Four days. 96 hours. 5,760 minutes. That’s how much time you have before this weekend’s hysteria hits—less if you’re planning to launch your sales on Gray Thursday (you may know it by its former moniker, Thanksgiving).
And while you’ve no doubt been planning and preparing for months, your job as an online merchant during the holidays is never really done. There are always last-minute actions you can take to optimize your promotions and boost your profitability.
As the clock ticks down to the biggest shopping day of the year, we’ve got four things you can do right now to make sure your store is working its hardest and looking its finest. There’s no time to lose!
Double-check, then triple-check your campaigns.
If you’ve been following along, then you should have planned your campaigns and drafted your emails weeks ago. Whether you’re sending out discount codes or gift guides, we’re going to assume those are written, edited, and ready to go.
Before you pull the the trigger, send yourself a test. Then send your colleagues a test. Then ask your detail-oriented mother-in-law to give it a once-over.
There’s no harm in giving things another look—even the most experienced merchants and marketers make mistakes. Test your spelling, test your links, test your witticisms to make sure they’re not going to fall flat.
Check your discount and promo codes.
Speaking of testing, the same goes for your discount and promo codes. Before you deploy them, make sure to test each one to check that it’s working properly and the correct discount is being applied.
Try to include uncommon cart combinations and codes to tease out unexpected behaviours (like discounting the entire cart instead of a single product). You want to give your customers a good deal on Black Friday, but you don’t want to sell the farm!
Set up a social media monitor.
No matter how great your products, promotions, and customer service, there’s no avoiding the fact that people are going to complain. Often, your support team will be the first to hear these grievances, but—as we learn from time to time—it’s not uncommon for customers to lash out on Facebook and Twitter, either.
To ensure that you’re on top of the negative chatter, you need to practice social listening—the process of monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitors, products, and anything else that’s relevant to your business. Tools like Brandwatch and Reputology can help you keep tabs on the social conversation and alert you to customers bad-mouthing your business.
Prepare an automated “thank you” email.
A little gratitude goes a long way in life, and ecommerce is no different. Many businesses set up an automated “thank you” email to send immediately upon purchase—often rolled into an order confirmation—but it might be wiser to wait a few weeks until the customer is more likely to buy from you again.
You might also want to consider including information about product care, use cases, and other FAQs in your email. And if it’s been a couple weeks and the customer has had the opportunity to try out their purchase, this is a great chance to ask for a review. Here are some tips on that.
Aaaand that’s a wrap! With these last-minute tasks taken care of, your business should be set to win customers, boost conversions, and have a banner BFCM.
Go get ’em, tiger!