Ask anyone and they will tell you – I LOVE an online sale! I mean sitting at home in my PJ's, the dog beside me, phone in one hand, wine in the other….it is the epitome of shopping perfection – and I know I'm not the only one! 😉
But what ticks me off is when my hot little credit card (or paypal account as it may be) is eagerly awaiting to purchase items online and the site crashes!! Or the site takes a ridiculously long time to load, or I see that the site is not secure for me to place my credit card details on… well it definitely bursts my bubble and ruins the fun of that spontaneous online purchase and for retailers its worse as I have now had the chance to rethink and ask myself if I really did need it in the first place?!!
So what makes this type of purchase come undone? It's shoddy web and online platforms, poor seo, unsecure websites, poor connection, slow loading sites, lack of call to action buttons, ugly visual design, poor communication with retailers and sites crashing because too many people are visiting the site at the same time. Once this happens – a series of complications occur for you the retailer. A lack of trust between the customer and online store has now been created and once distrust is created customers will not only avoid purchasing from your site they will also convey their distrust to friends and collegues. A poor ecommerce platform can lead to poor word of mouth and people who were once thinking of purchasing from your store – will think twice about doing so.
So what can you do to avoid this?
Arrange for a health-check assessment on your website/online sales platform. Don't be cheap … You are asking customers to pay top dollar for your product – but they certainly won't do it if they sense you are being cheap on the build and functionality of your site. A professional and streamlined approach is key to ensuring your site is working to its optimal standards.
Ensure all pages are running smooth, all promo codes and discounts are working correctly and that you have dedicated pages for special offers and discounts that are optimized for search terms.
Timers on the page header or footer also work well as they create the impeding need to purchase before time runs out on the promotions you are running.
Test your site and prepare for the influx of traffic. Do you have IT support on call? Is someone able to reply to messages asap?
Ensure your marketing campaign is strong and you are able to deal with any issues through this medium to make sure that trust and communication is clear.
The opportunity of making the most of these sale events won't come knocking on your door unless you are prepared and ready for it! You need to have good strategy and an online health check assessment will help ensure your online platform can handle increased sales during these peak periods. By adopting the mindset that you are creating your own opportunities – you are staking your claim to the millions of dollars being spent during Cyber Monday and then again with the Boxing Day sales. It's important to ensure the pathway to your site is clear and concise and easy to navigate. Put your online business in a position where it can capitalise on the marketing hype.
Online shopping is the way the future folks! Sitting at home in PJ's, drinking wine and knowing you are not going to be judged for purchasing items that you don't necessarily need but want – it's a dream come true! 😉 But only if you acknowledge the value of your online store as a viable asset. Online businesses and retailers need to acknowledge that their website is not only a valuable marketing asset – but an integral part of their profit margin – only then will sales events like Cyber Monday and Boxing Day Sales create optimal profits.