Halloween has echoed its last hollow laughs while we turn ahead to race towards Christmas and the end of this year. Coming up in the not-so-far distance is Black Friday. It signals the onset of Christmas mayhem in shopping malls and shopping mayhem online. Despite global high interest rates and gas shortages, Black Friday is expected to deliver astronomical sales still. If you want to prepare your ecommerce business to benefit from the feeding frenzy, there’s some homework you need to do to prepare.
Black Friday is not a day
A trend over the last couple of years is to extend Black Friday over the whole of November to cover Cyber Monday that follows shortly after. Traditionally held on Thanksgiving day in the US, Black Friday has started permeating throughout November to fill the whole month. So, how long you want to run specials in your store is up to you. Whatever you decide, prepare yourself for handling high volumes in all facets of your business. We’re focussing on your checkout process and related tasks in this blog.
Data is the black box of ecommerce
The black box in an aeroplane records flight data. It is the first object authorities look for when a plane goes down. Your website also has a black box. It’s filled with behavioural and technical data from previous months and years. We suggest you find yours and analyse what happened last year in October, November and December. Look where the spikes were and how you handled them. Google Analytics will help you in this process. Find the small changes you made and how they affected your traffic. Remember, nothing lives in isolation. You have to consider the context. If you ran a discount last year and saw a percentage increase in traffic and sales, you can assume that increased deals this year will generate more traffic and sales.
If it’s the first time you have a Black Friday Sale, look at what other stores are doing and what kind of traffic they generated last year. It will give you an indication of what to expect if you get it right.
Load test your site
Once you’ve analysed your data, you can load-test your site. It simply means you can test to see how much traffic your site can handle before it falls over. You simulate a real-life event like Black Friday. Say you’re expecting 80 000 visitors on the day. In the simulation, you will see how your site performs under these conditions and identify possible problem areas like hosting and performance optimisation. Make sure you also simulate mobile traffic because most shopping events during this period will emanate from there. The less traffic your site can handle on any one day, the longer you should run Black Friday specials for. It just makes sense if you want to benefit from the buying frenzy.
Shoppers tend to be more frenzied when it’s raining specials. They will likely grab lots of products and change their minds at the last minute to go for something else that might have caught their attention. You can counter this behaviour by optimising your checkout and payment pages. Make sure your CTA’s are on point, simplify all forms to the bare minimum, and use autofill where you can. Remember, you want to make the sale before you sign someone up for your newsletter. Loyalty can come later. Offer guest checkout to customers who want to gobble and go. Use exit-intent software that serves pop-ups when people head for the ‘door’. Ensure there are no hidden costs and state shipping costs clearly with every product to avoid surprises come checkout time. Give shoppers multiple shipping options if you can.
Offer multiple payment options
Losing business because you don’t offer various payment options is silly. Visa and Mastercard are no longer the only options available in the marketplace. Apple Pay, Google Pay, and digital wallets have grown tremendously. Many shoppers prefer these payment methods on mobile because it is quick, easy, safe and seamless.
It is also something you should consider when choosing a payment provider. Truevo offers all the most popular payment options, across multiple channels, in 150 currencies. To get started with faster payments, easy set-up and complete security, speak to us today. We can’t wait to do Black Friday with you.