Preparing for Black Friday can be very challenging in a year filled with economic uncertainties, inventory issues, shifting consumer trends, and unpredictable demand.
With Black Friday right around the corner, all the hard work you have put in is about to pay off. This time of year is usually the busiest for online businesses, so being well-prepared for the upcoming rush is crucial.
To assist you in this critical phase, we’ve compiled this ultimate checklist. By following this Black Friday checklist, you will be ready to hit the ground running, avoid any last-minute panics, and handle increased website traffic to make this shopping season your most successful one yet.
Black Friday preparation checklist for online stores
Getting your online store ready for one of the year’s major shopping events requires careful planning and a helpful checklist.
1. Hosting readiness
Your web hosting is the backbone of your online operations. To ensure your online store can handle the anticipated surge in visitors, consider these steps:
- Evaluate your current hosting plan’s capacity and determine if it can accommodate the expected increase in traffic. At Hypernode, you can update your online store with special Black Friday offers.
- Suppose you are using a shared hosting plan. In that case, it might be time to contemplate upgrading to a more robust solution like Hypernode, designed to handle the typical traffic spikes experienced on Black Friday.
- Evaluate if you are nearing the bandwidth and resource limits of your hosting plan and assess its ability to handle unexpected spikes in traffic.
- Consult your agency or hosting provider to estimate your anticipated traffic and identify tailored solutions for your unique requirements. Get in contact with us.
2. Speed optimisation
In today’s fast-paced digital market, the speed of your online store can be a game-changer. Slow-loading websites can quickly turn potential customers away.
Here is how you can boost your website’s speed:
- Start by optimising images with large file sizes, as they can significantly impact loading times. Use plugins that reduce file sizes without compromising image quality.
- Deactivate and delete unnecessary plugins that may contribute to sluggish performance.
- Implement caching and compression techniques to enhance loading speed.
- Consider using a content delivery network (CDN) to distribute content efficiently and speed up load times.
- Use tools to assess your site speed and identify issues that may slow down your website. You can use a free tool like PageSpeed Insights for a quick assessment of your Core Web Vitals. But we would recommend gathering real time site speed and UX data by using a Real User Monitoring solution. RUM is great for seeing exactly where and why your website might be slow or frustrating for real visitors, on any device or browser they use. It shows you the data you need to know so you can make quick, smart changes that speed things up and enables you to immediately check if fixes you’ve made improve their experience, making your ready for Black Friday!
Read more about Real User Monitoring data and the 5 quick UX and Pagespeed improvements for Black Friday, in this article.
3. Mobile-friendly design
Mobile devices have rapidly become a prominent platform for online shopping, with features like 5G connections, enhanced security, OLED screens, and built-in payment apps.
To cater to this growing audience, ensure your online store is responsive and user-friendly for mobile visitors.
4. Security upgrades
As the number of visitors to your website increases, so do the security risks. Protect your users and your site by implementing the following:
- Install an SSL certificate to encrypt your users’ data and ensure secure communication.
- Regularly update and patch your website’s software to minimise vulnerabilities.
- Employ a robust firewall to protect your website from intrusion and infection.
- Ensure you have a robust backup plan in place. This ensures that if a disaster occurs, you can restore your website quickly and inexpensively, avoiding prolonged downtime during peak times like Black Friday.
5. Website preparation
Preparing your online store is crucial to maximise sales on Black Friday. Here are some strategies to consider:
- Design a customised landing page that prominently displays your Black Friday deals, guiding visitors to the most attractive offers.
- Regularly update your inventory, adjust product prices, and utilise automation tools or plugins to streamline bulk price modifications, saving you valuable time and effort.
6. Rigorous testing
To avoid last-minute hiccups and ensure a seamless Black Friday shopping experience, rigorous testing is a must:
Conduct load tests to simulate expected traffic surges and assess your website’s performance under stress.
Execute trial visits and test the purchase process to ensure your site functions flawlessly from a customer’s perspective.
Pay particular attention to the checkout process, as it is a critical point of interaction for customers. A smooth and glitch-free checkout process is essential for a positive shopping experience.
7. DNS and SSL certificates
Regularly reviewing and maintaining your DNS records and SSL certificates is essential to safeguard your website’s security.
Neglecting these components can damage your site’s credibility and reliability.
8. Website backups
Website backups, although not the most glamorous task, are crucial.
They act as a safety net, ensuring your website’s core elements, such as code files, databases, and images, are securely stored and can be quickly recovered, even in cases of excessive traffic or malfunctions.
9. Product selection
To simplify the decision-making process for customers during the Black Friday rush, consider being selective about the products you showcase.
A clutter-free website enhances user experience and drives sales. Focusing on specific, high-value products can create a sense of urgency and expertise.
10. SEO focus
Regardless of the quality of your offerings and the appeal of your Black Friday deals, it all goes to waste if your website is not discoverable on search engines.
Prioritise ongoing search engine optimisation (SEO) to improve your online stores’ visibility and ranking on search engines.
11. Customer loyalty rewards
Encourage repeat business by offering exclusive rewards to loyal customers:
- Provide exclusive discounts or sales that are not available to the general customer base.
- Send early Black Friday sale updates to your loyal customers before sharing them with your newsletter subscribers.
- Consider segmenting your loyal customer base and offering different rewards to VIP customers who have spent a certain amount with you in the last year.
- Implement an “early bird” access strategy, offering a limited selection of deals to your mailing list the night before Black Friday, creating anticipation and excitement and spreading your website traffic.
Don’t let anything hold you back
Are you ready to take your online store to new heights this Black Friday and beyond? Do not let hosting hiccups hold you back.
At Hypernode, we specialise in first-class e-commerce hosting designed to let you concentrate on crafting exceptional e-commerce experiences. We understand the unique demands of Black Friday and offer hosting solutions to match your needs.
Do not let your hosting plan limit your potential.
Interested in what Hypernode hosting can do for your webshop or agency? Start your free online hosting consult. Discover how we can tailor our hosting solutions to empower your success. Make this Black Friday your most prosperous yet with Hypernode by your side.