Is your website ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

With online spend expected to exceed $200 billion this Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday, is your website ready for the coming storm?

Adobe predicted in their 2021 Holiday Shopping Forecast for ecommerce demand to top $200 billion this holiday season, beating last year at an estimated total of $207 billion. 

With all this forecasted demand, we thought we’d put together a brief overview of things to look out for, to make sure your website is ready and optimised to withstand the coming storm. 

We’ve all been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular in the way we shop. Consumer purchasing behaviour has shifted, with more shoppers heading online to spend than ever before. The 2021 Marketo Report, showcases an increase of 58% in online purchasing, which isn’t a surprise when ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Buy Online’ were among the top searches during 2020.

We also know that Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday, have seen an increase in online sales particularly in Europe and North America year-on-year. There will be no exceptions this year and demands for online shopping will be higher than ever. To get a feel for growth and forecasted demand check out the bar graph below.

To help you get ready for this festive onslaught, we’ll cover some simple tips to keep in mind that are easy to implement before Black Friday and Cyber weekend to be sure that your site is ready.

Be ready for anything

Like always, and with anything – it’s best to be ready for any eventuality. It’s predicted that not only may this event be more volatile, but it may also start earlier and last longer. Long gone are the days when Black Friday lasted for just the day itself. 

Looking at your historic data over this period from previous years can support you in understanding what’s come before and what may lie ahead for your site. It can support your adaptability moving forward, give you insight into what worked and what didn’t work before. 

Test, test, and test again

It goes without saying that with the potential of such a vast influx of visitors, you need to be sure that your website is quick, responsive and working as it should. 

There are two main focuses we suggest. The first is load testing and the second is speed testing. Demand and usage will surge over this festive period, so you must be sure your site is ready to handle the increase in traffic. Be sure to check with your domain provider or IT team to be sure you are ready.

With regards to speed, almost half of online shoppers will abandon a website that takes anything more than two seconds to load. With this in mind be sure to speed test your site and then if required, compress images, reduce unneeded third-party snippets and cache your web pages! If you’re interested in understanding more around Core Web Vitals, visit our sister site Publisher Collective for more information.

Optimise for mobile

Over the pandemic, there was a 70% increase in spending on mobile, according to Marketo. Mobile-first is becoming a standard in today’s world. Be sure that your site is working as well on mobile as it is on desktop, with all assets functioning correctly and looking good! 

Boost your SEO ranking

Where are you ranking? Is your website optimized in terms of SEO? Be sure all your keywords and hierarchies are relevant, and you’re ranking where you’d like. We offer services in web development that can support this if you require them.

Keep it simple, safe and secure

Where possible, keep your navigation simple, direct, and to the point, as we know the holiday is a busy time and people want straightforward information fast. Not complex journeys and convoluted messaging.

Also, ensure your site is correctly secure! If you haven’t set up a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) (makes a website URL HTTPS instead of just HTTP) there is a high chance of your user abandoning the site. Give the user confidence and ensure everything is correctly secure.

Get your ads and pop-ups in check

Finally, if you’re running ads on your site, make sure they’re optimised, targeting correctly and of course looking their best. There will be an estimated 414 thousand years of online shopping time spent during this period, that’s a lot of advertising exposure. 

As specialists in website creation and with our sister brand Publisher Collective specialising in advertising, we understand that this time of year is incredibly stressful and daunting. Luckily for you, if you’re feeling the festive strain,we can offer a range of web development, SEO support and content solutions. For more information just drop us an email to arrange a chat.