I recently updated my post about getting ready for the Holidays. Here’s part two of the issues you need to consider, detail, implement and address!
Is Your WordPress Site Ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Yeah, I know — it’s only October. But I can feel it. The craziness is kicking in sooner every year! Christmas displays are already in popping up. Back in the day you would have hints of Christmas before Thanksgiving. Now, all bets are off — the sooner the more you can sell. Extended seasons also mean more competition and sooner!
The more you plan in advance the better you can reduce your stress levels and make the entire season easier. For you and your customers!
It used to be that a growing number of folks shopped on Thanksgiving. After their Thanksgiving meal it’s a tradition to run out and shop the pre-Black Friday sales. But, now that more retailers are closing on Thanksgiving so their employees can be with their families, that’s even more folks gravitating to online. That means more business for you!
Cannot plan soon enough!
Now consider the fact that you have to ship before December 21nd — you have a very limited window to advertise, sell and ship!
Here are the things to consider, think about and plan for when it comes to your WordPress website for BFCM (you’ve probably notice this new acronym popping up everywhere).
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Marketing Planning Tips
- For Newer Online Stores: How will you get found? Search Engine rankings take time to accumulate and with the latest algos, you may never hit that top page due to all the competition — unless you buy ads. Plan on having a healthy PPC budget and spending *a ton* of time online networking and marketing on social media to get the word out. Black out time in your schedule to hang out and participate on the platforms you know your target customers hang out on. [READ: WordPress Website Tips to Prepare for the Holidays]
- Holiday Graphical Assets: Do you have plans in place to “Holidize” your site? Start developing your Holiday graphical assets for accents, specials and sales. And a plan to get the word out about those specials and sales! Mark your calendar for social media campaigns and posts along with which graphics to use for each.
- Content and Copy: Create all your holiday related content, pitches and ad copy now. Then all you have to do is post and insert!
- Email Campaigns: Create an email campaign that gives a preview of what your are going to offer — a teaser so to speak. Folks start planning sooner every year, get on their radar so your products can be on their list! You’ll want to have campaigns ready to go for Black Friday and reminders up to the sale end. Also consider creating special campaigns for current customers and email subscribers.
- Shipping Options, Policies, Deadlines: You need to have your Holiday shipping schedule, policies and deadlines in front of customers to avoid any bad experiences. Make those dates easy to find, publicize them, include them in your e-mails, FAQs and auto-responders. Free shipping is almost a must have — customers expect it and do gravitate to sites that offer shipping discounts. Find out ways to integrate shipping specials into your sales pitches.
2018 USPS Deadlines
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for key domestic services:
- First-Class Mail – December 19
- Priority Mail – December 20
- Priority Mail Express – December 22
With the above in mind, consider your lead-times and prominently display your drop-dead order placement dates to be sure your customers are aware.
- Mobile, Mobile, Mobile: After the holidays last year, Amazon announced that:
…nearly 60 percent of Amazon.com customers shopped using a mobile device this holiday. Mobile shopping accelerated as customers got later into the shopping season.
Be sure to check your site layout and functionality on mobile devices so you don’t miss a sale. It’s a bit too late to mobilize your site at this point (Really? You’re not using a responsive theme? Shame on you!), but you can add a Mobile WordPress plugin to do some of the heavy lifting for you! [ Does Your WordPress Site Look Dumb on Smartphones? ]
Sit down, right now and get your plans outlined! Your plan should include the details and dates that you will integrate and implement your Holiday programs. Then, follow through!
You need to have this planned out in great detail now before Black Friday and thru the Cyber Monday weekend. Then right up to your drop-dead ship date to make sure you have all the bases covered. This is the only way to achieve a smooth running and successful Holiday Season. For you and your customers.
But before you do that, here is some data and analysis on the 2017 Holiday trends to help you fine tune your program:
2018 Holiday Online Shopping Trends
- UPDATED: 2018 Thanksgiving weekend multichannel shopping up almost 40 percent over last year!
- US Holiday Shopping Preview 2018: Reviewing 2017, with an Eye Toward This Season
- 2018 holiday shopping predictions
- 2018 Holiday Sales Forecast
- Black Friday 2018 Predictions
- Report: 2018 holiday sales to grow 15%, driven by Amazon and mobile
- 4 Predictions for 2018 Holiday Shopping Season
- Black Friday is Dead … And Other 2018 Retail Predictions
- Holiday 2018 Predictions: Mobile Will Ring Up Most Purchases for the First Time Ever
- Holiday 2018 Forecast: A Long Selling Period Will Bring Heavy Promotions
Here’s to your prosperous Holiday Season!
At your service,