Can you believe that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner? This year has flown by for most of us, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut it close when it comes to getting ready for the holiday shopping season.
As an eCommerce brand, there are certain things you should do to ensure your online store is ready for an influx of shoppers. In fact, some are so simple that you should be doing them all year long.
Here are a few last-minute fixes you’ll want to tackle before the Thanksgiving weekend to ensure a successful start to retail’s busiest season.
1. Double Check Website Performance
The first thing you need to do in preparation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is check website performance. Is there an issue if you get several hundreds or thousands of shoppers trying to checkout at once? Or is your web hosting plan or online store platform level ideal for the traffic you’re planning on driving to your page with digital marketing campaigns?
These are all things you’ll need to take into account as you get ready for the holiday season. In addition, it is also a good idea to review critical elements like user experience (UX) and how quickly pages load — two factors that play a role in conversions and search engine rankings.
2. Plan Your Sales and Discounts
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about the good deals. However, this doesn’t mean you just open the floodgates and hope for the best. Instead, take time in the fall to plan your sales and discounts. Look at what items you have an influx of in inventory and come up with ways to entice customers with good deals.
You could also consider extra loyalty rewards points for shoppers, special coupon codes on certain items, or BOGO offers on overstock items you want to get rid of quickly. And don’t forget about upsells and last-minute offers, too!
3. Create All Content Pieces
If you’re waiting until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to start your content for the holiday shopping season, then you’re waiting far too long. Having all of your brand’s social media updates, visual creatives, video ads, email copy, and product descriptions now is super crucial.
This will save you a lot of hassle as we get closer to the holiday retail season and make it easier to ensure your entire campaign is cohesive and correct. So, get to work on planning your editorial calendar now to prevent issues later.
4. Update Your Shipping Policies
Even in a good year, shipping is a challenge during the holidays. However, we’re in post-pandemic times. That means there’s even more to keep track of in terms of shipping company delays, inventory shortages, and other similar issues.
Therefore, now is a perfect time to update your shipping policies. Make your statements as clear as possible and explain that some areas are entirely out of your hands. You’ll also want to set deadlines for delivery by Christmas Day based on the type of shipping they select. As a hint, these dates are listed on every major carrier’s website.
5. Add the Use of Gift Cards
Sometimes shopping for that perfect gift for someone you love can be a bit of a pain. To make the process easier for your customers, consider adding gift card purchase and use functionality to your online store. If you’re on Shopify or BigCommerce, there are a ton of different apps and plug-ins to make the process easy.
Once up and running, consider sending out emails to your customer list or running a social media campaign announcing that you now offer gift cards. You can also opt to run a Black Friday or Cyber Monday special that offers a small five or ten-dollar gift card for every purchase to help draw in more shoppers.
6. Review the Checkout Process
Customers want to be able to checkout as quickly and seamlessly as possible. To ensure your cart is up to par, review what it is like when a buyer purchases from your website. If there are any snags or areas where there are too many screens, then fix them immediately.
Also, shoppers are becoming pickier about choosing retailers that offer various payment options. If you haven’t explored one of the many alternative providers like Afterpay, Affirm, or Klarna, now is a great time to do so. Likewise, adding options for Apple Pay for mobile users is a good idea.
Conclusion: Last-Minute eCommerce Fixes Before Black Friday
The holiday shopping season is right around the corner, which means now is when you’ll want to prepare for the influx of customers arriving on your website over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With the six tips we’ve mentioned above, you can get your brand ready for new customers and increase sales during this critical time of year for retail.
Not sure where to start? CAKE can help with all of your holiday marketing needs. Contact us today for details.