High Streets Initiative 13 October 2017

Five tips to get your ecommerce site Black Friday ready

Black Friday 2016 saw ecommerce traffic increase by 220 per cent on average
Black Friday 2016 saw ecommerce traffic increase by 220 per cent on average

With Black Friday 2017 fast approaching, optimisation manager at digital marketing agency Impression, Edd Wilson, provides retailers with five tips to make sure they’ve prepared their ecommerce sites for the inevitable rush.

Traffic increased at an average of 220 per cent for ecommerce on Black Friday 2016 compared to a regular Friday, according to research from retail analysts Qubit.

With all this traffic coming in, it is essential that small businesses capitalise on this by making sure their site is in the best condition it can be.

Users can be put off by many negatives, but can be encouraged along their journey through tactics and strategies. Here are five tips to make sure your website is ready for Black Friday, which this year falls on 24 November.

(1) Get inside your customer’s head

There are a few psychological tricks you can play on your website to encourage this mass traffic to convert.

Employing the scarcity principle, for example, is a winning tactic in ecommerce all year round, but may work especially well on Black Friday. The scarcity principle is when you reinforce that these deals, bargains and prices are available for one day (or one weekend with Cyber Monday).

Users never want to miss out on saving money, so make sure your descriptions, content and images really hits this message home. Ignoring this deal will cost them money.

Another tactic is to employ power words in your product descriptions. Do you have one of the most efficient products? What about the largest goods in the industry?

Emphasise these factors and couple it to your limited deals, then users know they are getting a premium product for a discounted practice, and need to get it on this very weekend.

(2) Examine your customer’s journey

You can use some Google Analytics tactics to analyse the journey of your customer. If you simply do not know how to work Analytics, either employ someone who can help, or try and learn the basics yourself with their free tutorials.

This will allow you to see where people may be dropping off from your site, or if there are technical issues on certain pages preventing them from converting.

For example, if individuals are putting items in their basket but then failing to check out on the final page, there may be a payment or form issue preventing conversions.

(3) Trust signals

There are a few additions you can make to your site to ensure it appears legitimate and trustworthy for people to part with their money, and may be a reason that a journey is stopped.

Adding payment seals, like the logos you see on some shopping sites, is essential. Customers don’t want to purchase from somewhere if they think their money is not safe.

Integrate logos from credit and debit cards you accept and even options like Paypal to ensure your site appears credible.

An ‘About Us’ page is definitely an addition that helps build trust with the user. If a customer can find out more about you and your company, they are then engaged and connected.

An interested and informed customer is more likely to purchase and convert, so talk about yourself as this could indirectly lead to sales. This can also be achieved by integrating reviews into your website, either from internal comments, or external review websites.

(4) Decide what’s working and what’s not

Imagine thermal imaging for your website. Heat maps allow you to analyse a page and see where people are spending more or less time, and what they are engaging with.

For example, if users are watching a product video you have but ignoring an image carousel on the page, perhaps you need to use this video on other product pages.

You will learn what works across your site and what’s cold and off putting to users. If users are ignoring a call to action button, consider a redesign or check if it links through properly.

Sometimes, issues arise from something so simple that you may have overlooked. This notion of trial and error leads us to the final way to get your website ready for the Black Friday rush.

(5) Split testing

You have enough time now to make sure your website is on top form for the busiest period of the year, so you need to ensure you have your best content and tactics employed. This comes about as a product of A/B split testing.

A/B split testing allows you to try different versions of a page, or elements on a page and track the statistics across a set time period. Black Friday isn’t far away, so a trial for a week or so would be advantageous to make the most of the short amount of time.

It’s crucial to test these changes you may be thinking of making to your site, as you don’t want to be testing your theories on the day when traffic is going through the roof. Black Friday deals are everywhere, make sure yours are noticed, engaged with and lead to conversions.

Written by Edd Wilson, CRO Manager at Impression, focusing on improving the customer journey and traffic conversion for businesses. 

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.