How To Select The Best Ad Platform for Your Business
By Tom Wintaugh
Now is the time to prepare your website for holiday business. Here are 3 important areas to focus on ahead of year-end traffic.
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Year-end ecommerce spending hit its biggest day in U.S. history last year as online Black Friday receipts surpassed 9.1 billion dollars for the first time. This represents several points of growth over the previous year, despite consumer concerns about inflation—or perhaps because of them. Black Friday ecommerce shopping isn’t just more convenient for shoppers, it also affords them the ability to find the best deals in any economic times. For merchants who want to capitalize on this business, a great Black Friday ecommerce strategy can’t wait until the weather cools off—now is the time to implement plans in preparation for the increased traffic to come. Read on to discover the 3 most important areas to focus on to prepare your store for the holiday rush.
Waiting until the last minute to prepare for Black Friday and year-end business is risky. Customer service needs, order management, and unexpected delays can be all be more complex and resource-draining as traffic increases, but there but there are several important steps that sellers can take now to guard against disruptions later.
Ecommerce site speed is perhaps the most important element of successful shopping experiences, and this is never more true than in the most competitive shopping period of the year, the holiday season. A page loading delay of even a single second can significantly impact conversions and revenue.
During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, ecommerce sites typically experience a surge in traffic, with close to 90 million shoppers making individual purchases online on Black Friday alone. You can't afford to lose customers due to slow loading times—customers who visit your site should not encounter any friction on their journey to a complete purchase.
The benefits of fast loading websites obviously extends beyond Cyber Monday. You can read more about the year-round benefits of fast ecommerce sites here.
Making sure products are in stock when customers need them, and set up to be correctly managed throughout the sales and fulfillment process is a full-time endeavor for ecommerce merchants. In the high-intensity conditions of the holiday sales period, your Black Friday ecommerce strategy relies upon your ability to manage large inventories and maintain availability, be ready for spikes in demand, and have as few hiccups as possible from your warehouse through the last mile.
Black Friday is no time to run out of stock or, worse, oversell. An efficient inventory management system is vital to ensure a seamless shopping experience during times of peak traffic. Here are a few important inventory management concepts which will help you get there:
For consumers, Black Friday is all about irresistible deals. It is crucial for brands to put their most compelling sales pitches forward with Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotional content, and this is much more challenging if it is saved until just before sale events.
Black Friday is not just a B2C event. B2B sellers can also capitalize on the shopping bonanza, for this simple reason: other businesses (your B2B customers) are also looking to stock up for the holiday season, and they're keen on deals too. Clever promotions and thoughtful discounting are just two of the ways that B2B businesses are increasingly leaning towards traditionally B2C shopping experiences—read more about it here.
By pitching B2B products and deals specifically for use in the holiday season, and then supporting offers with account-based quick/bulk ordering and price quotes, you can become a valuable resource in your B2B accounts’ own Black Friday ecommerce strategies. That means more business and loyalty for you. Factor in the lead times that other businesses need to use your products effectively in their Black Friday events, and then communicate that you are here to help.
Even if summer is still in full swing, time is already running short for building an effective Black Friday ecommerce strategy for this year. Ensure that you address site speed/health, inventory management for “high-stress” seasons, and promotional strategies that have all the bases covered well in advance. Excellent preparation today is the key to handling tomorrow’s higher volume sales, and the intense conditions which often come with them.
Katy Ellquist, Miva’s Digital Marketing Strategist, is an accomplished writer, marketer, and social media analyst who has created sophisticated content campaigns for a broad range of professional clients. She brings to Miva a complex understanding of ecommerce trends and techniques, building upon extensive digital agency experience and a prior role as direct liaison to Miva’s top accounts. Katy is a regular contributor to the Miva blog, covering essential ecommerce topics like design & development strategy, site optimization, and omnichannel selling, with the goal of increasing the actionable knowledgebase of the entire Miva community.
Tom is a Content Marketing Specialist at Miva.