The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way consumers buy and shop online, leading many e-commerce retailers to change their Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies. With no precedent for online shopping during a pandemic, the question on everyone’s mind is “How do I prepare for Black Friday E-Commerce in 2020?”
Fortunately, this article has everything you need to optimize your e-commerce site for Black Friday, prepare your online shop for Cyber Monday, and survive the coming onslaught of shoppers looking for a great deal this holiday season.
5 Tips for E-Commerce Stores Preparing for Black Friday 2020
Regardless of what you sell or who you sell it to, every retailer needs to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To help you do that, we’ve put together a detailed Black Friday and Cyber Monday guide for retailers to increase customer engagement, conversion rate, and average order value on Black Friday weekend.
- Prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday Well Before Thanksgiving
Every year the major players in the retail industry overrun Thanksgiving week with a deals marathon of “early” and “pre” Black Friday sales, to convince shoppers to purchase less-exciting items at less-exciting prices.
In an effort to one-up each other before Thanksgiving, retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Best Buy inevitably launch their Black Friday deals early. With many retailers on the brink of bankruptcy in 2020 due to COVID-19, we can expect online stores to be firing on all cylinders for as long as they can in the run-up to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Amazon Prime Day.
Thus, one of the best things you can do to prepare for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday is to begin your preparations as early as you can. Fortunately, there is still plenty of time to prep your online store for the Black Friday holiday shopping season.
- Load Test Your Website
Though an online store with so much traffic that the site crashes sounds like a good problem to have, it’s actually a nightmare scenario on Black Friday and Cyber monday. On the weekend when Americans are projected to spend more than $11 billion online, a slow checkout process or site crash could end up costing you thousands of dollars in lost sales.
To prepare for a potential surge in traffic, simply contact your web hosting provider to discuss the traffic limitations of your store. If your website is not equipped to handle the projected traffic to your store this Black Friday holiday season, then it’s time to upgrade to a new provider, and/or acquire additional server space.
- Make Sure Your Site and Mobile Speed are as Fast as They Can Be
While you load test your website, it’s also a great idea to ensure your site speed is as fast as it can be, because every second it takes for your page to load, the worse your site’s bounce rate will be.
In fact, 46% of shoppers have said they’ll never return to a slow website or social media page once they’ve clicked off. Thus, one of the most important things you can do to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2020 is ensure your website, mobile experience and check-out process are as fast as they possibly can be.
- Back Up Your E-Commerce Store for the Holiday Season
In addition to load testing your website and ensuring site speed, it also makes sense to back up your e-commerce store so you can get back up and running should your site crash or your servers go down. Fortunately, platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce and some social media platforms make it easy to duplicate, backup, or transfer your store’s data.
- Make Sure Your Products are Search Engine Optimized and Easily Discoverable
Google’s consumer insight report on holiday shopping trends reveals that 7 in 10 customers are uncertain of what they’re going to buy when they shop onlines. It’s this uncertainty that presents an opportunity for your store to stand out from your competition.
By optimizing your products for search you make your website more discoverable and give your products every chance of standing out. Start by reviewing sales data from previous years to see what worked and what didn’t; applying boosting rules to ensure that the right products are being promoted, and write product descriptions that sell and instil urgency with phrases like:
- For a limited time only
- Just one left
- Buy now
- In high demand, and
- Sold out soon
You should also conduct keyword research to discover Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Prime Day related keywords to incorporate into your product descriptions and give your website an SEO boost.
Bonus: Retarget Customers With Email, Facebook and Display advertising.
Just because a potential customer leaves your site doesn’t mean you’ve lost them. There is still a chance to capture them if you retarget customers with email, Facebook and display advertising.
Though you want to avoid bombarding your customers with ads, a targeted Facebook post could sway shoppers to conclude their purchase or at least return to your store to shop some more.
Outsource Fulfillment to a 3PL
Though the preparations f listed here primarily concern your website and web presence, ultimately the best thing any retailer and/or Amazon seller can do to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2020 is outsource fulfillment to a third party logistics (3PL) provider, like Flowspace.
There are going to be thousands of shoppers flooding your website to shop Black Friday deals and start their holiday shopping. The last thing you want to do is disappoint them by failing to deliver on or before the holidays.
With 1000+ fulfillment centers spread throughout the country, Flowspace is your best chance to deliver quality customer experiences on Black Friday and ensure they come back for more on Cyber Monday. Contact Flowspace to get started today.