It's a wonderful time of the year for retailers that have an ecommerce website. You want every part of your digital commerce process to be ready for the leap in Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic. Make the most of every visit with this checklist of 15 things.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all the days around them are a retailer's favorite time of the year. But it's also a stressful one as it means a lot more foot and web traffic. In a store, they want to limit long lines. For an ecommerce website, companies want their website to stay up and running with nary a blip, bug, or break.
No doubt you're checking and rechecking to make sure you have all your bases covered: enough employees on registers, plenty of stock, warehouse staff ready to pick and pack to complete fulfillment, and much more.
It's easy for something to get overlooked. Use this checklist to ensure your digital commerce website is ready for the busiest shopping days of the year.
- Do keyword research. Do this long before the big day. Think about the terms customers use to find you — not what you think they should use. Google's keyword planner tells you how often keywords are searched and how competitive they are. Aim for a mix of lower searched terms with low competition and higher search terms with medium competition. Incorporate these words into online content.
- Test everything. Have non-biased people use your website and make purchases. Ask them to contact customer support with different scenarios. Order items to make sure the packaging meets your expectations. (This should also be done long before Cyber Monday.)
- Verify your inventory. If you don't have enough to fulfill the orders, it may be best not to include it on the website. Remember to check the warehouse to ensure it has enough packing supplies.
- Check your server. Ensure your website is ready to handle the massive increase in traffic and online activities.
- Create a back-up plan. What if your POS software can't be access? Internet or Wi-Fi connection goes down? Payment system errors? Employee calls in sick?
- View your website on a mobile device. Make sure it's working and usable on the smaller screen. You can't make big design changes, but you can fix minor glitches.
- Prepare customer support. Your customer support team is your main connection with customers. You want them ready and willing to help. Review various situations you've run into in the past and how to handle each. The more prepared they are, the less likely they'll have to escalate. Empower them to make decisions to save time.
- Spoil your staff. They're working harder than usual. They may be wishing they were on vacation. It can be as simple as providing meals and snacks or as generous as paying time and a half. The happier your employees are, the better they'll treat customers.
- Keep your specials simple. There have been many horror stories about customers who find loopholes in complex sales and discounts. If they do, honor them.
- Post specials on home page. Don't make shoppers search for specials. If they can't find them, they'll abandon their carts knowing other websites have specials.
- Monitor social media. Customers will share tips and problems they run into while shopping online. Be proactive by monitoring for mentions so you can respond quickly whether it's a problem or a compliment.
- Be smart about email. So many emails go right before and after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Will yours get lost? Recipients may get overwhelmed and start unsubscribing to whatever is in the inbox. Be selective about the number of emails you send and the days sent.
- Advertise in other avenues. This helps you reach people who aren't on your mailing list and those who don't read sales emails. Post updates and ads on social media networks like Facebook. Facebook allows you to upload your mailing list and helps you target people with similar demographics.
- Offer free shipping. If you don't already offer it, do it for this time period. Data has shown that free shipping can increase profits.
- Create a plan for chargebacks and fraud. Chargebacks and fraud climb within a couple of months after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And they can hurt your revenue when you're not prepared.
This is an exciting and busy time of the year for your business online. This checklist can also help you optimize your entire ecommerce process to verify it meets your expectations.
Yes, there's a lot to consider in ecommerce. Many companies trying to do business online are surprised by how much is involved. Simplify it by letting one company with a complete ecommerce turnkey solution do it all for you. Then you won't need this checklist. How easy is that?
For more insight on end to end eCommerce strategy visit this resources page.