Last minute tips before Black Friday

As the Romans may have said on a day like today: “Barbari qui in porta sunt.”. In a more familiar tongue, “The Barbarians are at the gate”. Not that we’d want you to consider your customers to be barbarous, but as we all know, Black Friday has been known to elicit scenes of customers stampeding into retail stores in order to scoop up the best deals.

In the E-commerce world, if you’re in B2C retail, this is what you’ve been prepping for in recent weeks and months – a rush of shoppers, well rested after a massive Thanksgiving feast, and ready to conquer the first round of their holiday shopping.

With so much on the line, don’t forget to conduct some last minute checks to make sure that you’re ready. We recommend the following:

  • Check with your host to make sure that your hosting account is ready for the influx of traffic

  • Make sure that you know how to reach hosting support 24/7 should something go wrong

  • Confirm that you have a contact list for other vendors, like your credit card processors and other 3rd party services, should you run into any issues

  • Know the availability of your developers should you run into issues that aren’t related to hosting

  • Test any coupons or discounts that you’ll be applying to make sure that they work as intended, as well as any holiday banners and graphics

  • Complete a final sweep of your site, testing from the homepage, through checkout just in case any last-minute updates caused any unnoticed issues

  • Confirm that your marketing campaigns, such as for ReMarketing, are turned on, have the necessary budgets, and are ready to go

  • Ensure that you’re tracking the traffic to your site through a system like Google Analytics

  • Add a date to your calendar, closer to New Year’s, to review your analytics and data, and start thinking about how to have an even better holiday shopping season in 2017!

At this point, you don’t have time for significant changes, but it’s always best to be prepared for the worst, giving you a better opportunity to rise to the occasion and thwart any glitches should problems arise. Knowing which vendors provide you with which services is a key to that success – when the chips are down, you want to start by going to the support team that can solve the problem first.

While we know that you’ll be focused on your short-term needs in the coming weeks, this is your opportunity to commit to great planning for next year. So many businesses wait until the last minute to plan for the holiday shopping season. Our experience shows that the most successful sites are reviewing data and game planning in January, allowing them to optimize their websites and marketing campaigns for conversions all year long. This way when the holidays come, they’re at the top of their game. If in a few weeks you feel like you could have had a better season, don’t despair! Focus those energies on a having an amazing 2017 Black Friday!

About the author

Robert Rand, Chief Technology Officer, RandMarketing.com

Rand Marketing is an award winning full-service digital agency, based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, with an in-house team of designers, developers, and digital marketing specialists. Whether you need help with Search Engine Optimization, Google AdWords and Pay Per Click Marketing, Social Media Marketing, E-mail Marketing, Web Design, Conversion Rate Optimization, or other E-commerce needs, the Rand Team is here to help. We’re Google Premier Partners, an INC5000 company, and have an A+ with the BBB, among our many accolades.

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