Fall is coming and, before we know it, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, too. That means now is a great time to start planning how you might maximize sales at this busy time of year. It’s not enough to just come up with a special offer for November, advertise it, and hope you get customers flooding to your online store.
With so much competition in the market, you must be more proactive than that. Here are some ways to start preparing your eCommerce shop now to get the most out of the November sales period.
Do yourself a favor and start planning early. Doing this will help you be as organized as possible, so you make smart choices and take the time you need to source stock or find new products for November. People start looking for deals in late October, too. As such, it pays to plan out multiple weeks of sneak-peeks, enticements, offers, and advertisements and determine how you’ll market them.
Plan out packaging needs for orders, and you may need to source additional or better shipping avenues. Work out if you’ll have different returns policies for the deals you offer during Black Friday and the days and weeks around it. Plus, plan out your staffing levels, as you’ll likely need more help than usual picking and packing orders and handling customer service. Plus, increase site security and make sure all your data is backed up to the cloud to reduce the chances of potential problems.
Analyze data to help you plan how to best capitalize on Black Friday. Use analytics programs to research popular keywords, track your site’s search engine rankings, and analyze backlinks. Also, see what people are searching for on your site, check click-through-rates, and learn demographic information about visitors, such as location, gender, interests, and behavior, among other things.
It’s helpful to use a website heatmap tool to see what shoppers do when they’re on your site. Which pages do they look at, and how long do they stay there for? Where do they scroll and pause while looking? Which images and products prove most popular, and what elements of your site barely attract any interest at all?
Do people take their time browsing, or do they hurry from spot to spot trying to find what they’re after? Learn, too, how often people put items in their cart and then don’t finalize transactions. A heatmap can help you reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate by seeing where consumers are in the checkout when they click away.
This information and more will give you a better understanding of who your best customers are so you can tailor your website wares and processes to them. This leads to better conversions and sales figures. Plus, the data will make it easier to make smart, timely decisions and plan your inventory levels effectively for the busy sales period.
Test and Update Your Website
Spend time testing your website, too. It must be as fast-loading and reliable as possible, so consider upgrading your web host, changing platforms, and removing too-large images or other files. Test all the links on your site, including the new ones you add over the coming weeks. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly, too, since so many people shop for deals on smartphones and tablets.
See if you need to update contact, shipping, or returns details on your website, product descriptions, or responses to frequently asked questions. We often set these things up when launching a business and then forget to make changes later.
Create Clever Deals
Finally, develop deals that will gain traction in the market. The promotions you use must be exciting enough that people pay attention to them but not so low that you lose money. To create hot offers, think creatively. You’ll be competing with thousands of other businesses spruiking deals at the time, so you need to find ways to stand out. This might be via the products you sell, how you advertise promotions, or the types of coupons, bundles, gifts-with-purchase, or launch offers you develop.
Be innovative and consider testing ideas in a smaller way in the lead-up to Black Friday to see what might work best for you. It pays to segment deals, too. Have some offers only for your best VIP customers and loyalty program members, and others for seasonal shoppers, recent leads, gift-givers, and people who are engaged but haven’t purchased before. You might also create different offers for consumers in varying geographic locations or demographics.
It takes work to get the most out of Black Friday sales. However, what you invest in getting your website and its offerings up to scratch should pay off handsomely.