OPINION: Top tips to prepare your site for Black Friday

20th Anniversary Of First Online Sale

Lancashire-based digital company Nublue has identified top tips to help jewellers and brands prepare their website for Black Friday which takes place November 27.

Words by Nublue marketing lead, Hannah Haworth

You’ve been planning your Christmas marketing campaign for months, with your sights set firmly on Black Friday to kick off the busiest shopping period of the year.  Your efforts have paid off. Your customers are looking for that perfect gift for their loved one and they know exactly where they want to go to get it… your Black Friday sale.

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The day starts better than expected, with website traffic soaring.  Your job is done – surely the rest will take care of itself.  But wait.  Before long, customers are complaining about slow page load times, and eventually your website crashes altogether.

Last year some of the UKs biggest retail giants experienced just this on Black Friday.  Ensure this doesn’t happen to you by following these top tips to get your website fully prepared to receive the Black Friday rush…

Plan ahead

  • Test your site as soon as possible to get a clear idea of its speed and the volume of traffic it can handle. With Black Friday less than 2 weeks away, there’s still time to plan in additional resources or upgrade your current hosting to minimise the risk of slowdowns.
  • Pre-register sale interest – in setting up a page giving a sneak preview into some of your jewellery deals and requesting customers to register their interest before the sale, this will give you a good indication as to how much traffic you may be likely to receive on the day. You can then plan your resources accordingly as above.

Consider your hosting options

  • Think about hosting with a CDN (content delivery network.)  A CDN allows you to offload some website resources across a network, sharing that workload across multiple servers.  What this means for your site is a reduced risk of slowdown during busier periods, giving your customers a smoother online experience.  For international retailers, a CDN will also help to better serve your customers around the globe as your website information can be loaded from a server closer to your customers rather than having to come all the way from one in the UK.
  • Another way to reduce the risk of site slowdown is to check your website for out of date plugins and scripts and ensure these are updated before the big day.
  • Get in touch with your hosting provider to find out what they may be able to do to increase your server’s resources and how your site can be optimised for smooth performance. Ensure your hosting support team will be available on the day in case of any issues that are beyond your own control.

Ease of purchase

  • Website security is a hot topic right now and with so much coverage in the media your customers could be more guarded when it comes to giving you their payment details. Ease their minds and secure your site with an SSL. 53% of consumers now recognise the padlock symbol as meaning greater safety of purchase, and only 3% would give their credit card details to a site that does not display the SSL padlock, according to the CA Security Council consumer trust survey.
  • Ensure your site is ready for customers shopping on mobile devices. Double check that your online visitors can undergo a smooth customer journey straight to purchase, on a range of mobile devices.  If your site is designed responsively it will adapt to the any size screen to give the best user experience.
  • On Black Friday in particular customers are in a rush to purchase quickly so they can move onto find their next deal. Having a complicated checkout process could put them off order completion altogether so for this period you may wish to streamline your customer journey, removing compulsory sign ups and additional data, and only requesting the most essential information at checkout.  Additional data can be requested via email after purchase and when the frenzy of Black Friday has died down.

Last year Black Friday shoppers in the UK spent an estimated £810m.  Ensure you get your slice of the pot by being prepared with these tips to give your site the best chance of running smoothly for your online visitors.  Plus, follow these tips and your site will be geared up for the remaining Christmas shopping rush.


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