So, this Thursday is Thanksgiving. A time for family, some kind of main dish, whether it’s turkey, ham, tofurky, or turducken, and then about 30 gajillion side dishes. Even with all the hassle and fuss over the dinner, most of you reading this probably will have a little voice in the back of your head all day going on and on about Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The short answer? Yes, you’re ready. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t be prepared. Your site will probably get more traffic so you need to make sure your server is ready to handle that extra traffic. You will probably get more sales than you have in these two days than in the past two weeks.
These are all good things, so let’s make sure that you’re ready for them.
1.) Display a banner with your promotion’s information
First and foremost, make sure that you have some kind of banner ready to display on your site that details your promotion. Make sure you include all pertinent information, including coupon codes, restrictions, and timing. With a quick Google search, you can find free online banner makers that will create the picture for you after you design it on their website.
2.) Change your home page title to include holiday keywords
If you can and know how to, a good idea to show up in “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” search results is to change your home page title to include these keywords. You might even want to put whatever promotion you’re running along with your store’s name. Above all, though, make sure that you stick to fewer than 60 characters. Anything longer won’t even show up in the search results page. Also, it’s going to take a few days for search engines to display the change, so make sure to re-submit your sitemap and plan in advance.
3.) Announce your discounts on social media
We’ve talked about the importance of social media a lot this last year. Black Friday & Cyber Monday are vital days to shore up your social media presence. You can bet the hashtags #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday will be trending on Twitter on their respective days, so to get in front of people following those and use them in your tweets. For Facebook, pictures and especially short videos (even going live) always do better in getting engagement from fans over a regular status update, so use your design skills to come up with something descriptive and shareable to display. If nothing else, use a really good, interesting picture of one of your most popular items.
4.) Get your shipping boxes now (& get extra)
Trying to get boxes after your sales happen is never fun, and after two of the most popular shopping days of the year, it’ll be even worse. Remember that individuals as well as businesses are shipping things everywhere because of the holidays, so the demand is much higher. Trends on purchases from year to year are great to look at how many boxes you’ll need and of what size and whatnot, but you should always get extra. Even if you don’t use them now, you’ll surely use them over the next month or so.
5.) Know the hours your carrier is open (and what they’ll pick up)
USPS, UPS, & FedEx are all having special things going on this year with limited hours and closing, so know your hours of the retail spaces if you drop off there. If you have your packages picked up, there’s special stuff happening as well, so make sure you know what’s going on with your chosen carrier. If you haven’t already, take a peek at our holiday shipping infographic; it’ll fill you in on what days are special and it’s even got the ship by deadlines that are oh-so-important for packages arriving on time.
As we’ve said before in a blog, our best advice is to write down everything you do over the next few weeks. What works, what doesn’t, your sales, traffic, everything. Then, next year, you can go back and compare to make the season flow more smoothly and have things go even better than they did this year.
So kick back and relax on Thursday. Catch your breath and enjoy your last moments of sanity. Business picks up Friday and won’t subside until late December.