Cyber Monday is just around the corner. With it, an avalanche of shoppers will be scouring online ecommerce websites for deals. It’s predicted that a whopping 59% of people’s holiday shopping budget will be spent online this year. The majority of that money will be spent in the days immediately following Thanksgiving. In fact, each American shopper will spend $431 on Cyber Monday alone. Combined with Black Friday, those two days kick off a trillion dollar holiday shopping season.
In 2018, Cyber Monday had $7.9 billion in revenue, nearly 20% higher than in 2017. 2019 is projected to see another 20% increase, with sales expected to reach with $9.4 billion. This year, Cyber Monday is expected to set new records and become the busiest online shopping day of the holiday season. Orders are expected to swell between 7 pm and 10 pm Pacific Standard Time. It’s clear that Cyber Monday is the most important online shopping day in Europe and America.
Ecommerce sites need to be ready to capture shoppers and convert them into sales to take advantage of Cyber Monday. Time is short, so take a look at the tips below to prepare your site for the buying frenzy.
Give your website a tune-up
Maximize page load speed and performance for your website. If your website loads slowly or with errors, shoppers won’t hesitate to go somewhere else. Likewise, ensure that navigation is fluid and intuitive, especially on pages that have sales or discounts. It’s also a good idea to double-check product descriptions and internal links to make sure they’re current. Finally, check with your provider to make sure your servers are able to handle an increased load on Cyber Monday.
Optimize for mobile
Online customers will most certainly be using mobile when they are shopping on Cyber Monday. 67% of shoppers use multiple screens at the same time when they are shopping. What’s more, if shoppers have a bad mobile experience, 40% of them will head directly to a competitor’s site. Optimize your mobile experience so your customers are able to seamlessly complete their purchases and so you don’t lose them to a competing site.
Keep it simple
Cyber Monday shoppers are already going through a lot. Don’t make them have to decipher your sales and discounts. If you can avoid it, don’t offer different discounts in different product categories. A sitewide discount, a tantalizing sale on a big-ticket item, or a markdown for an entire category are all simple and easy to understand. Having a straightforward offer will also make it easier to promote your business through advertising and social media.
Take advantage of social media
Use various social media platforms so your customers are aware of what you’ll be offering on Cyber Monday. Make sure your posts use keywords and are engaging and actionable to get their attention. Running a contest on your social media channels is a good way to engage your customers, while also creating momentum for your upcoming sale. This is a time of year when shoppers expect to see a large number of ads and posts. Pumping out volume won’t hurt! You can also sell your products through the Facebook Marketplace and on Instagram to add another sales funnel.
Think about offering free shipping
If you’ve never considered offering free shipping before, Cyber Monday is the right time to at least think about it. 75% of 2018 shoppers said free shipping was one of the most compelling offers when shopping online. It will eliminate the negative feeling your customer has with another charge being tacked on to their order. Additionally, it could give you an advantage over other competitors who don’t offer the same service. If you have misgivings about the expense involved with offering free shipping, look at setting a total amount needed to qualify for free shipping. It could end up increasing your overall order total if shoppers add another item or two to get free shipping.
Make shopping easy
The easier it is for your customers to buy, the more likely they will. Create gift guides and highlight your holiday deals on your landing pages to make it simple for your customers to find gifts. Since some shoppers already have a specific budget in mind, segregate your gift guides and deals into categories by price. Upsell by adding complementary products alongside purchased items to make one-stop shopping effortless.
Emphasize customer service
Customer service will be paramount on Cyber Monday. Shoppers will be looking to make decisions quickly because they know the clock is ticking to complete their shopping lists before the sale ends or product inventory runs out. Monitor all your channels and quickly respond to customer questions about the product, shipping, and return policies. Consider automation, like chatbots, to streamline your communication even further. Watch out for any negative reviews or complaints, and respond immediately if any arise. This is a great time to impress your customers and keep them coming back all year.
Look at last year’s search report
This is something you should do before every holiday season. Take a look at the query report from last holiday season and spot any trends. This will help you anticipate what might happen this year so you can be even more prepared. Also, check the keywords that brought people to your site last year, and consider pay per click advertising if those words are still relevant.
Create a last-second advertising campaign
Create momentum. Go on a final advertising push in the final day, or days, leading up to Cyber Monday. Make use of your email list, social media channels, and messaging to let past and potential customers know about the sales you’ll have and send them to your store. In 2018, email marketing accounted for nearly 25% of Cyber Monday sales, so place special importance on crafting a compelling and dynamic email message. With so many stores competing for customers, it’s more important than ever to stay at the forefront of their minds. Having an advertising campaign that kicks off right before Cyber Monday or Black Friday is a great way to accomplish that.
FOMO is real
The fear of missing out is a real phenomenon, and Cyber Monday is an optimal time to use it to your advantage. Use scarcity marketing to create a sense of urgency with your customers. Let them know when inventory is getting low on your sale items. Also, use wording like, “while supplies last” and “limited quantity available” in your advertising and promotional copy.
Remarketing is your friend
Make your holiday shoppers year-round customers. 61% of holiday shoppers are willing to buy from new businesses, and in 2017, nearly half of them did just that. You have a big opportunity to get new customers and keep them for the rest of the year. While Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year, keep in mind that this is just the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
According to Google, only 18% of shoppers do all of their holiday shopping in the period that runs from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. The biggest chunk of shoppers, an impressive 38%, do their shopping in the time span that runs from Black Friday to Christmas Eve. The end of the season shouldn’t mark the end of your engagement with customers. Provide incentives and exclusive offers, such as discount codes and free shipping offers for use on their next purchase. Additionally, save your customer’s shopping cart items so you can remarket to them in the near future. Remind them of what they left behind, and hit them with sale or discount on those items.
Remember to show your employees and customers empathy
This is a stressful time of year for everyone. Be kind to your customers, and it won’t go unnoticed. You’ve got the opportunity to create year-round customers from those shoppers that visit your site on Cyber Monday. Simple kindness will go a long way towards that goal. Similarly, treat your employees with respect and be good to them. After all, without them, it won’t matter how great your sales are if you can’t deliver top-notch customer service or handle the shipping. Positive feelings have a way of multiplying in the workplace. Make empathy contagious.
Remember your loyal customers
Tis the season to hustle for new customers. However, don’t forget current and past customers. Reach out to them with a targeted email, or through another channel, to let them know what you’ll be offering. Providing them with a discount code or another similar perk can also help guarantee that they’ll at least check your site out on the big day.
Make returns easy
If the product they ordered isn’t as expected, doesn’t fit, or anything else, customers want to know it won’t be difficult to return. Create simple and easy-to-understand return policies and showcase them on your site. A solid return policy will go a long way towards making a customer feel secure making a purchase. It could be the final piece of the puzzle to ensure their order gets completed.
If you follow the above tips, you’ll have a better chance of cashing in. Not only on Cyber Monday, but throughout the rest of the year too. Take the time and make the effort to improve your customer’s experience, and you’ll be rewarded with your own piece of the Cyber Monday pie. Now go get some of the action.
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