Black Friday has long been associated with North American shoppers eagerly filling their carts to make the most of the pre-Christmas sales. However, the event has now evolved into one of the biggest days on the Australian retail calendar too, with November sales increasing by 42% over the ten years to 2018. But with health and safety a priority and retailers still subjected to a number of social distancing measures, this year’s event will be a little different, writes Suzanne Mitchell Senior Director of Marketing, GoDaddy Australia.
With shoppers more reliant on technology than ever before, retailers can no longer afford to ignore the importance of an eCommerce presence to promote their business, products and deals. So, if you’re a retailer or are offering your products or services this Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, here are some ways to help leverage the power of an online presence.
From in-line to online
Traditionally, Black Friday has been a physical bricks-and-mortar phenomenon, synonymous with long queues and carts filled with clothes, homewares and electricals. However, getting customers excited this year is as much an online event as it is in-store. Considering August was the busiest month in Australian eCommerce history with over 8.1 million households shopping online between March and August – an increase of 16% compared to last year – the value of getting your brand in front of as many customers as possible can’t be underestimated.
Hone your product offers
It’s important to identify the products you’ll promote and a strategy for promoting them. Think about what items might be in seasonal demand, or excess stock you might want to clear. For example, with summer approaching you might want to promote garden furniture if you’re a homewares retailer or swimwear if you’re a fashion retailer. Whether they make the final purchase in-store or online, customers are increasingly using online channels to research products and brands. So try using email marketing and social media to generate a buzz about your business, and what offers customers can expect from you before the big day.
Nail down your FAQs
They will likely have questions, too, so make the answers easy to find on your website. For example, make your returns policy, shipping options, location, opening hours and in-store health and safety policies easily accessible; through an FAQ page, perhaps. Use your website to both inform and entice by ensuring any offers are prominent, your product page is easy to find and your online checkout process is seamless. No matter how big your physical Black Friday plans are, an online presence can be invaluable. And behind the scenes, there are ways to enhance it.
Security, SEO and Website Hosting
With today’s increasingly tech savvy customers prioritising their security online, it’s important to ensure that their data is safe on your website. GoDaddy research revealed that two thirds of Australians are concerned about cyber security, while one in five have already fallen victim of a cyber breach. Therefore, it’s important to build trust and implement safeguards, through tools like an SSL Certificate (SSL) for your website. A form of data encryption, SSL adds an additional layer of protection for the transmission of personal data, such as credit card numbers, on your website. SSL security also adds “HTTPS” to your URL, a sign that 65% of Aussies look for when determining whether a site is secure. This peace of mind is not only valuable for your customer, but for your business too.
While SSL adds security to your website, it can also boost its search engine optimisation (SEO). This is the algorithm that determines how high your website appears in search results. Google factors SSL into its SEO algorithms, with sites that have SSL ranking higher than those without. As customers turn to online channels to shop and compare sales across different sites, boosting your SEO could help direct traffic to your website.
Is your site ready for a surge in demand?
It’s important, though, to ensure that your website is prepared to handle the potential surge in demand. Web hosting is the process that makes a website viewable. When effective, it facilitates fast page load times and no downtime. Slow load speeds can, literally, cost your business customers, so test all aspects of your site – from the homepage and about us, to product pages and the payments process – to ensure it’s ready to cope with the potential surge in demand.
And to better understand your customers, online analytics helps you to gain valuable insight into how visitors browse your site, such as the pages from which people leave your site or your most popular products pages. Consider setting up new conversion goals for the Black Friday period so you can see exactly how your store performed and how it could be improved for next year. GoDaddy Websites + Marketing contains a powerful suite of analytics tools to help.
As Australia continues to recover after an entirely extraordinary 2020, Black Friday – and the peak retail season that follows it – will probably take on added significance. With an online presence behind you and Australia’s love for supporting local, see where the Black Friday buzz can take you this year.
Now read this