For eCommerce businesses, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are both an exciting and overwhelming time of year. Approached well, the whole weekend presents massive sales opportunities.
In 2022 alone, US consumers spent a staggering $9.2 billion dollars during Black Friday sales.
But it isn't just a US sales holiday any longer. Black Friday weekend has gone global.
If you’re planning to participate in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales this year, then it’s important to prepare well ahead of time.
We’ve put together six tips for Black Friday prep that will help your site to handle the increased load.
Prepare Your Website for Black Friday/Cyber Monday (in 6 steps)
- Do your research & plan ahead
- Check website usability and speed
- Test your server capacity
- Update webpage content for SEO
- Optimize website design and UX
- Prepare to scale up fulfillment operations
1. Do your research & plan ahead
The first thing all eCommerce retailers should do in preparation for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales is to do some prior planning and research well ahead of time.
Define your sales goals for the season and formulate a strategy for how you’re going to achieve those goals.
Even software and SaaS companies are getting in on the act these days. For these organizations it's important to make sure all of your software development contracts are in check ahead of time.
Also consider what Black Friday marketing channels you will use to build excitement around your Black Friday event and what offers you’ll incorporate into your campaigns.
Shoppers tend to start searching for deals way ahead of the day itself, so it’s vital that your customer communications and Black Friday marketing campaigns start well in advance.
2. Check website usability and speed
Black Friday sales are notorious for bringing in large volumes of traffic to eCommerce websites so it’s super important to test the usability and speed of your website beforehand (around a month or two before sales begin) using a tool such as Google Page Speed Insights.
Research has shown that bounce rates increase by 32% when page load times increase from one to three seconds.
Bounce rates can increase to as high as 90% when that time increases to five seconds.
Make sure that loading speeds are fast as a rocket if you don’t want to lose out on sales to your competitors.
3. Test your server capacity
As well as testing page load times it’s important to test your server capacity. If your Black Friday campaigns do well, then you should expect increased traffic to your site.
What is server capacity?
Server capacity basically means a computer's ability to handle tasks and users. Think of it as the server's power: how fast it can think, how much stuff it can remember, how big its storage is, and how fast it can send and receive data over the internet.
It's important to make sure a server has enough power to handle all the people and programs using it, without getting too slow or crashing.
4. Update webpage content for SEO
In order for people to see your offers, you’ll need to make sure that your website or online store is optimized for search engines. And that’s where SEO comes in. Ahead of Black Friday give your web and social copy an SEO revamp.
Start by reviewing technical SEO fundamentals, like:
- Perform a site crawl for errors (and resolve them)
- Optimize metadata, captions, and alt text (try to include Black Friday keywords)
- Replace or remove broken links (404 errors, for example)
- Update CTA (call-to-action) button text to encourage Black Friday conversions
- Refresh your website with recent verified contact information
Next, use Google Keyword Planner to conduct keyword research to identify terms that will target consumers interested in Black Friday.
Terms like “deals”, “sales”, and “gifts” rank very high around this time.
Feature these keywords in your holiday landing pages, web copy, and social media copy to build online visibility and encourage customers to engage with your content.
Is your sales process a little more complex?
- Use keywords on your Terms & Conditions page.
- If you use contracts and need e-signatures, use Proposify or Proposify competitors,
- Add FAQs to webpages with some relevant keywords and phrases.
5. Optimize website design and UX
To ensure that customers visiting your eCommerce site during the Black Friday event find what they’re looking for, you’ll need to make sure your site is optimized in terms of site design and user experience (UX).
Customers want to find products within a few clicks so don’t make them search hard for what they’re looking for or wade through an unresponsive and unintuitive website or app.
Factors to consider when optimizing your site include:
A mobile-friendly website can make or break your Black Friday sales goals.
- Creating an eye-catching Black Friday Sale logo and banner
- Improving the quality of images, videos, and multimedia content
- Creating a Black Friday-specific page on your online store
- Incorporating Black-Friday related keywords in your URLs, alt-text, and product descriptions
6. Prepare to scale up fulfillment operations
Last, but not least, make sure that your supply chain is prepared for the influx of customers. You’ll need to plan for increased warehouse, shipping, and delivery demand for online orders.
Ensure that you have enough best-selling products in stock ahead of time and plan to extend shipping times during the holiday season.
It’s also highly recommended that retailers organize curbside and/or local pickup options for local purchasers.
Ace Black Friday Sales
With rigorous preparation, you’ll be all set to get the most out of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period. For eCommerce stores, Black Friday is a great opportunity to increase sales.
Just remember to plan ahead, optimize your site, promote your offers, and back up your fulfillment operations for the season.
About the Author
Yauhen Zaremba - Senior Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc
Yauhen Zaremba is the Senior Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc. Yauhen is a growth-focused market leader with more than 14 years of B2B and B2C marketing experience.
For the past seven years, he has focused entirely on the electronic signature, proposal, and document management markets.