How to Prepare Your eCommerce Shop for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018

Online shoppers are estimated to spend a whopping $9 Billion between Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2018. If you own an eCommerce shop, Black Friday and Cyber Monday could shape up to be your most profitable time of the year – that is if your eCommerce shop is prepared! But how can you ensure your online shop is positioned to generate more sales this upcoming holiday season? Read on to learn how to prepare your online shop for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018. Follow the checklist below to make sure you don’t miss any revenue-generating opportunities.

Cyber Monday Checklist for eCommerce Shops:

Get prepared.

  • Plan your upcoming sales and organize your promotions.
  • Create all marketing campaigns, promotions, and creative assets ahead of time. Wherever possible, schedule and automate everything. Dont’ forget the pieces you’ll need for your website, social media, email marketing sequences, ads, etc.
  • Prepare for the best-case scenario: Ensure your website, your order fulfilment logistics, and your customer service team can all handle a drastic uptick in demand.
  • Prepare for the worst-case scenario: Create solid contingency plans for anything that can prevent your business from hitting your goals. This includes inventory levels, shipping timelines, technology failure, etc.
  • If your order fulfillment process can’t handle a huge increase in sales, partner with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider so all of your orders are shipped out quickly and efficiently this holiday season.
  • Have Google Analytics set up on your site to capture important data.

Optimize your online shop.

  • Offer free shipping! If necessary, set a minimum purchase amount for customers to qualify for this bonus.
  • Use high-quality images on site.
  • Give customers the option to expedited shipping for an extra cost.
  • Clearly display delivery timeframes, so customers know their order will arrive in time for gift-giving holidays.
  • Display all relevant information upfront (including product details and shopping cart total).
  • Streamline your checkout process. Do NOT require shoppers to create an account.
  • Offer multiple payment methods so customers can choose their preferred payment type (e.g. credit card, PayPal, Google Wallet).
  • Optimize your website for mobile users.
  • Test your website to ensure it works as intended, then have others test it to spot additional opportunities for optimization.
  • Test all promotions and discount codes to ensure they work properly.
  • Double check your website for broken links and outdated information.
  • Update your 404 page to something that shows off your brand’s personality. This is a great opportunity to delight shoppers and to redirect them in case they happen to click on a broken link.
  • Utilize heatmaps and user tracking so you can better understand how your shoppers are navigating your website, then make further optimizations ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • Add social proof to your website. This can include customer reviews, ratings, testimonials, media logos, and badges.
  • Make sure your Return Policy is super clear and very customer friendly to encourage first-time buyers.
  • Add to your FAQ section to include important holiday-related questions and answers.
  • Have a loyalty program? Make sure to display it on site!
  • Pin a countdown timer to the top of your website to increase urgency, giving shoppers an incentive to buy now.

Have a great marketing plan in place.

  • Create your marketing plan and decide how you’ll spread the word about your products and sales. I recommend using a combination of social media, email marketing, and paid advertisements to create the ultimate impact.
  • Establish credibility and authority in your niche.
  • Curate mutually beneficial partnerships with social media influencers and other businesses in non-competing niches.
  • Up your lead generation game big time! Spend the weeks prior to these big holidays wisely by collecting email addresses from interested shoppers.
  • Give your loyal email subscribers a reason to love you! You can even give them a chance to shop your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales before non-subscribers get the memo.
  • Install a Facebook tracking pixel on your website, then retarget shoppers so your brand can become omnipresent in their online experience.
  • Set up Facebook ads with lookalike audiences using your existing customer data.
  • Automate abandoned cart emails to retarget shoppers who haven’t completed their purchase.
  • Offer gift cards as a gift-giving option for shoppers.
  • Got an affiliate program? Alert your affiliates of upcoming promotions, and be sure to equip them for success by offering high-quality images and swipe copy to help them generate more sales for you.
  • Update your product descriptions, blog posts, and webpages using targeted SEO strategies with keywords that are trending this holiday season.
  • Create your own holiday gift guide for shoppers to inspire great gift-giving ideas.

Streamline your operations.

  • Make sure your inventory levels are sufficient.
  • Confirm reorder dates with suppliers.
  • Confirm holiday hours with your shipping couriers.
  • Be aware of potential service blackout dates if you work with manufacturers who honour the Chinese New Year.

Enhance your customer service.

  • Make sure your internal teams (especially Customer Service Representatives) are aware of all holiday promotions, flash sales, and relevant campaigns.
  • Offer live chat on your website to convert on-the-fence shoppers into confident buyers.
  • Consider extending your customer service hours or hours of operation.
  • If you use an IVR phone system, update it to promote your holiday promotions and holiday hours.
  • Treat your staff well this holiday season! It can be a very stressful time of year for many people, so be sure to recognize and reward your team’s great work ethic and keep them motivated.

It’s never too early or too late to start preparing your online shop for more sales. Once the holiday season is over, take time to fully review your company’s performance and analyze all the information you’ve collected.

And #LadyBoss, remember to take care of yourself (aka the CEO and BossBabe-in-Chief of your dreams). Do whatever you need to do in order to stay in a great mindset and keep yourself (and your team!) motivated to set huge profit goals and slay them this Cyber Monday.

Tell us below: Which of the steps above will you be implementing next for your online business?

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