How to prepare your website to maximise Black Friday sales

For eCommerce Managers, your website is not just a platform for sales but an experience for the user. Ensuring a positive digital experience is paramount for maximising sales, especially during the peak sales season!

How to prepare your website to maximise Black Friday sales

The retail clock is ticking. As we gear up for the frenzy of Black Friday, Christmas, Boxing Day, and the New Year sales, every eCommerce manager has their eyes set on one target: maximising online sales. With economic inflation denting consumer spending, 2023 has been a challenging year for retail.

As the biggest sales period of the year fast approaches, now is your best shot to maximise sales. First impressions matter with 32% of customers saying they will abandon their favourite brands after one bad experience (PwC). You will do better in the lead-up to Christmas if you can build on the momentum and carry over loyal shoppers who purchased from you during the Black Friday period.

But let's get one thing straight: the sales you reap in November and beyond depend largely on the seeds you plant now.

Are Your Black Friday Sales Ready? Use our free Notion template with 50+ optimisation areas to start searching your site right now without any tools!

What is Digital Experience?

Digital Experience (or DX in some circles) refers to the interactions, perceptions, and overall experience a user has with your digital touchpoints. These touchpoints can include websites, mobile apps, social media platforms, virtual reality, augmented reality, digital in-store interfaces and more.

Digital experience encompasses:

  1. User Interface (UI): The visuals, layout, and interactive elements a user encounters.
  2. User Experience (UX): How intuitive, enjoyable and seamless the digital interaction is.
  3. Page Content: The quality, relevance, and delivery of information (for example shipping and returns policy information, product reviews, imagery etc.)
  4. Performance: Speed, stability, and reliability of the digital interface.
  5. Personalisation: Customising the experience based on user behaviour, purchase preferences or demographics.

Yes! Digital Experience is a very important consideration because a positive experience is crucial for building trust, retaining customers, and ensuring they meaningfully engage with your online store.

On the flip side, 18% of users abandon their carts because the process is too lengthy and close to 50% of them abandon because of hidden costs (Baymard). A poor experience can cost businesses nearly 24% of their sales, inadvertently shooting up customer acquisition costs and diminishing customer lifetime value.

Now, here's the catch - if your website isn’t operating at peak efficiency today, don't expect a miraculous turnaround in its performance during your crucial peak sales period. You cannot expect to maximise sales during the most crucial period of the year from a website that isn’t functioning at 100% efficiency.

What are the early warning signs my digital experience is not at 100% efficiency?

As retailers you have clear KPIs to hit so if you hit them nothing else much matters. The issue is it’s already been a pretty tough year so it’s not advisable to leave this to chance. So, how do you know if your website isn’t performing optimally? Here are some leading indicators to study:

  1. Poor Conversion Rate – The most obvious place to start is by looking at your conversion rates. With a poor conversion rate, your website needs more marketing spend and effort to pull enough visits to meet your sales target.
  2. Lower Sales Volume – A sudden dip in the number of items sold can be a sign of something serious with your payment processing or checkout experience.
  3. Increased Paid Media CAC – Spending more to acquire a customer than before could be a sign your page content is not delivering the right information to visitors when they click through (even from retargeting ads where the products are more personalised to their past browsing behaviour).
  4. Decreased Call Deflection – More customers resort to calling your support team to resolve issues. What you need to figure out is how many of these relate to their website experience and then quantify the impact these issues have on overall conversion rates and revenue to know which issues you should prioritise fixing.
  5. Surge in Support Ticket Volume – Increased customer complaints or queries. Feedback is a potential goldmine for insights however recreating these issues for web developers to know what needs to be fixed if it’s a technical bug can be quite challenging.
  6. Dwindling Customer LTV – Decline in the overall revenue generated per customer as more customers have negative experiences on your website.
  7. Email Campaigns Missing the Mark – Emails are read and clicked but coupon codes aren’t used in the volumes you expect to drive sales.
  8. Poor NPS/CSAT Scores – Lower satisfaction among surveyed customers.
  9. Rise in Negative Website Feedback – More users voicing concerns or sharing poor digital experiences. 91% of unhappy customers will actually leave without providing feedback (Insightech). This lack of data actually limits your visibility into what issues are impacting your site the most.

