As Black Friday quickly approaches, it marks the start of the holiday shopping season and endless opportunities for ecommerce sites to advertise tempting promotions for sales-hungry customers.
In 2016 UK shoppers roughly spent £1.96 billion on Black Friday sales and the numbers are only expected to increase with a significant influx of online traffic. Argos’ CEO told BBC Radio 4 today’s programme that within the first hour of its Black Friday sale the site had 500,000 visits, up 50% from last year’s statistics.
However, as more customers are choosing to do their Black Friday shopping online, well-known brands are finding it difficult to keep up. Argos experienced a 24% bounce rate as customers encountered bugs and conversion issues. For ecommerce sites, this means missing out on vital sales and possibly losing large amounts of customers, as they strike your brand off their holiday shopping list.
Even big brands such as Dell and Amazon have a history of Black Friday failures. During 2014 Amazons price comparison glitch automatically reduced the price of thousands of products, including smartphones, to 1 penny. And in 2016 Dell’s ecommerce site could not cope with the high amount of online traffic and reported hundreds of 404 errors and failed conversions.
Failure to test and tackle site glitches and bugs could result in hefty financial losses and reputational damage. So how can brands prevent these problems and maximise sales?
What are your goals?
To help, we have brought together 5 web testing practices that will boost your online sales.
Define your load goals: You will need to pinpoint how many customers will come to your site on Black Friday and predict when scenarios such as traffic spikes and hold times are expected to occur. You could look at your traffic levels for last year’s Black Friday to help you estimate your expected customer percentage and loading times this year.
Define your device goals: How many devices, operating systems and screen sizes will you need to be aware of? Prioritise popular devices but make sure your site works across as many devices as possible.
Define your usability goals: Who is going to use your site? What will their user experience be? Answering this question will help you marry your wider business goals in terms of conversion rates and sales with the wider user experience.
Plan your tests: Bring together all your technical teams to plan how to execute your tests. You’ll need input from your developers, QA engineers and products managers teams to nail your test plan, scope, objectives and expected results.
Choose your tools: How are you going to test your site or app? To maximise your ecommerce coverage so that every potential Black Friday visitor becomes a buyer, you may want to use crowdsourced website testing to give you an edge.