How to prepare the technical aspects of your website for Black Friday
It is already part of the American culture: save the day after Thanksgiving to enjoy the discounts available on the famous Black Friday. The success of this date has made it one of the most important for national and worldwide commerce, attracting consumers of all ages, both in physical and virtual stores.
Following the market’s natural movement, the last editions of Black Friday have been distinguished by the increase in the demand for digital experiences. In the 2019 edition, no less than 93.2 million people took advantage of digital stores special offers.
In a scenario of growth in the e-commerce sector, the trend is that this public continues to increase. If 40% of Black Friday buyers made purchases on the Internet in 2019, Tech Crunch estimates that this number should reach 60% by 2020. How can you make the most of such potential?
The answer, of course, is in offering quality experiences to the persona, which includes having a website ready to meet their demands. Interested in learning how to prepare the technical aspects of your website for Black Friday? We’ve separated a list of tips for you!
- Check your site speed;
- Use an SSL certificate;
- Check your checkout process;
- Check responsiveness on mobile devices;
- Test and ensure your website can handle a surge in traffic;
- Monitor social media for customer complaints;
- Look at the analytics;
- Use strategies to collect customers’ data.
Keep reading and learn more!
1. Check your site speed
The success of Internet sales comes from several factors. They all revolve around the consumer’s desire to achieve a faster and safer experience, without having to leave home or wait for hours in lines outside of stores.
This means that when accessing a website to buy on Black Friday, the visitor expects to find a fast and efficient browsing experience. It is up to you to provide this, otherwises the customer can migrate to another of the thousands of options on the Internet.
Thus, the first step in preparing the technical aspects of your site for Black Friday is to check the speed of your portal. For this, it is essential to use PageSpeed Insights, an online Google tool that evaluates the loading speed of a web page and presents tips for its optimization.
To use the tool, you just need to access the platform and enter the URL of the page you want to check. The report will include:
- the average loading time of the web pages;
- your pages’ loading time;
- their final page speed score;
- suggestions of ways to optimize your loading time.
The faster and more qualified the page experience, the greater the chances of converting users into customers.
2. Use an SSL certificate
The website’s security is another factor that should be central to your attention. After all, either to nurture the lead with relevant information or to make sales, the fact is that the credibility of your site depends on the security it offers to visitors. Therefore, using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is fundamental.
The SSL certificate uses global standard security technology to ensure encryption of all communication between a web browser and a web server.
This prevents hackers from having access to sensitive information such as the addresses and credit card data of e-commerce customers. To raise the level of privacy, it is also important to use security plugins.
3. Check your checkout process
Your website’s checkout process should be developed to make the consumer experience as easy as possible. That is, it is essential that, in a few clicks, the user is able to add the item to the cart, insert the necessary information, and complete the purchase.
This involves much more than pages that load quickly. It is necessary that the information is arranged in an orderly way so that the process is extremely intuitive even for the visitor with less internet experience.
Besides, it is necessary to eliminate all the barriers between the consumer’s desire to purchase and the purchase itself. Delete unnecessary steps, remove unneeded banners and forms, and let the consumer make the purchase without registering if it is their wish.
In addition, the design must be thought according to the characteristics of the persona, using colors and mental triggers to direct users to the moment of purchase.
With fast, organized, and intuitive pages, you will notice a significant drop in the rate of abandoned shopping carts.
4. Check responsiveness on mobile devices
Nowadays, it is impossible to exploit the full potential of Digital Marketing without paying attention to mobile device users. Ensuring that your site is mobile-friendly is therefore one of the most important actions to prepare your business for Black Friday.
The importance of the mobile audience is clear in several studies, such as this one conducted by Neilson. According to the report, four out of every five smartphone users claim to use the device to make online purchases.
Therefore, make sure that the mobile experience in your pages is as fast and efficient as those that originate from desktops. Google PageSpeeds Insights, which we have already mentioned in the text, is an ally in this process since it allows the analysis and optimization of mobile pages.
5. Test and ensure your website can handle a surge in traffic
If all goes well, your website will experience a surge in traffic during Black Friday. This is great, since the more visitors you receive, the greater will be the chances of performing sales. However, it is important to be prepared so that this doesn’t become a problem.
Your pages need to be structured to withstand a peak in traffic without slowing down performance or crashing. So, remember the importance of a good hosting.
To avoid unforeseen events, perform tests in advance, and check the site’s capacity. In case the surge in traffic damages the performance, it is necessary to take measures to avoid it during Black Friday. Hiring a more qualified web hosting service may be the solution.
6. Monitor social media for customer complaints
Social media is a channel you must explore on Black Friday, from the weeks before it to the days after it. This is because networks like Facebook and Instagram have become fundamental tools to reach the client and also to provide support.
For starters, if you want to increase the number of visits to your site, it is essential to use the reach of social networks to generate organic traffic. Producing content frequently is very important to encourage engagement and recommend a visit to the website. Don’t forget to add the URL in your account’s bio.
It is necessary to understand social networks as tools that measure the consumer’s feelings. Search for keywords related to your company and identify the negative and positive comments. These insights will be fundamental in optimizing your customers’ experience.
7. Look at the analytics
Besides seeking feedback from customers on social media and other channels, it is essential to work with data. Tools like Google Analytics provide valuable information about various aspects of your website, which may indicate ways to make it more attractive to your persona.
It is essential that the preparation of your site for Black Friday involves a careful analysis of data related to the activities of visitors. For example, you can map the journey of each user who accessed your pages, discovering, among other things, how they interacted with your content, how long they took on each page and what was the exit point.
If many people leave your website at the same spot, you need to look for the reasons, which can range from confusing content to lack of responsiveness. It may sound simple but to find those signals, looking at the analytics is crucial.
8. Use strategies to collect customers’ data
It is already clear that working with data is fundamental, isn’t it? But, after all, how to obtain this kind of information?
A lot of it is automatically gathered through the use of plugins and tools like Google Analytics. However, it is possible to further enrich your database with specific strategies.
One of them is Interactive Marketing. By investing in interactive content you stimulate visitors to the site to dialogue with your materials. In other words, your persona interacts with the brand and leaves behind information about their own behavior, always through a ludic, agile, and satisfactory experience.
An interactive quiz, for example, can gather data about the persona’s preferences, their level of knowledge about the products, and much more.
These types of approaches generate the so-called first-party data, creating an extremely rich and relevant database since it deals directly with people who have some interest in buying from your brand.
From there, you only need to do your best to optimize the site to meet the demands and desires of your ideal consumer.
Also, collecting first-party data is an excellent way to create an extremely segmented email marketing list, resulting in greater customer engagement and, consequently, a higher conversion rate.
Now that you know how to prepare the technical aspects of your website for Black Friday, you can gear up to explore the full potential of the occasion.
Remember that, more than creating attractive offers, it is necessary to develop a digital experience that facilitates the consumer’s journey, leading them to the buying decision.
Interested in checking how your site is performing and figuring out how you can optimize it? Use Stage Analyzer and get access to in-depth reports and top recommendations!