Black Friday is a peak online shopping day for most retail businesses. Aptly named for retailers to have the chance to get out of the red and into the black, this day is key to the success of many businesses. To capitalize on customer demand, retailers need to plan ahead. While you have likely already begun thinking about offers and marketing efforts to attract new and loyal shoppers this year, before the day arrives it is also important to check that the internal processes of your online store are ready. To maximize revenue potential and properly serve online customers this Black Friday, ensure website functionality is primed and ready by taking these three steps:
Conduct a Load Test
Load testing is the process of putting demand on your website and measuring the resulting response. Load tests can determine a system’s behavior under both normal and peak load conditions. This can help to identify the operating capacity or an approximate number of users your website can handle at a given time. A well-executed load test can ensure that the web shop performs optimally by identifying appropriate levels of traffic inflow. This can help you to gauge the need for a virtual waiting room or queuing system. Work with your IT support team on conducting a thorough test in your off-hours.
Create Internal Communication Strategies
The day of a peak sale can be overwhelming for an internal sales and IT team. Everyone has a stake in the success of the sales, and should something go awry, it is important to have an internal communications plan in place to address the issue and formulate a solution. Specifically, communication channels should be established between the internal team and tech support.
Align on questions such as:
• Have we built the day’s timeline and shared the plan and key milestones with the necessary decision makers?
• Have we set up a call tree or project email alias to ensure key people are aware of progress and challenges?
• Have we considered how marketing campaigns affect website traffic and function?
• Who will serve as the point of contact if an error with the website function occurs?
Recreate an In-Store Quality Customer Experience Online
At Queue-it, one of the pillars of our success comes from creating online fairness for shoppers across the web. Our retail business customers understand that providing a fair and quality online shopping experience that mirrors in-store experience is key to driving repeat purchase behavior. For Queue-it, this means creating a first-in, first-out waiting environment where customers who enter the queue are routed back to the website for shopping in the same order they joined the line.
Additionally, examine ways that you can go above and beyond to provide the best possible shopping experience for your online customers. Ask yourself questions such as:
• Are we providing a personalized experience to customers?
• Do customers have the experience we want them to have online?
• Does our online store reflect the branding and image of our retail storefront?
In conclusion, by asking yourself these types of questions and practicing these preparation methods in advance, you will surely be setting your store up for success before this year’s Black Friday.