online Shopping for Black FridayThe majority of advice about how to capitalize on Black Friday/Cyber Monday focuses on selling techniques—great headlines, time constraints, or ideas about competitive pricing—which is all well and good, but consider this:

If your website crashes (e.g., due to an influx of traffic), your shopping cart plugin breaks, or your e-commerce website otherwise ceases to function, you’re risking a potentially catastrophic loss of sales.

In other words, make sure your website’s technical performance is up to the job well in advance of Black Friday. If you ignore this critical step and something goes wrong on the big day, you might experience what is essentially the digital equivalent of barricading the doors to your business.

Not a good thing.

Here’s a basic, non-exhaustive checklist of performance and website infrastructure components to thoroughly investigate or optimize:

  • Scalable bandwidth
  • Image rendering speeds
  • Overall page load speeds
  • Clear, understandable error messages
  • Mobile friendliness
  • Shopping cart/checkout system
  • Contingency plan for outages or other unforeseen difficulties

Once you have these things out of the way, you can start thinking about things like…

Black Friday E-Commerce Pricing Strategies

Consumers will expect you to offer some form of discount or incentive on Black Friday—exactly what that discount is and how effective it will be is up to you to determine.

Some e-commerce stores attract Black Friday shoppers with free shipping, site-wide discounts for all items, discounts for only certain items, or exclusive items that can’t be purchased at any other time of year.

Perhaps the best way to figure out which pricing strategy will benefit you the most will be to look at the data you’ve already collected from previous sales or special events (even better if that data is from a previous Black Friday). What worked? What didn’t? What feedback from customers could you apply to this year’s season?

Pre-Sale Advertisements and the Importance of Timing

At first glance, you’d think that advertising your Black Friday sale well in advance would be a good idea. In some cases it might be, as you gain the opportunity to warm up customers and give them time to think about what they might want to purchase.

However, announcing the details of your sale too soon can lead to customers putting off purchases in lieu of Black Friday that they might have otherwise made, leading to decreased overall profits.

Most e-commerce businesses tackle this problem by “teasing” their Black Friday deals. Rather than giving away all the specifics, teaser advertising campaigns don’t give away the specifics of which items will be most heavily discounted, or what extra-special bonuses customers might be offered.

In this way, you can alert your customers to the fact that yes, you will indeed be participating in Black Friday, but to reap the benefits they’ll need to visit your e-commerce site during the event itself.

Want a Pro in Your Corner? Discover How SocialSEO Can Help You Get Ready for Black Friday

To learn more about optimizing your e-commerce website for Black Friday or any other time of the year, please feel free to contact an expert SocialSEO team member via email or by calling us toll-free at 1 (800) 657-1645.