- Nico Bistolfi
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means, Black Friday and the holiday season too. For more than 10 years, the major retailers such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Gap, have kicked off their stores. Due to COVID-19, they announced they will remain closed on Thanksgiving and they will make special offers only available in the online store. Why? This Black Friday is going to be different than others, avoiding crowded places.
The key is to have the online store prepared for a lot of traffic, a good cart and payment experience, and amazing customer supply for new people discovering your brand. Optimize your images and your complete website is a MUST from now and on. If there's ever a shopping season to get excited about, 2020 is the time! Completely online with no waiting in line and from Piio we are here to help you!
Start planning your website and campaigns with time
Deals are used to start as early as Thanksgiving evening, but in 2020 many stores are going to be closed on Thanksgiving. Walmart, for example, has already announced its Black Friday strategy and all deals will begin online and on November 4th.
We want you to focus on making the special turkey before going crazy with your website. This year with any doubt the Black Friday will be dominated by shopping online. With this in mind, we could imagine that many brands will start their deals early than ever and extend discounts throughout the week. For that reason start testing your website and knowing in 2 minutes what you need to improve, solve, and take care of.
1. Communicate your deals ASAP in Social Media
Holiday season is perhaps the most opportune time of the year to spur sales. Start your campaigns as soon as possible. 2020 will be a year with a lot of online deals and competitors. You must convince and show your customers that your product/service is the best option. Generate expectations to your audience with great deals and good discounts.
Remember, not only show your products. Add value to your brand, so your audience chooses you, not only because of your product but also for your values as a brand.
If it's possible make your customers prepare the shop cart to organize your sales and don't run out of stock. Use Social Media to boost your website traffic. Make sure you are tracking all your links and linking them to the correct article or page.
2. Show your products with different kinds of images
Your images are your shop window. Make sure your customers could:
- Touch the product: describe in detail the material, colors, texture, (and smell, or flavor if it's necessary. Make it possible!)
- Try the product: show the product in different bodies, angles and skin colors.
- See the details: details are the difference. Make sure you show them off and use Close-up photography.
- Natural light: will help you to show your products like them see in reality. Be careful with shadows, or use it in an artistically way ;)
3. A/B testing with your default image product
Another important point for online stores is to choose and make some A/B testing for the different products with unequal photo styles. What does this mean? Don't show all your products with a white background. It's boring and your customers want to see your products in different contexts. Here are some photography styles you should try:
- "In-context", "In-action", "In-use" product - If you sell running shoes, you must have a photo of the shoes wearing by a person who is running in sporty cloth.
- Set up your product - If you sell birthday cakes, for example, simulate a birthday table with other elements that interact with your central product.
- Classic product photography - The white or color background always is a good option, but remember it's not the only one. For this type of photo, we recommend a softbox.
Here's an example with shoes:
The first image (left) - In action, shows movement and one of it's qualities- waterproof. The second one, is a set up with related objects to the main product, and the other image, as a simple image showing the product with no extra set up. This could be with white background or a close up image.
Try to empathize with your customers and imagine some situations that they could need/use your product and recreate the scene.
4. Cover the Basics (6 steps you should follow)
Before you get crazy with technical optimization tips, you must keep in mind some main aspects. The following aspects are not only for Black Friday, they are Web Vitals for the rest of your life's online store or website.
Checklist of the fundamentals:
- Image and Website Speed – Low website speed will damage your conversions. Make sure and test your site speed, for both mobile and desktop, is ready for Black Friday traffic.
2. Be prepared for Crowded traffic – Make sure your servers handle x5 or x10 more than your normal traffic. Work with your dev team or talk to your hosting company to ensure you have the necessary bandwidth. You can solve this issue with Piio, as well.
3. Extend the season - Make your clients could have special offers during a longer period of time but in different sections (or niche) of your website.
4. Make mobile-only discounts - Mobile optimization and Image optimization shouls be at the top of your to-do list. Most of your visitors will arrive to your website, through a mobile device. (Contact us if you need some help with that) This allows you to track how many - of your customers came to your site via push notification, Apps, Social Media.
5. Try to give some benefits - Cash-back guarantee or 60 days to change what they bought. Free shipping - is always a good deal.
6. Buck the system - Thanksgiving is a time to give. Don't forget about the spirit and try to donate for each purchase or give better discounts if your clients take, for example blankets for the homeless people for winter.
Sometimes, the most wholesome and charitable approach with a positive spirit, can lead to much better things in long terms, than a simple "big sale".
5. Optimize your images
If your images are too big (the stock images are always of high quality and heavy) make sure you optimize them. You can use a free resizer and compress your images but without pixelating them. Here you are a resize user's guide for your images.
The key is to have an image for each device size and different formats for each browser. You can do it manually, or use technology like Piio, that uses an algorithm to detect which device and browser the customer is using and serving the best option for each client. It is a great advantage to deliver your product faster (each image is optimized for each situation) but you only upload your best and biggest image to your server. Piio will do the rest. No matter which technology do you have (Shopify, Swell, Magento, Wordpress, Wix) you can integrate Piio very easy to your website, and if you are lucky we have some plugins!
Extra tip for optimize your images from your online store ;)
Finding or creating the correct images for your online store could be a big challenge. You can use some photo, vector and video stock to add to your website but don't forget to optimize the images!
Some of these photo stocks may help you:
- iStock they have a wide variety of images, but it's paid.
- Pexels, is one of my favorites with free and amazing photo and video creations.
- Unsplash or Pixabay are both free-usable images.
- It's pais but it has incredible photos and videos from artist and photographers from around the globe: Gettyimages
- 500px has a wide variety of styles and genres photography.
High-quality photos appeal to users more than blurry, unclear images. Also, sharp images are more appealing to users in the result thumbnail and increase the likelihood of getting traffic from users.
No matter if you use a photo from stock or made by you, take into account you must optimize it. Let's check how to handle Image-Heavy websites.
Of course, your competitors are working in some or many of these points, so make sure your visitors have an unforgettable experience on your website, with fast images. Don't make your users wait until your content is loaded ;)
Create your account and start optimizing your online store as soon as possible. We are glad to have you on our team!