Every business has its peak seasons, and most businesses tend to see a spike at the end of the year as we approach Black Friday, Christmas and New Year’s. If this applies to your business, then take a look at 10 Black Friday tips to boost conversions.
However, seasonal peaks can happen at any time of the year, depending on what you are selling. To make sure you are as prepared as possible, continue reading to see how you can set yourself up for eCommerce success!
1. Plan ahead
This may sound like the most observed one; however, planning for seasonal peaks can easily be neglected by the everyday activities of the businesses. As a rule of thumb, we recommend planning a quarter ahead of time, so, for example, you should have your Christmas strategy planned in Q3. This is especially true for SEO and other marketing activities, where we recommend creating and putting any new seasonal landing pages live three months before your peak. This will allow Google enough time to crawl and index any new seasonal content or PLPs.
2. Look at past data
Looking at data from previous seasonal peaks will help you understand specific trends that your business can jump on, any opportunities and, more importantly, identify any issues or areas of concern so that you can plan effectively and ensure these issues don’t happen again. Looking at past data will also help you with our first point, as this data can indicate when your business starts to peak.
3. Check inventory
Nothing is worse than spending time and money to push certain products only for them to be out of stock; not only will this impact your revenue, but it is a bad user experience. Again, looking at your data from the previous year can help you plan around stock levels and help you know how much to order.
4. Create new content
To help support your commercial pages, consider creating new content that will link to seasonal PLPs. Creating seasonal-specific content will help you target relevant keywords and can be reused in different marketing channels, such as social media posts and email.
5. Optimise existing content
Most likely, you will have existing content from previous years that relates to your seasonal peaks; this could be an old gift or style guide. We recommend updating these ahead of time to incorporate new seasonal keywords. This does not extend to just blog content but also your relevant PLPs and PDPs. Not only should you be updating the copy to include any keywords, but you should also highlight any discounts and offers you are doing. Including these details in on-page elements, such as title tags, can help increase click-through rate (CTR), which can help boost your sales.
6. Ensure everything is technically sound
After all your marketing efforts and careful planning, you manage to get a mad rush of customers to your site, only for it not to work properly or completely crash! It goes without saying that this is a bad user experience and, more importantly, will impact conversations.
Before you get to your seasonal peak, make sure you have reviewed your site so that it is technically up to scratch; for example, are you linking to any 404 pages? Is your site slow? Can potential customers navigate around the site easily? Carrying out a technical audit will help you identify any of these issues. If you are unsure where to start with a technical audit, take a look at our technical SEO service page to see how we can help.
Many aspects make a site technically sound, but another key factor that can easily be forgotten is your service. If you have a large influx of customers to your site, your service will need to be able to support all the requests coming for your site. If it is unable to keep up with all the requests, then this is when we see the site crashing. This normally happens on Black Friday.
7. Make the returns process easy
As much as you want customers to love your product, returns are inevitable. Having a clear and easy return process that customers can easily find on your site will add to the user experience, build trust and encourage repeat customers.
If you need help planning for your seasonal peak, feel free to contact us for a free consultation today.