Last year, Cyber Monday made history. December 2, 2013 saw the largest online spend in U.S. history. This year, online shopping sales for Cyber Monday are projected to easily exceed last year’s total of nearly $2.3 billion dollars. With the flood gates swinging wide for the biggest day for online shopping, it is critical that you are prepared – that your website(s), marketing plans, campaigns are optimized to withstand the surge in sales and traffic, without sacrificing the customer experience. If done right, Cyber Monday is your brass-ring opportunity to boost sales, offer promotions, and collect some sweet reviews and recommendations to build reputation.
Whether you started planning for Cyber Monday last year, last month or in the last 4 minutes, don’t worry – we’ve put together the “Ten essential Things” checklist that has you covered for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But we better get started!
Create Black Friday & Cyber Monday Promotions
The name of the game for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is deals. Deals and savings. Publishers and advertisers should communicate early about the offerings and promotions available. Advertisers should provide creatives or materials for any promotions or specials as soon as possible. As we near Cyber Monday, the amount of space, time and bandwidth will only dwindle.
Get the Word Out
If you are in your customers’ inBox, Make it Count. Capture the season with festive creatives, bringing special deals, coupons, discounts, sales, and information on Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday. Your competitors will be pulling out all the stops and offering the best deals of the year, so now is the time to bring out your big guns. Did you know that you can add click-to-call to every email? Even consumers who are still wary of the online shopping experience will engage and more importantly, consumers who want to contact you can do so right away.
Batten Down the Hatches
Traffic is going to pick up a bit, to say the least. Make sure that your servers can handle the surge of online shopping traffic, which should spike about 20% – 30%. The main advantage of online shopping is avoiding lines. Potential customers will exit and exit quickly if the experience is slow or unresponsive. Data from last year shows that each minute of downtime can add up to thousands. *Note this is another great reason to implement a click to call action. If sites are slow, don’t lose that traffic – allow the consumer to reroute themselves to your call center.
Make it Mobile
This is the year that 1 of 3 online shoppers will be Mobile. Creating a responsive mobile version of your website for tablet and smartphone users is a must. Any creative that you use should also be optimized for a variety of mobile devices. Mobile ads perform better on Cyber Monday and CPM is 50% higher on Cyber Monday, so advertisers are willing to pay a good bit more. With proper mobile retargeting, many shoppers will stay engaged through the holidays.
Last year social media drove nearly $150 million in online sales between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Use social channels to optimize the visibility of promotions and deals. Make sure that social media accounts are working correctly and that there are recent posts or activity. If you have not added a free store to your Facebook page, now would be a great time. It takes literally 5 minutes. Have posts and tweets with coupons, deals and sale announcements all ready to go.
Check, test, load test, spell-check, proofread, stress test everything. Check website(s), new features, landing pages, ads, creatives, and email copy. Check that everything performs as it should and displays as it should (across a variety of browsers and devices). Proofread for spelling errors or inconsistencies. Be prepared. If your website or product(s) have tech support, make sure that they are fully staffed and standing by.
Make sure that virtual shelves are stocked and that any inventory included in promotions is available.
There is so much competition at this time of year. With everyone competing for a shopper’s attention, it’s hard to keep them on your site. Offer exit-intent shoppers a reason to stay. Create an eye-catching offer like a message offering free shipping to persuade exit-intent shoppers to stick around. Adding a valuable exit-intent offer to your checkout page will reduce cart abandonment.
Make it Urgent
Build anticipation with a countdown on your website, variety of intermittent emails that reveal special discounts or added value (don’t repeat subject lines or content), and limited-time-only deals and offers.
Do a Good Job
As simple as it sounds, just do a good job. If customers find you credible and easy to work with, they will return. If the checkout process was a breeze, they will share that. Taking steps like offering free shipping to like your page or offering an incentive to subscribe to your newsletter will allow you to re-engage with these customers again over the holidays and beyond.
Take advantage of the holiday shopping season. Everyone will be looking for a deal. It is an excellent unique opportunity to reach a new audience, and connect and reward your current audience. Special offerings like discounts or coupons with a Cyber Monday purchase will allow opportunities for marketing throughout the holiday season. Good Luck and Merry Cyber Monday!
What do you think? We would love to hear from you!