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Prepare your website for BFCM 2019

Black Friday & Cyber Monday will be taking place on November 29th and December 1st this year and you can never start preparing too early!

Although it can be stressful, it’s imperative to optimise your website for the influx of visitors you will undoubtedly get over that weekend. Consumers are psychologically and financially prepped to spend money, so give them an online experience that will encourage that.

Here are a few tips to maximise your website’s traffic and shopper engagement:

  • Make sure your website can handle the surge.

Just like a physical store, your online store has a maximum capacity it can hold before it inevitably crashes. Speak with your agency and hosting provider several weeks in advance to ensure that you, and they, have the time to take the necessary steps to allow for a surge of traffic.

  • Is your website responsive and have you tested it on mobile devices?

Almost half of all B2C traffic comes from mobile devices, so if your website is not displaying correctly on these it is unlikely that a visitor will have a good User Experience. Poor UX will lead to high bounce rates and, you guessed it, poor sales.

  • Is your website secure?

According to Hubspot, 84% of people will not make a purchase if they are dealing with an unsecured website. Make visitors feel safe to spend money with you by communicating that their card details and data are secure throughout the buying journey on your online store.

 “Holiday retail sales are forecast to rise up to 5% in 2019, exceeding $1.1 trillion”

  • Do you have live chat?

The best time to deal with a visitor’s query is immediately. Does your website have live chat functionality? If your customer service is sub-par, the visitor is likely to bounce right off the page and cut their journey short without making a purchase.

  • The gambit

Do you have a few particularly popular items on your website? Take the risk of putting them on a fantastic, limited-time offer – that will get customers onto your site where they will be more likely to view your other products and offers and, hopefully, increase your AOV.

  • Alternative Offers

If you don’t want to take that risk, try other enticing offers on your products. This could be a bundle offer to boost your AOV, offers with countdowns, free shipping on certain products or free gifts with orders over a certain value.

  • Create contingency plans.

Think about the worst case scenarios – from a page crashing to your inventory selling out. How can you overcome those on the day? It’s much easier to plan ahead than to try to deal with it on the day as best you can.

  • Start the countdown campaigns.

Use your social media and your digital marketing to start countdown campaigns! Use blurred images with the offer percentage beside them, send reminders before the sale starts and before it ends, provide your subscribers with exclusive offers, etc. Be as visual and appealing as possible, especially on social media where you could even reach out to an influencer to boost your audience.
According to Hubspot, emails that display incorrectly on mobile may be deleted within three seconds so don’t forget to optimise your emails for mobile devices.

“In 2018 alone, online sales during Black Friday reached a total of $6.2 billion, growing 23.6% year-over year.”
Adobe Analytics

  • Timing

Even within the frenzy of BFCM, there are certain times that people are more likely to search online and make purchases. Use your tracking data from last year to see when your traffic spiked and plan campaigns around those times.

  • Have you set up abandoned cart emails?

Potential customers with every intention of buying will get distracted during the buying process by work or personal commitments. Make sure you send out abandoned basket emails to encourage them to complete their purchases.

  • What is your returns policy?

Ensure that you communicate this throughout the site and consider making it even easier for customers to return unwanted goods. Poor returns policies are one of the main reasons customers abandon baskets.

  • Improve shipping information.

Capture an international audience by showing Delivered Duties Paid (DDP) pricing at checkout, which accounts for duties and taxes when calculating the total price for an order. By doing this, a customer won’t be hit with a surprise fee that has to be paid before getting their package or experience additional delivery delays.

  • Plan ahead

Use tracking data to get better insights into your new and returning customers. This will help you optimise next year’s planning and BFCM sales!

If you need help managing your website, call us on 01932 359 160

Source: ShipperHQ, How to Run a Successful 2019 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Shipping Strategy
Shipping insights from 400+ Merchants during Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2018

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