Every autumn, customers wait anxiously as the retail world stares down the single most profitable day of the year. According to Entrepreneur, one in three Americans plan to make a purchase on Black Friday.
That means new buyers and loyal customers alike will be browsing your mobile site, apps and website for a deal. Your special offers and sales are ready to go, but is your digital presence prepared for the seasonal excitement? Can it efficiently handle the influx of holiday online shoppers?
Test Website Responsiveness
A frustrating website experience can encourage customers to turn to your competitors. Before the autumn sales begin, take time to test your desktop and mobile sites for download speed, branding consistency, ease of use and responsiveness to customers' needs. Are you making customized product suggestions? Are subscription forms easy to complete and submit?
Entrepreneur also recommended checking your website traffic stats and running a test to determine what volume of visitors will cause the site to crash. The last thing you want is to frustrate customers and lose sales during a traffic surge. If your site is struggling to keep up, it might be time to upgrade your web hosting package.
Update Local Listings
If you have a brick and mortar location, review the business details on your website and external listing sites like Google Places, Yelp, mapping apps and review pages. If your physical address, contact telephone number or hours of operation are inaccurate or unlisted, you could be costing yourself potential Black Friday sales. To avoid any confusion, Inc. recommended business owners include a note about extended holiday hours — complete with dates and times — on their websites.
Launch a Last-Minute Campaign
Black Friday is all about stellar deals. Retailers typically spend hours deciding what items to put on sale, devising a code for free shipping and sending a preview email to subscribers. However, Inc. suggested also creating an irresistible last-minute Black Friday deal to tease just before the big day.
Every deal has its own benefits; a discount on a big-ticket item might encourage customers to make additional purchases, while reduced-fee or free subscriptions to a service will encourage future engagement. Whatever you decide, the big deal should take precedence in advertising just before shopping begins, so it can generate social media chatter and anticipation among your customers.
Your digital presence might need some polishing before the biggest shopping day of the year. If you're swamped with inventory preparation and sales strategy for Black Friday, consider looking at options for outsourcing your online marketing efforts.