Top 6 Tips to eCommerce Optimization for Black Friday
Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days for eCommerce stores around the world. In 2019, 93.2 million buyers shopped online during Black Friday, and that number will probably increase this year. It’s easy to see how eCommerce merchants can earn a large profit during this period by working on eCommerce Optimization.
If you don’t have your own store yet and want to have a successful one before Black Friday, you can find websites for sale and buy one. On the other hand, if you do have a store and want to make sure it will draw in a lot of customers, you need to work on eCommerce optimization for Black Friday.
#1. eCommerce SEO
Every website owner knows how important search engine optimization is, as 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. However, your eCommerce optimization for Black Friday needs to differ slightly from regular SEO tactics.
There are a few things to do for your eCommerce SEO in preparation for this holiday:
- Research last year’s trends
It’s impossible to predict what will be popular, but a good place to start would be to take a look at what was popular last year. Use Google Analytics to see which of your pages was the most popular during last year’s Black Friday and optimize your website to match that page.
- Use relevant keywords
You can use a tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner to find out which keywords were popular each month. From there, you can identify the most popular and high-volume keywords that were used during this holiday in the previous years.
- Create special landing pages
Most people simply do Google searches for stores that offer Black Friday deals. To make sure your website comes up as a related search query, you need to have landing pages that use Black Friday-related keywords and show off the products you’re offering for the holiday.
It’s also important to note that you need to start preparing for Black Friday as soon as possible. The businesses that make the most money during this day start preparing for it weeks in advance, sometimes even months.
#2. Make sure you’re ready for an increase in traffic
Website stability and scalability are of great importance any day of the year, but especially during this day when every eCommerce website expects a huge increase in traffic. This is why one of your biggest priorities during preparations for Black Friday needs to be to check your web performance.
The two of the most important things you need to check during eCommerce optimization for Black Friday are website speed and ease of navigation. Without both or even one of these aspects, your website is doomed to fail, as you will have to deal with shopping cart abandonment, website bounces, and overall user frustration.
# Improving website speed
There’s nothing customers hate more than a slow-loading website, but this is especially true during the chaos of Black Friday. Talk to your IT team about Black Friday and have a contingency plan in place that will ensure you are ready to deal with increased traffic.
Some ways you can increase your website’s speed:
- Reduce the size of your pages and avoid embedding big objects.
- Compress images so they’re as small as possible without affecting the image quality.
- Reduce the number of redirects and redirect chains.
- Use a fast hosting server.
- Remove all unnecessary code and scripts from your website.
- If you use an eCommerce platform, remove all unnecessary and unused apps and tools.
# Improving website navigation
Website navigation is always important for any eCommerce site, but you should certainly include it in your eCommerce optimization for Black Friday. With good navigation, your customers will be able to find what they’re looking for without any hassle and in just a few clicks.
Some ways you can boost navigation:
- Use a relevant homepage design
Just like with your landing pages, your homepage has to make it clear to visitors that you’re offering special Black Friday discounts. You can do this with large and engaging visuals as well as prominent CTA buttons.
- Include specific product categories in the main navigation
If you include broad categories, it will just prolong your website visitors’ search for the right product. Instead, use specific ones that show a drop-down menu when someone clicks on them.
- Use an internal search
Some of your customers will come to your store looking for a specific product, and you need to make it easy for them to find it. Have a search bar that’s easy to see, offers search suggestions, and autocompletes queries.
#3. Fine-tune your checkout process
People who hunt for great Black Friday sales have thousands of different websites to choose from. If one aspect of your website doesn’t appeal to them, they’ll move on to the next one. One of these aspects and another important part of eCommerce optimization for Black Friday is the checkout process.
Having a smooth checkout process is one of the best ways to improve eCommerce conversion rates. If website visitors think your checkout process isn’t fast enough or is too cumbersome, you can expect a lot of cart abandonment.
So, before this holiday arrives, review your entire checkout process to ensure it’s optimized in a way that will convert website visitors into customers as fast as possible.
- Include as many payment methods as you can.
- Don’t ask website visitors to register before making a purchase.
- Remove all form fields that aren’t completely necessary.
- Get rid of all distractions including headers, footers, and sidebars.
- Make it easy for website visitors to remove items and modify quantities.
- Ask for shipping information before asking for credit card information.
#4. Make your website optimized for mobile users
While you’re doing your eCommerce optimization for Black Friday, don’t forget to optimize your website’s mobile experience. Mobile eCommerce is growing every day and by 2021 53.9% of all eCommerce sales will be completed via mobile.
So if your eCommerce website isn’t already optimized for mobile devices, you are probably losing a lot of potential customers, and you will especially lose a lot of business on Black Friday. And even if your website is optimized for mobile, you need to monitor it at all times during this holiday.
Mobile optimization doesn’t just mean that your website will load on any device customers use to access it. The mobile experience you offer needs to be as seamless as the website’s desktop experience.
In other words, your mobile website needs to:
- Have fast loading speeds and easy navigation that accommodates the smaller screen size.
- Offer the same promotions and coupons that work just as they do on desktops.
- Load the images and website designs quickly.
- Make sure it’s easy for customers to complete the checkout process.
#5. Promote special Black Friday offers
This holiday is one of the most competitive days in retail, so you have to find a way to stand out from your competitors and show customers why they need to choose your store. Almost every eCommerce store in the world will offer discounts, so you need to offer something more.
Keep in mind that eCommerce optimization for Black Friday isn’t just about making sure everything on your website runs smoothly. It’s also about having things that catch your website visitors’ attention and show why they need to choose your store instead of a competitor.
Some things you can offer on Black Friday include:
- Free shipping
This is a good thing to offer as a Black Friday special to show your customers they’re saving even more. Even if you can’t afford free shipping on all items, offer it to customers that spend a certain amount of money. This tactic can also entice customers to spend more.
- Even bigger discounts to VIP customers
Give an extra treat to your customers who are in your VIP and customer loyalty programs. This will not only make more sales but it will also help you build even more loyalty with your most valuable customers.
- Rewards for a minimum spend
If you want to incentivize customers to spend even more, you can offer Black Friday rewards. They can receive after they spend a certain amount of money. You can also create a rewards tier where the rewards get better as the customer spends more money.
Don’t forget to promote all of these offers across your website so customers know just how good of a deal they’re getting.
#6. Keep track of your inventory at all times
Finally, don’t forget that eCommerce optimization for Black Friday also has to include the products you’re selling. Ensure that your inventory is ready to handle the surge of customers you’re expecting.
This needs to be carefully planned out because over-selling and stockouts can pose serious problems for you:
- If you sell out an item you’re offering on Black Friday, you will run into a lot of issues and customer frustration, especially if people came for one special deal that was unique to your store.
- You still have an item on your website even after it’s out of stock, you’ll have a lot of unsatisfied customers who will flood to your store for refunds, and your reputation will suffer.
- If you happen to sell out all of your inventory during Black Friday, you also won’t have anything to offer during the rest of the holiday season.
For all of these reasons, it would be best to purchase more inventory and have back-ups ready in additional warehouses just in case.
And even that might not be enough, so you have to be constantly in communication with your warehouse. You make sure the inventory is being properly tracked during the entire day. That way, even if an item happens to sell out, you will be able to remove it from your website instantly.
As a conscientious eCommerce store owner, you’re probably already preparing for Black Friday, which is a wise decision. While you will earn a lot of money during that period, it will also be a stressful couple of days. It will need a lot of preparation and monitoring so everything goes according to plan.
However, as long as you follow all of these tips for eCommerce optimization for Black Friday, you’ll undoubtedly achieve all of your goals.