7 Things to Do To Prepare Your Website For Cyber Monday
Black Friday is still a pretty huge shopping day for many, but hundreds of thousands of consumers now also look forward to Cyber Monday. As more and more consumers switch to making purchases at online e-tailers rather than in the brick and mortar stores, the popularity of Cyber Monday has grown exponentially. This special shopping day offers thousands of products at discounted prices, and is a great way for business to stay competitive at the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
However, businesses with an online presence and ecommerce site also need to make sure that their website is ready for Cyber Monday. Not only do you want to be able to attract customers to your website, you want to make sure that your website operates properly. If potential customers visit your website and have trouble finding products or difficulty making purchases, they may opt to go to a competitor instead. That’s why it’s essential to follow this 7 things to do to prepare your website for Cyber Monday.
1. Test Everything
As mentioned above, you want to make sure your website is fully operational with no glitches. Test for broken links, make sure the shopping cart is easy to navigate, make sure images load correctly, etc. Nothing frustrates consumers more than a website that doesn’t work properly, especially when they are intent on making a purchase on such a big shopping holiday.
2. Make Your Updates
Does your website look good, or does it need to be updated? Remember, on Cyber Monday many potential customers may be going to your website for the very first time, so the first impression is very important. If your website looks outdated it may not fare as well as a competitor.
Additionally, you want to make sure products and product information is easy to find—don’t make customers click on several links to try and find something. Navigation should be easy and information about products should be complete and accurate. And remember, once you make any updates, test everything again.
3. Don’t Forget About SEO
Search engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most fundamental and critical things you can do for your website to increase online visibility and search engine rankings. Without SEO (the action of placing relevant keywords in your website content) your site can get lost in a sea of search results, and quite possibly never be found.
Make sure you have professional SEO done well before Cyber Monday, because it can take time for search engines to rank your site. And an experienced SEO professional is necessary because SEO is more than just putting keywords in content—images, page titles, and many other off-screen elements of your website can also be optimized.
4. Use A Shopping Cart With Additional Features
Using an advanced shopping cart application can help you boost your sales even during the checkout process. An advanced, intuitive shopping cart can list similar and relevant products that the customer might also be interested in, which might encourage them to add more items to the cart. Consider this a form on online point-of-purchase selling.
You can also opt to offer a discount if a customer purchases a minimum amount such as 10% off $100. Free shipping or a coupon for a future purchase are also options.
Most importantly, the shopping cart should be easy for customers to use. Nobody wants to click through 5 pages of shopping cart forms just to make their purchase. Keep it at two pages and you should be fine. And multiple shipping options also go a long way toward improving customer service.
5. Speaking of Customer Service…
Prepare staff to answer phone calls and emails in a positive, professional manner. The potential for many customers to require additional help or seek assistance on Cyber Monday can be staggering, and your staff must be prepared to provide excellent customer service.
Contact information on your website should be easy to find. Cyber Monday offers the opportunity to make many new lasting customers—you don’t want to lose them due to poor customer service.
6. Promote Your Cyber Monday Sales
Start building the buzz early by promoting on social media, email marketing, and other marketing channels. You’ll want your customer base primed and ready to head to your website first to take advantage of your sales.
Then make sure your website is prepared to be updated with any sales and promotions you are running on Cyber Monday. You certainly don’t want to be promoting something all month only to be unprepared with the update on the actual day!
7. Watch What Your Competitors are Doing
An important rule of being successful isn’t just to focus on what you are doing, but also on what your competitors are doing. Pay attention to any sales and promotions they may be running on Cyber Monday. Are they offering free shipping? What are they discounting? Do they have you beat?
Also be sure to check out their websites. How do they look compared to yours? Is the navigation better? Is it more attractive? Do they have a larger social media presence?
Study what makes your competitors successful, and then find a way to emulate it, but do it better. In today’s online marketplace, it is important to always remain vigilant in your marketing efforts in order to maintain your edge over your competitors.
How you do on Cyber Monday may not necessarily make you or break you, but it is important to be visible as an online entity. For many, Cyber Monday can be the introduction to future sales once customers grow aware of your website. And purchases made on Cyber Monday can lead to many more throughout the holiday shopping season. The shopping holiday is poised to become more popular and important in the world of online commerce over the years, so make sure you’re in the game now.