A quick glance out the window should tell you that the holiday shopping season is nearly upon us. That overly festive time of year where family and friends come together also makes for the most profitable time of year for any retail business.
For most ecommerce merchants, Cyber Monday – the online version of Black Friday – marks the culmination of the holiday shopping season. Every minute of Cyber Monday could mean major profits for your small business. It’s vital that merchants are prepared to meet the demands of their customers to ensure a positive shopping experience that could help to create a lifetime customer. This means that online retailers have a lot to consider before November 30th, including whether their website can properly handle the increased traffic to ensuring their website is aesthetically appealing.
Here are a few tips on how to make sure your small business website is ready for Cyber Monday.
Design Your Website So That It’s Easy-To-Use
It’s not hard to spot a website that’s unattractive, slow and difficult to use. To make sure your website doesn’t fall into one of these categories, conduct usability tests on your site. Here are a few areas of your website you may want to consider testing:
Navigation: Are your navigational features like sidebar widgets, search boxes and menus easy to navigate and use?
Easily readable: Is the content on your website well written, concise and easy to understand?
Consistent design elements: Are all of your design elements consistent in the body, subheaders and headers of your website when it comes to fonts and colors?
Reliable website speed: How quickly and reliably do your website pages open?
Clearly defined support: If a potential customer has a question, can he or she easily contact your business for support?
How quickly and conveniently consumers can interact with your website has a significant impact on your overall conversion rates, so it’s vital you create a positive Cyber Monday experience for visitors.
Mobile ecommerce accounted for over $42 billion in sales in 2014. It’s forecast that number could grow to $132 billion by 2018, according to eMarketer. The average consumer will switch between tablets, desktops and smartphones throughout the day when shopping. As a result, their shopping cart and digital storefront needs to sync across each of these different platforms. By making sure your website is optimized for mobile devices, you’ll allow customers to continue their shopping experience no matter where or what device they’re using.
Develop Personalized and Specifically Targeted Promotions
With eBay and Amazon having helped to revolutionize personalized digital shopping, consumers today expect an online shopping experience that’s relevant to them. Collecting all available consumer information allows online merchants to customize content and make individual offers. For example, you can target potential customers using geographic or demographic data.
Visitors to your website from the East Coast can be targeted to receive offer A, while visitors from the West Coast receive offer B. By utilizing visitor data, your ecommerce site can not only provide a personalized shopping experience but also improve the likelihood of whether a consumer makes a purchase.
Utilize Social Media
Social media can play an important role in how much business your ecommerce site receives during Cyber Monday. Try utilizing a variety of tactics like display ads, email blasts and tweets to increase awareness about your brand and Cyber Monday sales.
Make sure to keep an eye on social media conversations prior to, during and after Cyber Monday. This way, if a visitor had a problem with or question about your website, you’ll know and can offer a quick response. Participating in conversations on social media also makes a great way to help protect and monitor your brand’s reputation online.