With just over a month to go until Black Friday 2018, getting your plans in place for accommodating increased traffic and transactions should begin. But what precisely should you assess at this early stage?
We take a look at three key considerations, from four different areas (Web Design, Email Marketing, SEO and Social Media) and have come up with 12 simple checks you should do in preparation for November.
- Update the homepage – In the days leading up to Black Friday, be sure to update the homepage so that users know what deals you’ll be offering. Add relevant banners and calls to action, you could also consider having a countdown clock to build up the excitement.
- Test for responsiveness – Knowing how important it is to have a website that looks good on all devices, be sure to go through your website to double check everything looks as it should on mobile and tablet.
- Simplify the checkout process – Go through the checkout process yourself and eliminate any unnecessary form fields that could potentially slow down, or put the user off completing the checkout process. Enabling guest checkout might be an option too. Guest checkout allows the user to checkout without registering an account.
- Craft emails to build anticipation – Schedule emails so that your subscribers receive an announcement about your Black Friday sales, followed by several more to further build the anticipation and to keep you top of their mind. You could also consider revealing some of the prices on top selling items.
- Test email links – Before sending any of the emails, check and double check that the links within the email aren’t broken and that they all go to the appropriate landing pages.
- Remind them of the end date – Create a segmented list of subscribers who haven’t purchased anything and send them an email several hours before the end, reminding them that they have a limited amount of time to grab a bargain!
- Enable E-Commerce tracking – When selling products through your website, you need to make sure you’ve set up E-commerce tracking in Google Analytics. E-commerce tracking will give you more insight into your customers’ behaviour patterns so that you can better tailor your future sales.
- Check page loading times – There’s nothing more frustrating than a slow loading website or webpage. With high amounts of traffic expected, you need to make sure that your website can handle the load. Be sure to check with your hosting provider to make sure that your current hosting package has the ability to handle high amounts of traffic.
- Research Long-tail Keywords – Long-tail keywords will have a lower search volume than more generic Black Friday related keywords, the competition for these will also be lower meaning you’re more likely to attract customers who are looking for certain products or services.
- Create exclusive offers – Offering exclusive discount for your social media followers is a great way of rewarding them. This should also help increase your following too, once word gets out about the exclusive discounts, you should start to see an increase in your social media followers.
- Use relevant #hashtags – Be sure to do some research prior to what sort of hashtags are being used around Black Friday. You can use the generic #BlackFriday, but remember, others will be doing the same too, so competition will be high. Consider using your company name and location.
- Social Media monitoring – If you have an active presence on Twitter then you should have at least one person monitoring the account. If customers are tweeting at you because they have a question or complaint related to your sales, you’ll want to be able to respond quickly.
Start planning today
It should be noted that even those not planning Black Friday promotions can expect a spike in traffic. Shoppers the world over will be scouring the web for money saving opportunities, landing on any retail website they can in order to find the best deal.
So, regardless of your plans for November 23, 2018, ensuring you’re fully prepared to cope is essential. The 12 simple checks above should help take the stress and strain out of your Black Friday planning & preparation.
Note: This post was originally written in 2017 and has been updated to reflect changes for 2019.