No one needs to tell you how important Black Friday and Cyber Monday are when it comes to online sales, and the numbers only keep getting bigger every year. In fact, 2016’s Cyber Monday was the largest online shopping day of all time, generating $3.36 billion in sales last year in the US alone. Across the pond, Black Friday revenue was up 240% in 2016 compared to a normal sales day, which means British shoppers spent an estimated £810 million online that day.
To ensure that you make the most of this year's shopping frenzy, we've created a list of the six optimization opportunities you need to implement before the big weekend this November.
#1: Create Urgency
Given the smaller window for sales, most shoppers will have a natural sense of urgency during Black Friday and Cyber Monday making it all the more crucial to build on that sense of urgency by improving your website’s messaging.
There are many ways to create urgency, and one tried and true method is featuring a countdown clock during the checkout process. This informs visitors that the products in their cart will only remain there for a limited time because of the high demand for said product.
Another method is letting visitors know the quantity of a product you have left in your inventory. Users are more inclined to jump at the chance to make a purchase if they know that they can potentially miss out if they are slow to react.
#2: Allow for Social and Email Sharing
Most people enjoy boasting a little when they have good news or scored a great deal. This word-of-mouth marketing will bring high-value users back to your website who are incentivized to make a purchase of their own.
Proving that point, Adobe actually found that after display ads, social media shares provided people with the best odds of finding a discounted product on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The company’s study also found that retailers who invested in mobile, email and social saw 30% more sales on average than those concentrating on just one or two channels. In other words, diversification is key.
#3: Highlight What Sets You Apart
On average, consumers typically check four to five websites before making a purchase. While price is the defining factor in most cases, there are other considerations to keep in mind that can help you stand out from the competition.
For example, do you offer free shipping and free returns on products? If so, make sure to highlight that on your product pages near the "BUY NOW" CTA.
Other important considerations include:
- Are your products locally made?
- Do you donate to a charity?
- Have you won awards for your customer support?
- Are you the leading experts in your region?
Simply put, you need to make it clear to consumers why they should buy your product over your competitors (beyond the price). Find out what's important to them and highlight it clearly.
#4: Avoid Unnecessary Distractions
This point can be said at any point of the year, but it's especially important during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Users are on your website to shop. They want to know what products you have on sale, the product details, what other users think of the product and why they should buy it from you. Other than that, keep your product pages clean and simple. This is not the time to ask users for feedback on their experience or to fill out a survey.
#5: Start Early
This cannot be stressed enough. While the big weekend gets all the attention, a lot of consumers start their shopping early. In fact, according to the aforementioned Adobe study, 31% of US shoppers said that they expect to start their shopping before November 1 while another 27% said they will start before Thanksgiving weekend. Simply put, don't wait until the last minute to release your sale prices or you’ll potentially miss out on a substantial amount of revenue.
#6: Highlight The Sale Prices
I'm not talking about the font size of your sale prices, I'm referring to how they’re displayed. The actual discount amount aside, you can always make it more attractive with some quick creative tricks. For example, you may be showing the original price next to the sale price, but you can take it one step further by implementing a colour contrast. This ensures that the reduced price is more easily noticeable.. Additionally, make sure to display the discount percentage being offered at the top of your site so visitors can see it clearly.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are getting bigger and bigger every year, and this excitement isn't limited to the US anymore. Consumers all over the world are going online to take advantage of the great prices, and they aren't afraid to shop on foreign websites, either.
Make sure your website is fully optimized to take advantage of the huge influx of visitors coming to your site—or risk missing out to your competitors.
If you don't know where to start and fear that your website needs some work, get in touch.