The Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your WooCommerce Store for Black Friday

It’s the second year in a row that Black Friday will be held during the pandemic. That’s bad news for brick-and-mortar stores that face capacity restrictions, mask mandates, and nervous customers. But it’s great news for e-commerce!

In fact, WooCommerce online stores of all sizes have been seeing record sales since March 2020, and there’s no end in sight to our desire to shop online! This means that this is the perfect year to make the most of Black Friday in your WooCommerce store. Here’s how you can make sure your site is ready for the rush!



Spring Clean Your WooCommerec Hosting and Technology

One of the most important things for any WordPress website is to make sure your loading time is as short as possible. In fact, depending on where you look, you might see stats that peg user attention spans at something between 4 and 10 seconds.

So, if your site loads slowly, your Black Friday strategy will fail before it even gets started! Here are a few ways you can speed up your WordPress based e-commerce store:

● Review your hosting. You can fix a lot of things on your site, but if your hosting is slow or unreliable, there’s not much you can do but switch to a different host.

● Keep it simple. It’s tempting to have lots of widgets, sliders, bells, and whistles. But they all use resources, and resources slow sites down.

● Reduce image size. The larger your images are, the longer they will take to load.

● Keep your template, widgets, and plugins up to date. Older components can slow your site down.

● Minify CSS and JavaScript and use caching to speed up page loading time.

● Enable GZip and consider using a CDN (Content Delivery Network.)

Speeding up WordPress websites is critical to the performance of your WooCommerce website, but it can be quite technical. If you choose to outsource anything on your site, it should be this. An ugly site that loads quickly still stands a chance. A masterpiece that no one sees because they’ve moved on doesn’t.


Make Sure You Have the Bandwidth

Lots of traffic is great. But you need the bandwidth to handle it. If your bandwidth is too low, your site will crash or simply not open, and you’ll lose any potential business. Check your bandwidth with your hosting provider and consider upgrading if it’s low.



Make It Responsive

A lot of people don’t surf the web on their computers anymore. Responsive WordPress websites work on all devices and screens – so your WooCommerce website will be usable no matter where people choose to shop.

WordPress website responsiveness has a lot to do with the template you are using, so if your site doesn’t work on your phone or tablet, it’s probably time for a redesign.


Check Your UX

UX, or User Experience, is a huge factor in e-commerce success. Your site should be easy to use and navigate, and everything should be easy to find. Online shoppers get frustrated quickly, and when they do, they move on. So, make sure everything on your site works and can be accessed easily.

The Golden Rules of WooCommerce Checkout

Even if your site works well, your products are well priced, and things are easy to find, if people can’t checkout, they’re going to buy elsewhere. So, spend some extra time perfecting the process. Here are a few important tips to make your checkout process better:

  • ● Opt for more payment processors if possible. Offering people several payment options make it easier for people to shop in your store. Many larger payment processors like PayPal allow you to pay with an account or debit or credit card, which makes them a better choice.
  • ● If possible, offer free shipping or include shipping rates early in the process. High shipping costs are the number one cause of cart abandonment, so don’t hit customers with high fees late in the process!
  • ● If you do charge for shipping, provide more than one option so people can choose.
  • ● Limit the number of fields there are to complete. Always opt for the bare minimum on any form on your site, but especially on checkout!
  • ● Allow guest checkout or registration during checkout.
  • Make sure that your site is secure. Most people will not buy from sites that don’t have SSL. So, make sure you have it and it’s properly installed.

The easier it is to buy on your store, the more likely people are to go from browsing to buying.


Build Promotions into Your WooCommerce Store

Coupons, deals, special offers, and freebies are some of the best marketing tools out there. Make sure they are built into your marketing plan. Another great option to increase sales is to offer discounts or free shipping based on minimum purchases.

There are many tools that can build marketing options like these into your WordPress site, they’re easy to manage, and they automate the process. Don’t forget to put your sales and deals front and center too. Use hero images on your home page or on each category page to market the deals you want to promote.




Track Users and Conversions

One of the most important things you can do for any WooCommerce website is to track how people use it. Tools like Google Analytics not only tell you how many people visit your site but also how they use it and where they go. This can help you to tweak and update your navigation and pages to funnel people where you want them to go.

While you’re at it, make sure you have an automated abandoned cart process to email customers and bring them back to complete purchases if they leave before the sale is complete.


Polish Your WooCommerce Product Pages

One of the biggest selling points for online shoppers is clear images of the items they want to buy. They can’t pick them up to inspect them, but they want to be able to zoom in and see different angles.

Pay attention to text content too. Detailed, well-written descriptions with specifications, warranty information, and other details help to convince customers that the product on your site is the one they need. Don’t forget reviews either – many online shoppers say that reviews are what really seal the deal.

You can build a review process right into your WordPress site too, and if you offer customers a deal on future purchases, most are more than happy to leave one on products they loved.


Start Marketing Early

Even if your site is working perfectly, your product images are perfect, and your sales copy is masterful, if no one visits your site, you won’t make sales.

Make sure you start your Black Friday marketing strategy early. Use social media to promote “door crasher” deals. Send coupons and special offers to your email list. Integrate your site with tools like Google Shopping, so your products show up on a search, and use paid ads to drive traffic looking for products you sell to your site.

Connect and Engage

In the e-commerce world, new visitors to your site are great, but it’s repeat customers who will really take you to new heights. Make sure that your clients opt-in for email marketing and let them know what you’re doing. Consider a loyalty or points program or build an affiliate program into your site and give your customers a commission when they refer friends and family.




Be A Customer Service Superstar

There’s a reason people choose to use big sites like Amazon – they know there will always be someone there to solve their problems for them. So, make your site a customer service rockstar.

Offer customers multiple ways to reach you. Make email forms and help tickets easy to find. Build live chat or a bot into your site and link to your social media accounts and vice versa. It’s even a good idea to include your physical address on your website. People like to know where the stores they buy from are located, so addresses and phone numbers are very reassuring.


Get Your Inventory in Order

If you sell products, make sure your inventory is up to date before you go live on Black Friday.

If you manufacture products to order, be sure to include realistic lead times on your product pages, so customers know how long they will wait. Long, unexpected delays are a quick way to get lots of refund requests!

If you dropship products, contact your suppliers and make sure you know what their lead times are. With the pandemic, a lot of supply chains are slower than they should be, so factor that into your delivery promises.


Test Everything

If you do update your site before Black Friday, never assume that everything works. Always test everything on your site extensively. Have other people test your site too. Make sure that all the links work, your checkout process works, all your APIs are correct, and everything does exactly what it should.

There’s no use having a killer Black Friday strategy if your site doesn’t deliver on your promises.

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