Make the most of seasonal shopping days.

When you know you have a large online sale coming up, it’s important to optimize your site for the best user experience possible. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two obvious examples, but depending on your business, you might also host sales for New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day or a number of other holidays and events.

User experience studies show that if a site is not optimized, 79 percent of users will simply search for another site to finish the order. Mobile users are much more likely to abandon the site if it isn’t optimized for mobile users — about five times more likely, in fact.

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Thankfully, there are some basic things you should do to optimize your site.

A/B Test Your ecommerce Buying Process

You’ve likely heard of A/B testing to see how well a page produces conversions, but you should also do some A/B testing of your ecommerce buying process. Try out different ecommerce checkout UX methods and see which ones perform best with your customers. Do some prevent cart abandonment better than others?

Take the time to test everything from the color of the checkout button to the actual checkout process.

Prevent Empty Cart Syndrome

The average shopping cart abandonment rate is over 69 percent, which is an appalling number. You spend a lot of time, money and effort driving targeted traffic to your site. The last thing you want to do is lose a consumer who is interested enough in your product to place the item in a shopping cart.

There are some things you can do to reduce these rates. Make sure your shipping costs are clear, popular items are available and your prices are competitive. You might also want to make sure you collect contact information early in the process. This will allow you to contact a buyer with empty cart syndrome and offer a special discount if they’ll complete the order.

Check Your Contact Form

Around 51 percent of online consumers think contact information should be complete with multiple ways to contact the company and state that most sites are missing this information. Your contact information would be easy to find and have, at a minimum, an email address, but many people prefer live chat as well.

You should also make sure your contact form works and test it prior to launch, because with big sales also comes a lot of questions and concerns from consumers. Your contact form should meet the needs of your consumers or they’ll leave.

Market Messaging Optimization

In order to optimize the market messaging on your site, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. What questions does your typical customer have and how can you answer them before they are even asked? Think also about the emotional appeals that will reach your target demographic and make them want to buy your product.

Test, and Retest, Deals and Coupons

If you plan to offer a special discount or deals on the big sale day, you’ll want to test these ahead of time to be sure they are working. You should also hop online and play the role of consumer early the day of the sale. Make sure everything still works smoothly.

There are few things more frustrating to a consumer than to grab the item they want, put it in the online shopping cart, punch in the discount code and discover the price doesn’t change. This won’t just drive customers from your site — they may be so angry that they’ll never return.

Taking the time to optimize your site for a large sale is a smart move. A site that runs smoothly helps create as many conversions as possible and drive the success of your sale.