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CEO Journal

Is Your E-Commerce Website Ready for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Rush?

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Adobe predicts that consumer spending during Cyber Week 2023 will reach $37.2 billion. To ensure your website can handle the increased holiday traffic and meet consumer expectations, you must prioritize several strategies. These include boosting your SEO efforts, conducting audits to improve conversion rates, and optimizing mobile performance.

Consumers are getting ready to go on a shopping spree this holiday season. If your company’s e-commerce website isn’t prepared to handle the onslaught, you’ll potentially lose your seasonal cheer as you watch profits dwindle.

Just how robust should you expect Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2023 to be? Adobe predicts that consumer spending will reach $37.2 billion during Cyber Week. That’s a lot of holiday shopping — but it’s not a reason to celebrate until you know you’re technically ready for visits to your site.

Remember that consumers searching for once-a-year deals aren’t likely to be patient. They want to find specials, nab products, and leave. If your e-commerce store glitches, you probably won’t get a second chance to woo a time-crunched shopper. Instead, you’ll just contribute to the estimated $13.8 billion in lost sales that Notso expects to occur over the Black Friday weekend.

Obviously, you don’t want to be in that position. You want as many visitors to convert to customers as possible. This means you need to put some measures in place to make sure your e-commerce site is in tip-top shape. Below are some strategies to keep your edge sharp as you battle for shoppers’ dollars.

  1. Boost your SEO efforts.
    Now is not the time to let your SEO efforts slide. Your SEO is one of the primary ways that people who are unfamiliar with your brand and its products are going to find you. Even though SEO takes time to develop, you still can get a boost if you put on an SEO push leading up to the holiday buying season.

    Matt Dorman, senior solutions architect and partner at tech agency Ndevr, recommends performing a technical SEO audit as soon as you can. Then, use what you find to avoid some of the missteps Dorman has witnessed all too often. “I’ve seen a number of companies not updating their meta values of evergreen-type products that will have the previous year or other holidays in the title,” he explains. “When shown in search results, it has a huge effect on click-through rates as users want the most current items or deals — not last year’s holiday pricing.”

    To get the most bang for your buck, you should always marry your SEO content goals with your paid advertising ones. This requires identifying top keywords to share across both your owned and paid content. By prioritizing SEO, you position your e-commerce website to attract more people when their intent to purchase is at its highest. At the same time, you’ll make certain that the messages, copy, and images they see are accurate and valuable.

  2. Increase your conversion rates.
    Speaking of audits, you’ll want to conduct one that’s squarely aimed at discovering your baseline conversion rate. Once you have that number, you can begin tweaking your website to maximize it. Your goal should be to ensure you’re nabbing the highest percentage of site viewers you can. The more people you’re able to drive through your sales funnel from start to finish, the higher your Black Friday and Cyber Monday revenue can soar.

    What types of tweaks can you make to encourage more conversions? Since you’re already working on your SEO, concentrate on web design. Is it streamlined for all possible viewing devices? Can consumers navigate easily through your online store? Are you giving enough information so customers can confidently hit the “buy now” button? These are all questions to ask and answer as part of the investigation into your site’s performance. (Hint: Tools like heat mapping software and real-time customer feedback can assist you in this process.)

    Never underestimate the ability of what seems like a small friction point to turn off consumers. As Copyblogger notes, merely changing the color of a button can lead to incredible — and lucrative — results. And Akamai Technologies notes that a page load time of 4.3 seconds drops conversation rates by 26% in comparison to 3.3 seconds. In other words, even a one-second improvement can make a big splash on your sales.

  3. Kick your mobile performance into high gear.
    Pew Research Center finds that around three-quarters of American adults have shopped via their phones. And why not? Across the globe, phones are becoming more than just technical accessories. They’re becoming part of our wardrobe. Without them, many people experience a new condition known as nomophobia, where they feel anxious if their phone isn’t close by.

    The bottom line here is that a mobile-friendly website isn’t just nice to have. It’s a need and expectation. Fortunately, many software tools and e-commerce website creation programs can show you how a page will look on many different devices. Still, you may be wise to test everything out on “the real thing.” For instance, you could ask team members to review a sandboxed series of webpages before you take everything live.

What are the most important things to think about when evaluating your mobile site? Load time and the user experience. If it takes too many clicks or swipes to get to an item or find answers, consumers won’t hang around. They’ll jump right into the arms of your competition, which is the last place you want them to spend the shopping holiday weekend.

The rush is coming, which is great for your e-commerce business. However, you’ll need more than irresistible items and equally irresistible prices to get your piece of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday pie. You need a website that’s ready to dazzle, not fizzle.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Journal - Is Your E-Commerce Website Ready for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Rush?
Rhett Power
Rhett Power is responsible for helping corporate leadership take the actions needed to drive impact and courage in their teams that will improve organizational performance. He is the author of The Entrepreneur’s Book of Actions: Essential Daily Exercises and Habits for Becoming Wealthier, Smarter, and More Successful (McGraw-Hill Education) and co-founder of Wild Creations, an award-winning start-up toy company. After a successful exit from the toy company, Rhett was named the best Small Business Coach in the United States. In 2019 he joined the prestigious Marshall Goldsmith's 100 Coaches and was named the #1 Thought Leader on Entrepreneurship by Thinkers360. He is a Fellow at The Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. He travels the globe speaking about entrepreneurship and management alongside the likes of former Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and AOL Founder Steve Case. Rhett Power is an acclaimed author, leader, entrepreneur and an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow him on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.