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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Getting the Most out of Cyber Monday

With Cyber Monday less than month away, holiday season is quickly approaching. Last year on Cyber Monday, consumers spent nearly $3,5 billion according to Adobe Digital Insights. These results easily blew past initial estimates.

How this year will be? Well, if we take into account the ongoing increase in online sales, it looks that the pie has got big enough for every ecommerce player to take a bite.

In other words, it is the perfect time for you to drive traffic to your online store and make sales.

The deals on Cyber Monday are online only and generally offered by smaller retailers that cannot compete with the big retailers who do major clearances during Black Friday.

But, how to do this?

We asked successful retailers and experts to share their best tips on how they make the most out of Cyber Monday.

Let’s dive in.

Optimize your Website for Traffic

With all the offers and discounts, chances are (and the main goal) your website will see a high influx in traffic and you have to make sure that it can be handled. If customers can’t reach your site, they won’t complete their purchases. And if your site is too slow, it will leave a bad taste and discourage them to shop again.

“Only a one second delay on the website can make your Cyber Monday unprofitable”, warns Danyal Effendi from PureVPN. “Retailers should perform website stress-test and speed-test and consult their hosting/data-center providers for optimum service.”

Pro tip: Contact your hosting provider well in advance and even arrange a special deal for additional space in their servers.

Design Landing Pages

You’ve done great ads, drove traffic to your website but where do these visitors land? Your usual main site? Not a smart idea.

As Max Robinson, owner of FishTankBank stresses out, “ensure that your website makes it clear about the deals”.

Landing Pages (as otherwise known) are the best way to convert traffic into leads. It’s where you will send all your traffic that comes from social media ads, search engine marketing, or email newsletters.

A well-structured landing page that repeats the advertised offer will work as a reminder to your visitors and help you look consistent and trustworthy.

Successful retailers usually take advantage of this to offer a discount or membership in exchange for the customers’ email address. That way they can ensure they have a means to communicate with visitors, even if they didn’t end up making a purchase that day.

“If possible, create a banner that appears at the top of product pages, and maybe even do something fun like creating a new version of your logo”, continues Max. “Just try to make sure that the design changes you make don't interfere with the user experience on your site.”

Pro tip: Return policy and shipping schedule are two things that customers regularly check before they make a purchase (who wants to end up with a bad Christmas gift?) – so make sure that they are clearly laid out and can be easily found by your visitors.

Don’t wait until the last moment

Big retailers have dedicated marketing teams that handle promotions and they will probably have insane discounts that you can’t beat. Fear not though, there is still hope for you to take a share.

“Get in first before everyone else”, advises Adam Watson, marketing director from “People waiting for Cyber Monday only have so much disposable income for presents; if you have a chance of beating your competition, take it and start early”.

Cyber Monday purchases are often intended for Christmas presents. Those presents (especially for close relationships) have high sentimental value, which also makes them very difficult to pick. People are often willing to pay a higher price for a more unique present, so getting their attention first might be a win-win scenario for both you and your satisfied customers.

Success on Cyber Monday is all about timing.

Share the right message

If you know a thing or two about marketing, you surely know how crucial (and difficult) it is to reach your leads and customers with the right message at the right time.

If you have set up any type of analytics throughout the year, now is their time to shine.

“The data from those is crucial on Cyber Monday”, says Jordan Harling, Head of Marketing at Roman Blinds Direct. “By looking to see when open-rates and conversions are at their highest you can craft a Cyber Monday email that’s guaranteed to create sales. Your users are already primed to purchase, all you need to do is give them a little nudge at the right time”.

Pro Tip: The average e-mail volume sent by brands saw a huge increase, with its peak being Thanksgiving Day. Start sending your newsletters before your customers’ inbox looks like a spam folder.

Prepare your team

There is so much pressure to beat the competition in offering better offers that other important aspects are often neglected.

One is how to address mishaps.

The period around Black Friday and Cyber Monday are generally extremely stressful for business owners and employees and the high traffic and demand often comes with unexpected issues.

“Preparing your team is just as important as readying the website and inventory and is crucial to a smooth holiday season”, warns Bart Mroz, co-founder and CEO of digital commerce consultancy SUMO Heavy. “It’s essential to have plenty of training sessions for your team members to make sure everyone is on the same page”.

Pro Tip: In times of panic, seminars and lessons are quickly forgotten, so having some tips or guidelines in list form in clear view for everyone, can be a lifesaver.

Offer Top Customer Service

More visitors, especially if they are not returning customers, means more questions. Especially if the terms of your promotions are not clearly laid out, your support inbox or your telephone line will see a rise in traffic.

Having a representative available to answer any emails, Facebook messages, and tweets concerning offers and discounts is crucial to provide a happy shopping experience.

“The best way is to hire part-time chat agents and create a shift plan with more agents at peak times”, advises us Danyal Effendi from PureVPN. “Try to provide 24/7 customer service with major focus on target markets.”

Pro tip: If your budget allows it, consider hiring a virtual assistant. That way, when you and your team members are sleeping, there will be someone from the other side of the globe, ready to answer customers’ questions.

Discount selected products

The good thing about Cyber Monday is that it is not expected to have a flat discount on all products across your website (or physical store). In fact, offering a discount on certain products can work as a great lure to see an overall increase in sales.

“Focus on specific product discounts, rather than large store wide discounting”, Adam Pearce, Co-founder and Marketing Director of Blend Commerce, advises his clients. “Running one or two products as a loss leader can help to drive traffic to your store. By grabbing this traffic, you can then upsell at checkout with lesser discounted products and drive up the profitability per customer”.

Pro Tip: Make sure to accompany the discounted products with the right keywords, to make the most out of your search engine marketing efforts.

Clear the inventory

Cyber Monday can be a great opportunity to re-evaluate your stock and clear inventory from products that move too slow (or not at all).

“I like to offer sales on older inventory that's been hard to move in the past”, shares his experience Robert Ellis from Massage Tables Now. “Offering these sales on older inventory helps me clear out my stock and get a head start on my ordering while offering something of real value to my customers.

When Cyber Monday arrives, Christmas will be just around the corner and we all know that during that time every inch of space matters. Having around out-fashioned, obsolete or unpopular products might give your store an outdated look.

At the same time, researchers also back up what you may have noticed from experience: too many choices might be debilitating for the customer, resulting in fewer purchases.

Pro tip: Use an inventory management system to make this process a piece of cake. With Megaventory you can create intuitive reports and easily push slow-moving products for sale.

Last but not least

Following some of the above tips will have a positive effect on the success of your Cyber Monday offers.

You should not forget, though, that your main goal from that day should be to create the base for ongoing relationships with new visitors and strengthen those with your older customers.

So, how will you make the most out of this year’s Cyber Monday? Share in the comments below or tweet us

And if you like those tips, don’t forget to share this with your friends and colleagues.

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