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Why it’s crucial for brands to focus on accessibility for Black Friday

Gregg Foreman, Director of FORE Studio

As the festive season approaches, ecommerce businesses are gearing up for one of the most significant shopping events of the year – Black Friday. To ensure your brand thrives during this intense period of sales, Gregg Foreman, Director of FORE Studio, explains why it’s crucial to focus on accessibility.

From accessibility to user experience, payment gateways and beyond, a well-rounded approach can make all the difference. Let’s delve into some essential elements to get your website Black Friday ready.

Accessibility: Inclusive for all

Did you know that 94% of first impressions are design-related? This statistic underscores the paramount importance of designing an accessible and visually appealing website. Accessibility is the key to making your website usable and welcoming for everyone. From fonts to buttons, every element on your site should be accessible to all users. Use tools like WebAIM’s Contrast Checker to verify that your website maintains adequate contrast ratios, ensuring easy readability for everyone, including those with visual impairments.

Making your website accessible not only caters to a wider audience but also aligns with ethical and legal considerations. Over 2 million people in the UK have visual impairments, so if your site isn’t accessible across all fronts you could be missing out on a big chunk of the potential customers. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) will give you an idea of what your website should have and all websites in this day and age should be WCAG AA as standard. 

User Experience: Streamlining navigation and engagement

A staggering 88% of us are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience. The user experience (UX) should be seamless, allowing visitors to find what they need quickly and effortlessly. It takes a mere 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about a website, brand or product. Implement intuitive navigation and a clear call-to-action (CTA) strategy to guide users towards making inquiries or purchases.

A really useful feature that websites are increasingly adopting is the integration of chatbots which can significantly enhance the customer buying experience by swiftly addressing queries and concerns; some chatbots even sync to your WhatsApp! The goal is to reduce friction in the buying process and prevent potential customers from seeking alternatives due to frustration.

Optimise payment gateways and combat cart abandonment

Almost 70% of shoppers abandon their carts, highlighting a critical concern for ecommerce businesses. You know, we’ve all done it – too lazy to get off the sofa to go and get your card from your purse/wallet so you end up jumping ship to a competitor with easier payment methods. 

To help mitigate this issue, simplicity is key when it comes to payment processes. Offering a variety of payment options including Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal and major credit cards caters to diverse preferences and ensures customers have convenient ways to complete their purchases.

Additionally, combating cart abandonment involves implementing strategies like split payment plans, making it easier for customers to manage their purchases and reduce cart abandonment rates. Money can be a little tighter over the festive season and those services are often our best friend when it’s gets a little too much.

Holistic branding and consistent creatives

Your branding and creative efforts should transcend your website and extend across all touchpoints of your customer journey. Consistency is crucial, whether it be in your marketing emails, social media assets (both paid and organic), website make-up or physical collateral that you send out with your products. Most industries are becoming saturated with digital and need to cut through the noise as an individual product/service. Creating a cohesive approach amplifies brand recall and maintains a professional image, instilling trust and confidence in potential customers. One thing that can start online and immediately move offline is word-of-mouth marketing which can be incredibly helpful to brands. 

Crafting a top class customer service and reputation through your brand DNA, you’re likely to win over your competitors. Word-of-mouth can be more effective than paid ads, resulting in five times more sales. 

When it comes to branding and marketing assets, keep it simple. You’re targeting another human being on the other side of the screen, make it personable so your core messages are easily readable.

Diverse and captivating content

Photography and videography play a pivotal role in enticing potential customers. Whether you’re working on your Black Friday social campaign or teaser email, remember that adding video to your socials can be more engaging than simple photo posts. In fact, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. People want to see their products in situ so showcasing your products in diverse scenarios with a variety of people will help resonate with a broader audience. 

Including images and video of your product being used by real people adds authenticity and can boost engagement. Don’t be like your competitor, audiences want to see high-quality photos and standalone images of the product that provide a clear view of what you’re offering. 

Engaging videography also allows your audience to see your product’s usability and key features in motion. People are getting lazy and would rather watch a 30 second video of a product than shifting through tech specs and product descriptions.

Final words

Preparing for Black Friday requires careful attention to accessibility, user experience, payment processes, branding and visuals. By ensuring that your website is accessible to all, optimising the user journey, providing convenient payment options, maintaining consistent branding and showcasing captivating content, you set the stage for a successful Black Friday season.

With the right approach and thorough preparation, you can make the most of this significant shopping event and drive substantial growth for your ecommerce business.

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