Black Friday: Is Your Website Ready?

Adam Quigley - 22/11/2018 - Mosaic News

Black Friday sales have become a huge success globally and slowly seeped over the waters from the USA around four to five years ago.

So what is a Black Friday sale? This event is the day after Thanksgiving in the US and highly regarded as the floodgates to the Christmas shopping season. With the influx in technology and ever increasing for consumers to demand low prices, these types of sales are bigger than ever and appear both online and offline.

In the UK we have adopted this tradition of Black Friday as a way to buy goods at a reduced cost or as a merchant, to make as much profit prior to the Christmas period and typical quieter January after all the expense of December.

In this article, we are going to look a little deeper as to how you can make your website Black Friday ready for the internet as well as ensuring your website is ready for Cyber Monday and the rest of the festive period.

Is your hosting suitable?

Black Friday sales typically cause a frenzy of buyers to come to your website with one aim of grabbing a bargain as well as getting that perfect gift for a loved one. However, before you get carried away with offering rock bottom low prices you need to ask yourself one question, can your website handle the extra volume of visitors?

If your website is not suitable for high volumes of traffic you may need to look into having discussions with your hosting partners to figure out how you can get your website ready for the festive period. If you are paying a nominal fee for your hosting and expects this to handle 20-30% more traffic you may find yourself in a sticky situation where the website will crash whilst the visitors are browsing or at the checkout stages of your website causing a huge headache. Being prepare for the whole of the festive period and upgrading your hosting could be vital preparations and most reputable hosting companies will advise you based on your current amount of users what to expect during the Black Friday sales.

If you have the time to prepare for the festive period or know roughly how many users you would expect to your black Friday event, you can look into speaking with your hosting company to run some load/stress tests on your hosting platform. These load tests are designed to simulate real-life situations on servers to see how many users it can hold. By doing this you will alleviate the stress of a frantic sale and the website having downtime.

Other tools can also help get your website up and running if the worst case scenario is your website goes down. If your website does fall over tools such as StatusCake will tell you if you have any downtime on the server. This means you do not have to wait for floods of complaints to come in or to keep refreshing to see if it has. This will email you and alert you if you have any issues.


Is your website prepared?

Once you have sorted the hardware and hosting provider for your website, you need to make sure is your website ready? You may have all the best hardware and hosting solutions in place but is your website the main issue? If your website performance or security is a problem this may cause you to have downtime during the Christmas period.


Website Performance

Having a suitable host provider is great preparations for a successful Black Friday event, however, if your website is poorly coded or has not been speed optimised this can have a huge impact on how site visitors use your website. Performance is key as shoppers will want to buy items quickly in fear of losing out on a particular purchase. If your website sluggish this will instantly annoy people, causing them to go elsewhere, potentially a competitor. Using speed tools such as GT Metrix or Pagespeed will give your web designer a good indication of what things they need to do to improve the load time of the website as well as improve the overall score.


Website Design & Usability

Most website visitors nowadays look to do most of their Christmas shopping or find that perfect Black Friday deal on their mobile phone to and from work or on the school run. As we gravitate towards being hooked up to the internet most of the day people expect the website to work correctly whatever device they are using. If your website isn’t a bespoke purchase the likelihood is, the website may have some poor design choices for mobile and tablet users. For a successful festive period, you need to make sure you are getting this right so that you do not exclude any potential customer from being to use your website in any form. If you have a website design agency such as Mosaic Digital Media we build all of our website with a mobile-first approach ensuring that no matter what device your eCommerce website is viewed on, your customer will have a good experience all-round.


Marketing & Design

Now you have all the hardware ready for your website, you now need to market your Black Friday and festive events. If you have a good following on social media platforms this will be a good place to start with generating additional attraction to your black Friday sales. An additional advantage on your website is to make sure all of your Black Friday deals are clear and visible once traffic does come through to your website.

I would also suggest looking at getting some good artwork generated to promote your event. Festive artwork and sale banners will help drive traffic to your website. Also whilst on your website create a call to action banners where if a site visitor clicks on a banner, it takes them through to all of the deals available.


Summary

In summary, Black Friday is the great kick-off event for the festive period. Utilising this to your advantage will help the sales of towards the end of the year and will always help your business in more difficult months where typically you see a decrease in sales.

If you want to find out more on how we can help your business contact us today.

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