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Varun Pramod

Checklist to Prepare for a Profitable Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Now as the year is coming to an end with an array of festivities just around the corner. The most anticipated forthcoming events of the year will be the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. The remarkable aspect of this year’s Black Friday sale is that there would be a high surge in consumer influx to the website and in-store with the post covid impact.

So if you are an in-store owner, you prepare for the event by coming up with a promotional plan, checking on the inventory, offering steep discounts and offers, and analyzing if your POS system is ready for the sale. The same and more should go for your online store as the impression you make for your online consumers are different. Here is a guideline on innovatively striking hard this sale season.

How long does it take your e-store to load?

The top priority for any store owner is to devise a solution to optimize and ensure that your site is working without any problems. For example, a huge problem that could arise during a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale is that the speed of your site can rapidly go downhill because of the high traffic surge. An average person might think this is because of the traffic alone, but this is related to the storage space and capacity of the server.

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These are the few things you must check if it’s working properly before the Black Friday sale goes live.

To kick-start your prep to host a black Friday sale, we recommend you check out which area of your website requires optimization using Page Speed Insight or GT Metrix can give an insight into how much load time it is taking and the areas that need to be enhanced. In addition, testing dummy orders to check out throughout the maintenance stages can help you identify and seek solutions to problems that are bound to arise during the sale.

Setting up a CDN Server is one of the ideal ways to enable your website’s files or images from a geographically distributed data center that is dynamic, accurate, and efficient. It can minimize the page load time, conserve bandwidth, and load your server consistently throughout the sale. Bunny.net and Cloudflare are two kinds of popular CDN networks that many store owners prefer. CDN networks have a system where visitors are introduced to cached content that can be retrieved through the nearest CDN server and has flexible payment tiers available. Now the CDN could optimize your files, but it is better to upload the smallest file size of your product image, this could easily preserve and assure that you have a high-quality resolution.

Your website is crashing, the answer is a yes, which is bound to happen with a high surge of traffic coming into the website. Most of the time, we are either a website owner or a shared server, which can end your site getting slower with an incoming influx of consumers. Moving into a more dedicated and virtual private server is one way to ensure that your website stays stable during the sale season.

Is your server prepared to handle an influx of traffic?

Apart from handling the site speed consistently, we also look up other roles like your server should handle the sudden spike of traffic that could surge, eventually slowing down the website. This is usually bound to happen with any site during the sale season, and you can find ways to stabilize your network. The ideal solution is to contact your hosting provider and check if your account has any traffic limit or if the limit to your account is near close. Then depending on the status of your account, you can have an upgrade or a temporary upgrade to expand your server space the incorporate a large number of customers to your site.

Is your site secure?

Security of your site is vital this is not relevant to a Black Friday sale alone. Since there would be a high surge of traffic during a sale, this can indirectly correlate with another problem as well if your site needs to be more secure.

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Here are the few instances where you can be attacked, which at times, you would only be aware of in the end.

  • If your admin password is weak, it’s simple anyone who knows you well or has significant data on your site can guess your password and would be able to access the site. So make sure to use a stronger password.
  • A Brute force attack is a common attack in which the hacker randomly sends multiple possible passwords to the site. To prevent this, you can limit the requests from the specific IP.
  • If WordPress XML RPC is a default function in WordPress, anyone can request and retrieve data from your site if it is active. You can disable it from the WordPress setting to prevent it.
  • Outdated software can make your site vulnerable to attack as they do not receive security updates. So make sure to update your website regularly.

It is ideal to look out for these vulnerabilities right before the black Friday sale.

Is your e-store enhanced to be Black Friday-ready?

Now e-store enhancement is not just about how impressive you can make it visually but also about bringing in user-friendly elements that can help your customer navigate through the site easily.

If your customer reaches the product page to make a purchase, they probably won’t be buying the product alone, what if they wish to add on something? There has to be an additional add-on option. For example, if you pick a phone, it is obligatory to buy a charger, and the better way is to show it as an add-on option than an extra product that has to go back and again and add to the cart. The simplest way to tackle it can be configured using plugins like the Extra Product Option for WooCommerce by Themehigh.

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Another impressive feature of opting in to use swatches to highlight a wide variety of options for the one product the customer might be looking to buy. Personalize your online store with custom swatch designs based on color, image, button, label, etc can give the customer options on the product and show them the effort you are giving to personalize your eCommerce platform. Suppose you are looking for swatches for your variable product. In that case, we recommend you check out Variation Swatches For WooCommerce by Themehigh to style your website, as they have a wide range of options to showcase variations.

Is your website equipped to work on all devices and browsers?

Just as checking if your inventory is updated or if your product listing images are optimized is not enough, you have to ensure that your website aligns and syncs with every kind of browser or device.

Ideally, you test your website on your device, you can also use inspect in the browser, where there is a responsive option that contains resolution for every kind of device or set dimension measurement of the device once you have made the necessary updates to the site and confirmed how it looks and performs on all platforms, devices, and browsers. Alternatively, you can test and revise according to the functionality of your site based on the medium.

Is all the functionality of your website working properly?

