Business Prep: Optimizing Your E-commerce Site for Black Friday

Black Friday is once again around the corner. This means that millions of people are getting ready for one of the largest shopping days of the year.

Many see Black Friday as the official start of the holiday season. Unlike the previous years, however, you probably won’t see mobs of customers rushing into brick-and-mortar stores and malls. Instead, these shoppers will be staying at home hitting the refresh button on their computer to snag the best deals on products and services.

If you’re running an online shop, you want your virtual storefront to effectively handle large amounts of traffic for Black Friday and beyond. This means coming up with a game plan to whip your e-commerce website into shape.

Here’s how you could optimize and improve your e-commerce shop for the upcoming Black Friday and holiday season:

how-to-optimize-e-commerce-site-for-black-friday

Do a Website Audit

If you’re going to make improvements on your site, you’ll need to know exactly where it stands. This way, you won’t waste time, energy, and money-making changes that don’t address the true problems of your website. Perform a site audit to uncover issues that are undermining your virtual storefront.

The web has many free and paid site audit tools that you can use for your website. When browsing for a reliable platform, choose one that can do the following:

  • Check your entire website for technical problems
  • Identify broken external or internal links
  • Uncover duplicate or weak content that can affect search rankings
  • Assess page load speed
  • Find opportunities to boost your rankings on the search results
  • Look at the pages blocked by your site’s robots.txt
  • Produce a checklist of the issues you need to fix

Once you’re fully aware of your website’s problems, the next thing you need to do is to get started on fixing them. You could address the issues yourself or outsource digital marketing work to a reliable agency. Just make sure that everything’s good to go before the sales rush starts.

Offer Instant Discounts and Deals on Your Website

When people hear the words “Black Friday,” the first two ideas that come to mind are deals and discounts. You’ll be seeing seasoned customers looking to enjoy the best deals that your business has to offer. Given this, you should place your offers in full view. Website visitors should see deals easily on your home page, product pages, and the checkout page.

This means using pop-ups, popup overlays, and website banners. If your website is selling computer accessories, like laptop cooling pads, for instance, the first thing that visitors should see is a discount offer on certain products. All they need to do is to give their e-mail addresses and hit the subscribe button.

Improve Your Checkout Process

Customer checkout serves as the final hurdle for sales conversion. Not all online shoppers, however, complete this step for a range of reasons, including price, long delivery times, and shipping issues.

An easy way to optimize your e-commerce storefront and boost your sales figures is to remove the shipping fees for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other days of the holiday season. Never let the cost of shipping be the sole reason you lose sales during this important period in your business.

On top of free shipping, see to it that the deals you offered via social media, e-mail, and direct mail should immediately reflect at checkout to avoid confusion. If possible, add a note on the checkout page asking the customer to input the discount or offer code on the appropriate text box.

Then, verify these codes by performing website usability testing. The last thing you want to happen is to receive complaints or feedback about discount codes that don’t work.

Also, configure your checkout page to accept a variety of payment methods. Apart from credit cards, you could accept cash on delivery, debit cards, prepaid cards, and e-wallets, such as PayPal. Although this translates to more work, you don’t want to limit your sales by accepting only one or two payment options.

Deliver Reliable Online Customer Support

Online shoppers expect accessible and dependable virtual support from customer service representatives. The lack of service can make your shoppers feel uneasy about going through a purchase.

To optimize your website by adding sections for online chat, email support, and FAQ. This way, customers can feel assured knowing that they can get help anytime.

Get your business ready for one of the biggest sales events of the year. Optimizing your virtual storefront will allow you to stay ahead of your competitors and improve your chances of scoring higher sales figures.