Prepping Your Website For Black Friday
Sean McGowanSeptember 07th, 20174 minute read
Sean is a technical researcher & writer at Codal, authoring blog posts on topics ranging from UX design to the Internet of Things. Working alongside developers, designers, and marketers, Sean helps support the writing team to ensure Codal produces engaging web content of the highest quality. When not writing about the latest innovations in app design, Sean can be found cooking, watching old movies, or complaining about the shortcomings of his favorite Philadelphia sports teams.
We’re just a few days into September, and yes, we agree with you: it’s a bit premature for Halloween candy, Thanksgiving decorations don’t seem appropriate, and we’re flabbergasted at anyone trying to hang up Christmas lights. But there are some holiday preparations that are never too early to get a jump on: readying your website for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Whether you’re an eCommerce site or a simple marketing webpage, every business should be adjusting their online presence to capitalize on the sheer number of shoppers browsing the web on these high-traffic holidays.
To help, Codal’s provided a checklist for you to reference before these consumer celebration days roll around. Some of these are simple, whereas others you may want to consult with a UX design agency. Either way, when you cross off these items, chances are your company will find another reason to celebrate that Thanksgiving weekend.
While it’s a no brainer that your homepage will need a makeover for Cyber Monday, now is the time to start it’s design. While it’s obvious you’ll need to change the copy, graphics, and other content to highlight your deals and seasonal sales, there are some oft-overlooked aspects that need attention.
For starters, consider tailoring your CTAs for the event, even if it’s a secondary goal of your website, like signing up for a newsletter. You’ll want to emphasize your products of course, but you can leverage the Black Friday madness by turning one-time buyers into long-term customers.
And while all of these changes should, of course, be developed on a staging site before launch, don’t be afraid to make adjustments leading up to the big weekend. Add a countdown timer to your website, or offer a preview of the different products or services on-sale for that limited time.
The online shopper had a short attention span already—it’s even shorter when every website promises an even crazier sale than the one before it. Soon they’ve got 600 tabs open in their browser, so to avoid your site being one of the forgotten ones, consider kickstarting the purchase process with a speedy checkout.
This could mean temporarily removing some roadblocks we normally advise the checkout process to have, such as account creation. If you don’t have a guest checkout option, consider implementing it for Black Friday. Customers want to get in, make the purchase, and move on to the next deal.
Consider Landing Pages & Microsites
If you have a sizable product catalog, or are offering a wide variety of deals, you should consider hiring a web development agency to launch a landing page, or even a microsite, for your Black Friday or Cyber Monday event. Amazon does this for their patented Prime Day, to great success.
Why? Because having a page or two dedicated entirely to weekend’s deals doesn’t just offer a one-stop shop for your customers, it’s also a great way to market. It’s simple and effective to promote a single link, whether it’s an email blast or social media campaign. You create just one click between the shopper and all of your Black Friday offerings.
If there are any areas of your website that are sluggish, lagging, or are otherwise at a less-than-ideal operation, now is the time to have your engineers conduct repairs. A bogged-down website is much more susceptible to shopping cart abandonment.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to revisit your load times, and potentially resize high-res images that could be sandbagging your site’s performance. Obviously don’t remove the graphics, but consider compressing them to jump-start the customer experience.
If your website doesn’t operate flawlessly on a mobile phone by now, you’ve got bigger problems on your hands—eCommerce has officially arrived on the mobile phone. It follows that your Black Friday shopping experience should be optimized for the pocket screens as well. Need help with this too? You can always count on a mobile app development agency to help optimize your website for mobile devices.
Ready, Set, Shop
If you review the guidelines we’ve laid out here, a few themes emerge: speed and efficiency. Think about your typical Black Friday or Cyber Monday consumers. It’s hectic, rushed, frantic shopping, bouncing from retailer to retailer, hunting for the best deal, indulging every impulse buy.
It may only be September, but it’s never too early (or too late!) for you to improve your website.