Record breaking Black Friday (29 November) is coming again and with it will come the people to the online stores. This means a lot of revenue for online retailers all over the internet. In 2013, Black Friday saw a record $1.19 billion desktop online sales, up by 15% as compared to the previous year. According to the National Retail federation, about 97 million people planned to shop online or in-store on Black Friday last year. Most of the retailers have started rolling out their ads and promotional campaigns to lure customers this year, expecting to make a big bang sales on the very day. Wallmart is among the first ones who have launched their deals for this year’s Black Friday. Eventually, it’s the customers who win big time on this day by saving hundreds or thousands of dollars on online and offline stores deals.
But in order to make the money that you want to save this holiday season, you have to be properly prepared. Here are some of the tips that you can use for this holiday shopping season.
Test your Equipment
Before Black Friday comes, make sure that you are testing your equipment and making sure that everything is working right. The last thing that you want to do is to have a problem during rush time of the busiest shopping day of the year.
Estimate the Number of People who will Visit
Information Week highly recommends spending time doing estimates and number crunching. When you have an online store, you want to be sure that you are ready for the traffic that will be coming to your website on Black Friday. Even though there’s Cyber Monday, people often will do shopping online during Black Friday as well. This means that that you want to make sure that you have enough bandwidth on your website and that you have enough people ready to answer emails and live chat messages. You should also make sure that your website is running well and that you have people ready to answer emails or chat messages.
You don’t want just to say that your site can handle half a million users. You want to push it to its absolute limit so that you know that your website can handle it.
Identify Bottleneck Areas
Many companies don’t remember about bottlenecks. But when you know that you may have a bottleneck or two, or three, you want to know where they are so that they can be fixed.
Have a Backup Plan
Chances are something is going to go wrong, so you want to be smart and have a plan in place in case something goes wrong. Be sure that you have backup locations and servers and tell everyone what the plan is if something happens.
Don’t Overlook the Experience of your Customers
Most of the performance testing will involve hitting your backend systems hard, but you shouldn’t forget to test your user experience with real web browsers while your site’s under stress.
The response time of your server might become slow. The experience of your users could drop from five seconds to 20 seconds. This means that your shopper is going to go to another website to do their shopping.
Factor in Third-party Integration
People usually believe that third-party tags or sites will work, but that’s something you shouldn’t assume. One solution you might try is a technology known as asynchronous scripting. This only means your webpage isn’t waiting for third-party scripts to load so that the page is loading. When you fail to factor in glitches from third parties, they can cause a huge disaster.
As the holiday season is approaching, Business 2 Community recommends that you start adding seasonal keywords on your website. These would be keywords like holiday shopping, gifts, and Christmas. Also put the focus on your products features, such as price, size, or color. This may be long and time consuming, but it can help you with bringing more people to your website.
Use PPC Campaigns that are Highly Targeted
A lot of retailers online will often think that PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising is too expensive. However, PPC ads that are keyword driven can be really cost effective during the holiday shopping season. Take this opportunity to run PPC campaigns that are customized using keywords that are targeted to the season. This also can be less expensive since they’re going to fall into a certain category.
Remember to use Social Media
One of the best things that you can do is to include social media in your advertising. Everyone is on some type of social media. This can truly raise your sales and help people to see what you have to offer. Adding buttons for social share on all of your pages will help greatly. Make it simple for customers to share the items they have bought through their profiles. This can be done by placing a call to action on the checkout page.
Lease Extra Equipment
Westchester Magazine makes the suggestion that you should figure out if you need some extra equipment for accommodating your extra customers. You may want to look into renting additional servers to help handle any heavy traffic loads.
These are some of the things that you can do to get your online site ready for Black Friday. Keep in mind that people are going to be looking for the bargains, and that they will want to spend and save at the same time. It’s also a good idea to have a good shopping cart and POS system for your online store. Look at the system that Shopify has to offer and see what a difference they can make.