If any (or many) of these symptoms resonate (I suspect they do otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this far), your sales might already be taking a hit due to an underwhelming digital experience.

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Clear Digital Experience Insights Can Improve Your Sales

Data-driven insights (or experience analytics) have become pivotal in enhancing a user's digital experience. When businesses correctly harness these insights, they can accurately diagnose why customers are struggling to buy on your website.

Here’s how:

1) Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO): Using Experience Analytics tools you can analyse which parts of your page content drive the most conversion can help you understand what users need to see or interact with to be more likely to convert. For example, what impact (if any) do product reviews have on driving users through your purchase funnel?

2) Recreating Customer Errors: Which errors are impacting conversion rates and sales the most? With the right Experience Analytics tool you will be able to clearly see with session replays if the error is technical or human by the way individual users interact with the page. With Insightech, you get a free-text search capability allowing you to segment those replay recordings by what specific error messages users see. For example, finding all the users who had ‘Sorry, Coupon Code Error 514’ could reveal the coupon code sent to the customer in a marketing email was incorrect or the coupon code is correct but there’s a technical bug blocking it from working.

3) Measuring the impact of errors across all users: Experience analytics tools help you quantify and put a dollar value on each error so you can prioritise which issues need to be fixed first. With limited resources, this is an effective way to reduce web development costs.

4) Developers fix issues faster: One of the neat advantages to capturing 100% of the session replay data is you will be able to visualise the pain and frustration of individual users struggling to convert on your website the people tasked with deploying fixes. Being able to show the customer pain is far more powerful than describing an issue. Blue Bungalow’s eCommerce Manager uses Insightech to amplify this process, "‍“I was able to send an email to my devs, urgent here are the issues #1, #2 and #3, here are the replays and assign notes to each replay inside the platform - it was so easy! This saved us hours of dev investigation. Insightech is just a great tool to collaborate between teams.” If you’re interested to learn more we have a case study here.

5) Deploy and iterate page designs more efficiently: Eliminate the guesswork from your next website release by using crystal clear insights to drive forward your decision-making.

Leverage the Power of Digital Experience Analytics

So where do you start the repair job I hear you ask? The answer lies in digital experience. To improve the experience you will need to be sure what the problem you’re trying to solve actually is.

Imagine a headache. Alone, it might just be the result of a tiring day. But combined with other symptoms you might not recognize, it could indicate a severe health concern. Would you risk it?

Much like you wouldn’t ignore a throbbing headache without seeking a doctor's advice, similarly, if your website's vitals seem off, it's time to consult experts.

This is where Insightech’s Experience Analytics product can help. We specialise in providing crystal clear insights to help you turn struggling shoppers into sales which light up your KPI dashboard.

Examples include:

  • Visualising where specific segments of users to your site drop out of the conversion funnel.
  • Replaying the digital experience of individual users to understand their pain.
  • Measuring the conversion impact of specific errors/bugs caused by digital experience friction in your customers’ purchase journey.

With Insightech, you're not just identifying problems – you're diagnosing, understanding, and addressing them, all with expert guidance.

Read the BRG case study here

Discount Season is almost upon us - don’t leave anything to chance

This discount season, don't leave your sales to chance. If you can’t answer why your customers are struggling with your website and couldn’t buy your products then you're gambling with potentially the most lucrative period of the retail year. Now is the time to act, analyse, and ensure that every click counts!

Remember, in the world of eCommerce, your website is more than just a sales platform; it's an experience. Make sure it's a good one.

Next steps to learn more about Insightech for Experience Analytics

Not ready to explore tools just yet? No worries, we have additional educational resources to help with your decision-making!