When it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, e-commerce is becoming king. If you run your own online store, how are you preparing your store for the festive shopping fun? We’ve taken a look at different examples of e-commerce tips and tricks to give you potential ways to make your store stand out and increase sales.
When should I start?
ASAP. We all get a little tired of the sales starting early, but if you make it clear you have a sale coming, or start the sale a few days early with some teasers, you can boost sales and traction to your site, boosting your appearance in search engines and if you share on social media streams that you’re having a sale, you can potentially gain new followers and customers from this.
Send a Black Friday marketing email.
If you’re like me, you like nosing at all the Black Friday emails for a potential deal on something you want. It’s a great way for people to find out what items you’re going to put on sale, you don’t even have to confirm a price, just tease some items that will go on sale, kicking up interest in your website and what you have on offer.
A New Landing Page
When designing a new landing page for your website, customers gain a feeling that the event is a big deal and you’re dedicated to showing off the best and the brightest offers that you have on sale during this time. Some websites show the amount of stock remaining on each item or amount off, some leave the new price a complete surprise!
Accept More Payment Types
With more and more people signing up for American Express, it’ll be a shame to lose out on business due to not supporting a card type. The business owner will need to evaluate whether paying a slightly higher percentage will be worth the extra sales but even Apple Pay is supported on Shopify along with PayPal. If you add extra ways to pay a bill, you’ll potentially see a boost in sales. Setting up a PayPal Business account can be useful for this as PayPal can accept American Express if you don’t want to support AMEX directly on your website.
Credit Card purchases are also a lot higher during Black Friday and Cyber Monday due to the “Buy Now, Pay Later” mentality of the sales period, people also use this time to buy their christmas presents early.
Test your Server
Third Party like Shopify and Woocommerce are typically fine as they are built with larger servers built to deal with large traffic surges, but if you’re hosting your own website your best bet would be to test how much your server can take. The reason behind this is a lot of smaller websites gain a large boost on Black Friday which can crash their website and lose them customers.
Using services like LoadImpact.com gives you great insight on how much your website can take, allowing you to make upgrades if needed.
When it comes to marketing yourself in 2017, you need to be on social media it is one the keys (if not the main key) of advertising your business online today. If you know what deals you are putting on for specific items, or if you are doing timed deals, then utilising scheduling tweet platforms like Buffer and Hootsuite allows you to automate your tweets for the day, but make sure you keep checking and interacting with the platform across the day.
When it comes to content for social media, think about uploading a promotional video of the sale you are doing to catch the eye more so than a status update or an ordinary image, often times social media platforms have videos appear more on feeds due to videos keeping users on their website longer.
Take a look at Playstation’s simple but effective video for their sale last year:
Abandoned Cart e-mails
Depending on the platform you are using, you might be able to generate e-mails for users who create a checkout cart but abandon it. With users being distracted by message notifications, phone calls or not having card details on them, it’s easy to lose them.
Sending an email gives them a little reminder that says “Hey, a product that you liked… it’s still on sale”. You can even add other sections to the e-mail such as discount codes that they may have missed, such as free shipping or a percentage off?
A large percentage of shopping sales are now taking place on mobile platforms, so your website needs to be mobile friendly, or you are very likely to lose out on sales. Customising your web page, whether it’s WordPress, Shopify or WooCommerce, makes an easier time for customers to look through your site and add to their carts. Google and other search engines also prioritise websites that are suitable for mobile as well, without this, you can potentially be ignored by search engines, making it hard to be found by users.
Add in Checkout
Some themes on e-commerce platforms can allow you to add an additional purchase before a customer pays, by utilising add-ons you can earn yourself more money from users who might have been tempted by something earlier. With something simple as showing a product, such as a good match to the one they are buying, a flagship product or even something small for a few extra quid. These can drastically increase the amount of money earned.
Digital Gift Cards
Adding digital gift cards to your website allows users to obtain them as gifts and redeem them later as physical items. These will normally sell before holiday periods and redeemed after them, but in the case of Black Friday, they are likely to be redeemed during the sales. The benefit of these cards is they can only be used on your website. It’s also an item you can use as a give away item for social media, bring more attention to your website and new customer intrigue.
During Black Friday, it’s useful to have a Live Chat and someone always available to answer social media messages. Replying as quickly as possible is key, people may ask questions about sizes of products, or whether or not their product will arrive in time or something really simple that by missing out on, means the loss of a sale. If you miss out on 5 customers due to missing some information or an email, that conversion rate plummets and your profits are lower too.
The last thing to add is Free Shipping. It’s a part of e-commerce that’s kind of a drag, as it eats away from your profit margin, but it offers one of the BIGGEST boosts to sales. Offering free shipping on Black Friday puts you in front of the pack, as customers who get to the checkout screen and see an extra £3 or more on their list makes customers want to look elsewhere.
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