8-tipsBlack Friday and Cyber Monday are the busiest shopping days in the United States, with millions of people hitting the web for hot, limited-time deals.  Compared to 2013, 2014’s eCommerce revenue during Cyber Monday increased by 15.4% while Black Friday saw an increase of 20.6%. In fact, last year’s Cyber Monday is commemorated as the biggest day in U.S. online shopping history, ever!

But hey, that’s last year’s news, right? Well, 2015’s holiday season is just around the corner, and it’s time for merchants to get hyped. Analysts predict 2015 is geared to shatter last year’s numbers, with millions of additional sales boosting Black Friday and Cyber Monday figures.

The countdown to the two biggest grossing holiday dates has begun, and it’s essential that online merchants take the necessary steps to ensure they’re prepared for 2015’s shopping extravaganza.

Here are some tips that’ll optimize your store and improve sales for the coming festive season.

  1. Offer Black Friday & Cyber Monday Exclusive Discounts

Put this tip at the top of your checklist, because if you miss this step, your sales will suffer tremendously. There’s a reason Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping days of the year – they offer the best discounts! Don’t disappoint visitors by failing to offer what consumers have come to not only want, but demand.

Whether your sale is a store-wide-blowout, or a ploy to enhance a “perceived” discount, offering competitive discounts is an essential tactic to ensuring sales. After all, we’re talking about the busiest shopping days of the year. Give your customers an incentive to choose your store over your competitors!

  1. Spread the Word & Promote with Social Media

Billions of people use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media services. Not only that, more than half of these users check their account every single day! That’s right, social media, whether you like it or not, is a part of life’s daily routine – now and for the foreseeable future. Billions worldwide simply can’t live without it!

Luckily for merchants, social media is an absolute golden marketing channel. Advertise your upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on a multitude of social platforms well in advance. Not only will it get your customers excited, but it will result in free advertisement! Plan to offer a killer sale? Tweet about it! Your customers are bound to retweet your news with countless others!

Cater to your customer’s lifestyle by advertising via their preferred channel. Who needs commercials when you can advertise on the biggest social media platform in the world, Facebook?

  1. Enhance Your Design with a New Landing Page or Banner

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s a motto hardly anyone lives by. When visitors stop by your store, make sure the excitement is palpable. Create a new landing page or design some awesome banners that highlight your store’s exclusive, limited-time deals.

If shoppers are unable to identify any kind of ongoing sale, you’ll find their visits incredibly short lived. Bring eyeballs to your deals by capturing customer attention with clear, precise, well-implemented marketing designs. This is the biggest shopping event of the year – make sure your site reflects that.

  1. Start a Countdown to Build Anticipation

Everyone loves a countdown; just think of every New Year’s day, ever! Countdowns promote anticipation and excitement, leading to increased traffic and a surge in sales.

Advertise your deals accordingly to ensure your Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials promote exclusivity and scarcity. Shoppers are much more likely to check out your store when they’re under the impression a mega shopping event is just on the horizon.

  1. Offer Free Shipping

Black Friday and Cyber Monday promote not only an increase in the number of online shoppers, but also the amount of money people are willing to dish out. When you’re faced with a multitude of too-good-to-be-true deals, well, it’s only human nature to want to take advantage of them all!

With that said, shoppers can’t spend more at your store if they’re also faced with a worrisome shipping fee. Free shipping incites customers to spend more at your online store rather than hitting a physical store, where they’ll experience immediate gratification and zero shipping costs.

Show your generosity and customer appreciation with a simple tactic that’s sure to promote positive feedback and increased sales.

  1. Employ & Maximize Your Marketing Strategy 

In 2014, email marketing generated 27.3% of online orders for Black Friday and 23.9% on Cyber Monday. That’s nearly a quarter of all Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales!

Email is perhaps the single greatest channel for reaching consumers, with email-users habitually checking their inbox multiple times a day – at home, school, work, while waiting in line; nearly everywhere! In fact, there are 2.5 billion email users worldwide; that’s nearly one-third of the world’s population.

Make the wise decision to market this mass channel with a newsblast that highlights your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Promote your sale in a manner that explains just why your sales aren’t to be missed.

Furthermore, increase your likelihood of same-day-repeat customers by sending out follow-up emails. Perhaps you’d like to offer an ever bigger, crazier deal for customers who’ve already placed an order on Black Friday? It up to you, but be creative! Enticing follow-up emails are a great way to increase your sales in unexpected ways.

  1. Ensure a Smooth Shopping Experience; Check Your Site!

This should be a no-brainer, but make sure your site is working optimally in all areas. Navigate your site, go through the checkout process, make sure all of the appropriate products have stock, etc.

Nothing will make your sales fall as flat as a non-functioning, unresponsive site. If shoppers are unable to navigate or checkout with ease, they won’t be afraid to take their business elsewhere – especially on the most competitive shopping day of the year, when consumers are inundated with limited-time, soon-to-expire flashy deals.

Check and then double check that come Black Friday and Cyber Monday, visitors will experience nothing but smooth sailing.

  1. Make Sure You’re on the Right Plan!

If you’re anticipating a huge increase to traffic, make sure you’re on a plan that supports the expected increase to bandwidth. Furthermore, if you’re looking to optimize site performance, research which plan is best for you and your business – you may decide that you’re in need of a plan that offers more bandwidth.

For businesses expecting a massive influx to sales and traffic, an Enterprise plan, which can handle unlimited sales and traffic, is also available.

Contact your Technical Support team if you’re concerned that site performance may be adversely affected on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They’ll take measures to ensure your website runs as smoothly as possible.

 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner! Start your planning and strategizing well in advance to ensure your business is properly prepared for the year’s biggest shopping days.