Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Why businesses must deliver a seamless UX for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

by Suhaib Zaheer SVP, Managed Hosting at DigitalOcean & GM, Cloudways

Shoppers can quickly become disappointed buyers if they repeatedly refresh their browsers in pursuit of a sought-after item, only to be met with the crash of a retailer’s website. This deals a huge blow to the retailer’s reputation and credibility and serves as a powerful reminder that upping bandwidth and reducing friction during busy sales periods is key to avoid inefficiencies and a negative reaction from shoppers.

During significant sales events, every moment becomes crucial. During the peaks of events, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where the influx of online visitors swells, users continue to anticipate an effortless journey and prompt, user-friendly interactions. Even the slightest setbacks, technical hitches, or convoluted procedures can swiftly lead to irritation.

Therefore, retailers must gear up for the sales season by allocating resources toward reliable, scalable, agile hosting systems, all while upholding peak speed and functionality standards.

Optimise bandwidth capacity

During shopping frenzies, one of the core strategies to streamline operations is optimising bandwidth capacity. This ensures a seamless handling of the massive influx of online shoppers without the threat of slowdowns or website crashes. Fortunately, automated systems can now efficiently adjust bandwidth capacity in response to surges in web traffic and scale it back down once the busy period subsides. This means retailers can maintain high-speed and responsive websites without overpaying for unnecessary bandwidth.

Simplifying the buying process, condensing numerous steps into a streamlined and intuitive checkout experience, plays a pivotal role in reducing friction, boosting speed, and reducing the risk of customers losing out on their desired purchases. Offering guest checkout options and eliminating mandatory account creation hurdles can eliminate unnecessary obstacles, catering to time-pressed shoppers.

Elevate the mobile shopping experience

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, a retailer’s focus should be on mastering mobile commerce. Mobile establishes connections with customers directly on their mobile devices, offering features such as push notifications, one-click purchases, location-based services and tailored recommendations. This level of convenience and personalisation has the power to significantly elevate user satisfaction which is appealing to shoppers who seek value and appreciation in their shopping journeys.

To achieve this, businesses must place a strong emphasis on seamlessly integrating various payment gateways and optimising multiple digital touchpoints. By ensuring compatibility across a wide range of devices and platforms, businesses can expand their reach and consistently deliver an outstanding shopping experience, regardless of the customer’s preferred digital touchpoint.

This enhanced accessibility not only promotes a smoother shopping journey but also leads to increased conversions during these peak sales events.

Enhance customer service

During peak sale seasons, delivering seamless customer support is more important than ever. The surge in customer inquiries can be overwhelming, especially if websites are experiencing crashes, potentially leaving shoppers feeling ignored and frustrated. To tackle this challenge, businesses should reinforce their customer service resources. This may involve expanding the support team or implementing AI-powered chatbots, ensuring swift automatic responses to common customer queries.

In addition to this, proactively addressing common concerns through well-crafted FAQs can ease customer anxieties and provide readily available information. Offering tailored support not only resolves immediate issues but also helps divert unnecessary spikes in traffic from websites to call centres, providing a smoother shopping experience during these peak sales events, resulting in higher retail conversions.

The role of personalisation

For Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, retailers must leverage the potential of personalisation. Retailers can benefit from investing in advanced analytics and data-driven insights to make well-informed decisions and offer personalised experiences that resonate with individual customers. By analysing customer behaviours, preferences, and past purchase history, retailers can craft tailored recommendations that cater to each customer’s distinct needs. This elevated level of personalisation has the potential to markedly boost customer satisfaction, making shoppers feel truly valued and appreciated, ultimately contributing to increased sales.