Complete testing of the overall functionality of your website is a vital and crucial task to look into by making sure that every single component of your website is working flawlessly. From how it navigates to checking if all the pages are working properly. So during a sale, your customer is looking for a smooth process from the beginning they enter the website to the time they make a purchase. What if they got stuck in the checkout process and ended up abandoning the cart? So in order not to get into this circumstance, you can optimize your website by updating the latest version of the plugin you are using as a prerequisite it is better to back up your website and, lastly, test your website to check if the functionalities are working appropriately.

So during this phase, if you encounter any issues, you can also utilize the debugging option that is available in WordPress. There is a specific debug system devised by WordPress to make the process simple and debug the error in the core, themes, and plugins.

Is your checkout quick, clean cut and uncomplicated?

The essential page for any eCommerce site after the product page includes a checkout page. Your website might have a checkout page that works, but is it practical, reflexive, and smooth? The best practice is going for a simple checkout page with fewer yet necessary fields, So minimum distraction can easily stimulate the customers to make the purchase.

You can also make sure of a few other things on your website to make it uncomplicated.

First, make sure your website is not a visual clutter by not including a header or footer menu, sidebar widget, and other unnecessary elements, this can keep your checkout page less distracting. While setting up your checkout field page, a minimalistic approach can also make it clean-cut. Just ask your customer the necessary details, asking them for irrelevant details can annoy them easily, which will eventually lead them to leave the site. We suggest using the Checkout Field Editor for wooCommerce by Themehigh to customize your checkout field page. Other functionalities you can include are multiple payment channels, rush shipping options, and guest checking out.

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Is your website simplified for customers to easily navigate through and find what they’re looking for?

Now your customers have a wide range of search methods to find a product on your site. For example, they might have set their mind on a specific product, they might search for the product using images and specific keywords, or lastly, if they know the product, they will search for what they are looking for directly. Here are key tips you can do to ensure your customers get the product they want.

  • Include a search bar so they can navigate easily
  • Include a sidebar widget into your product page with category navigation
  • To give your user the best user experience, it’s ideal for including a plugin that can optimize the product search while you can collect data on your search habits.
  • Adding a product filter plugin to your e-store can aid your customers in categorizing and searching what they need according to a specific category, brands, attributes, prices, discounts, colors, etc.

Do you have tracking set up on your site?

Tracking everything on your site can aid you in understanding what kind of customers you have, what your audience is looking for, and what kind of product or service you have to provide in the future. With the proper tracking methods, you can learn about the customer’s general demographics, age, audience interest, the product category which interests your audiences more, the purchase flow and peak times on the site traffic, etc. With effective tracking methods, you can determine where the traffic is precisely coming from and then invest effective marketing time, resources, and budget. You can analyze where and how you are losing consumers and improve the area that requires improvement. By setting a proper tracking system can easily give you datas on area you can alternatively work on before the black friday rush.

Have you set up an accurate staff and systems to handle increased support requests?

We live in a competitive world, if your store is having a Black Friday sale, then ten other stores with a similar niche might also have a sale too. So how to keep up with them is more than just with the products you sell, pricing you offer, and promotions you run. The best way to drag in your customers is to make them feel they are unique, and to do that is to give your patrons unmatched customer support.

The customer service experience you provide to your customers is vital to deliver a successful BFCM. Here are the few conventional ways of customer service you can offer to your patrons.

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  • Ticketing system: This is a customer service tool where a representative from the team can respond and resolve any issues through an interface without any hassle. Once the ticket is raised through the site, the representative from the service team will respond and resolve the issue through email.
  • AI chatbots: Including an AI chatbot as support can filter out some common queries usually asked by the customer. This can save effort and time for the service team, also they can give quick responses to consumers looking for fundamental answers.
  • FAQs: Including an FAQ can assist the customer in finding answers themselves for the query they are seeking through a FAQ page that is accessible from your site and easy to navigate.
  • Use a customer service contact form: Allow your patrons to contact the customer service team through email with a contact form. This can help them reach out to you directly to give feedback, ask questions related to an issue, and request information or service. With this, you can reduce spam, have information control, and is more consistent.
  • Live chat: Introducing live chat support is very helpful as it is consistent, quick to resolve, and beneficial to get detailed information from the customer, like the product name, Id, customer name Id, addresses, and contact details. Since most of the data is taken in a written format, it is quicker to lend the support they require.
  • Use a customer relationship management tool (CRM): Introducing a Customer Management tool can assist you in tracking down your customer’s interaction with your site and aid resolve issues, supporting tickets, upselling your customers, and getting leads. Since they have a history management system, the service team can provide compelling answers.
  • Make sure your customer service procedures and FAQs are updated: Reviewing your customer service procedure to see if they are accurate regularly is a huge helping hand to the customer and the service team. As the updated form is easier to resolve basic queries.

Wrapping Up

Now, this list might look long, but all we have discussed as of now is how improving the functionality of your site during a sale season is critical. Don’t think these pointers are only relevant during a BFCM sale season, and you can also do checks on your site subjected to the checklist once in a while. This can keep your site on optimum performance throughout the year, and you don’t have to rush check during the sale season alone.