One thing is clear this year – holiday spending is trending even higher online versus brick and mortar. This year we have warehouses sitting empty and limited capacity at the stores still open. COVID has accelerated the already fast movement to online commerce.
If you’re selling online, you’re likely to see increased traffic and sales this holiday season. Are you ready for it?
Are you prepared this year for the mega sales holidays known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday? As of this writing, you have 17 calendar and 13 business days to get your business fully prepared.
Here is a Black Friday/Cyber Monday checklist to run through before the big day hits.
- Make sure your website can handle the traffic. Use a tool like Micro Focus (they have a free option) to at least get an initial reading of your server’s capabilities. There will be significant losses if people cannot use your website from the top of the funnel all the way to the bottom.
Additionally, you may even want to invest in an uptime tool (at least temporarily). Without having to check your website every other minute, an uptime monitoring tool can do this for you. As an example, Uptime Robot offers one month of monitoring for less than $20 per month.
- Increase spending on top sales channels and sources. If Facebook Ads is your top revenue generator, temporarily increasing spend and your investment into this channel is likely a good idea. At the vest least, you’ll be able to retarget more visitors post BFCM.
- Create a BFCM blog post or landing page with all of your deals. DON’T remove it. You can then reuse this page in the years to come while already having it indexed and hopefully ranked in the search engines.
- Launch any new paid ad campaigns NOW. Let your ad platforms do its machine learning.
- Create backup plans. Think, “If this fails, then that”. “If that X breaks, call Y vendor”.
- Fully lay out your marketing calendar and schedules. Make sure that they’re clearly communicated to your entire team. When I say entire team, I also mean your marketing vendors/agencies. If you wait until the week before Thanksgiving week to communicate your sales or make asset requests, you run the increased risk of it not being turned around on time or at all. This is CRITICAL.
- Be accessible. Live chat, responsive to emails, have enough resources on your support phones, ect.
- Double check all of the high value pages in your marketing funnel(s) for slow loading pages, silly spelling or grammar mistakes, and overall usability issues.
- Mobile, Mobile, Mobile! – Don’t forget that a high percentage of your visitors will be consuming your content on mobile devices.
- Create a compelling offer! We see many of our clients use the tried and true “loss leader” strategy. Bring in new customers by luring them in with an incredible offer and then upsell them. Even if you don’t sell them on something, you can:
- Collect their email address for future sales.
- Retarget them while they’re still online looking for the best deals.
- Get valuable data and insights from the increased traffic.
- Design new creative assets for your promotions. Use services like Gravit Designer.
- Make sure you have retargeting campaigns running. Create special offers for visitors who leave and don’t order (last chance offers). You can even retarget people who have already bought with an even better offer.
- Your email campaigns and funnels should be completed as soon as possible. This is something you can do way ahead of time, test, and be done with so you can focus on other important parts of the business. Make sure to create buzz by warming your list up early and creating anticipation of your upcoming promotions.
- Reassure potential customers of your return policies and other trust factors (reviews, testimonials, awards, ect).
Again, be prepared. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you are someone who inherently waits until the last minute, reach out to someone in your inner circle who isn’t and able to help.
Heck, we can even help if you hurry!