Preparing E-Commerce Websites for the Golden Quarter

The months of October, November and December are known in the retail sector as the 'Golden Quarter', as it's the time when sales opportunities are at their highest. In the e-commerce arena, the two peak dates for consumer spending are Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which this year fall on the 24th and 27th of November respectively.

Though it is only August, owners and operators of e-commerce websites should already be preparing to take advantage of the annual festive buying spree. Data from Statista show that more than half of UK consumers start their Christmas shopping in October, with 23% starting even earlier in September. And, with the current cost-of-living crisis forcing people to tighten their belts, competition is going to be fiercer than ever this year. 

In this edition of the Brickweb blog, we'll be looking at some of the ways you can make sure your website is prepared for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas.

Personalisation is becoming ever-more important when it comes to guaranteeing customer loyalty: a study by McKinsey found that a massive 80% of consumers expect 'personalised touches' from e-commerce retailers. Whether it is omnichannel experiences, adaptive content, tailored offers or targeted product suggestions, such personal touches will go a long way to helping your brand succeed, especially during the ultra-competitive Golden Quarter. This will also help your business in the long term; a report from Customer Communications revealed that 77% of consumers have paid more for or have recommended a product from a store that provided personalised experiences.­ 

Make sure that your customers are fully aware of when they will get their product. Delivery channels become busier during the Golden Quarter and so it's best to extend your delivery dates by a couple of days. Remember that it's always best to under-promise and over-deliver! Make sure that your returns process is clear, simple and reliable as many unwanted gifts are returned after the Christmas period.

Make sure that your store offers multiple payment options. Research carried out by the European Payments Council revealed that as many as 50% of consumers will abandon their cart if you do not offer their preferred payment option. It is not enough to offer traditional debit and credit card payment options in a world where eWallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal are so common. As the Golden Quarter can prove to be an expensive time for customers, many will also expect to be able to use buy-now-pay-later services such as Klarna. 

Traffic to your website is likely to increase and so it must be ready to deal with the influx of potential customers, especially on key dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Heavy traffic can make an unprepared website run slowly or even crash and this is a big no-no for consumers, who will immediately abandon the site altogether should either of these things occur. It's the perfect time to invest in a chatbot to answer queries if you're too busy to do so.

Brickweb is a leading e-commerce development company and our comprehensive, world-class suite of services and solutions can help you achieve success, not only during this year's Golden Quarter but far beyond. Find out more on our website and get in touch with our dedicated customer service team to discuss the unique requirements of your business. 

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