Prepping Your Business For Cyber Monday
Anyone who works in retail knows that the fourth weekend of November is a landmark occasion for sales. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday/Sunday, and Cyber Monday are consistently the largest shopping days in the U.S., with a 2015 report finding that over 135 million Americans plan on taking advantage of the in-store deals and discounts the holiday weekend provides. The term “Cyber Monday” was coined in 2005, and is considered the online equivalent of Black Friday, which marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season for brick-and-mortar stores. Last year, Cyber Monday broke a new record, bringing in $6.6 billion in online shopping sales.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have made quite a splash in Brazil as well. Despite not celebrating Thanksgiving the Thursday before, Brazilians have officially taken part in the Black Friday shopping holiday since 2009, and Cyber Monday since 2012. In 2017, Cyber Monday revenue reached over R$1 billion reais, the equivalent to about $270,000 U.S. dollars. The entire holiday shopping weekend generated approximately R$3.2 billion reais ($862,000 USD).
If you’re an online retailer, the time to prepare for Cyber Monday is now. Here are several ways you can prep for a smooth, successful, and profitable extended weekend of sales.
In 2017, mobile users made up $2 billion of total online sales, and according to Adobe Analytics data, 75 percent of millennials are more likely to shop using their phones than using a desktop computer. This means that now is a great time to ensure your store has a mobile-friendly version of its website.
For many e-commerce businesses, Cyber Monday is the busiest day of traffic all year. Make sure your website can handle the influx of visitors and that no errors or bugs will hinder the online shopping process. Run your site through a performance testing app to verify that it loads quickly and efficiently.
Products and Sales
70 percent of online retailers promote their Cyber Monday discounts and sales at least 10 days before Thanksgiving. Start planning your advertisements, ad copy, sales and discounts now, and consider placing special focus on one “doorbuster” item that will interest potential customers off the bat and get them checking out the rest of your inventory. Build anticipation and promote your sales through newsletters, email blasts, and social media coverage. Use email lists to offer early access to special customers, and consider crafting up combined shipping deals to draw in more potential shoppers. When you create all this buzz, you’re also going to want to confirm that your store has enough product inventory and contingency plans for anything that might go awry in the order process.
Nothing can drive away a potential customer more quickly than poor customer service. Although being ready to answer questions and troubleshoot 24/7 might not be possible, ensure that someone is available on your customer service team at peak times, such as right after an order is placed, during the sale kickoff, and after email blasts. Think about integrating a live chat on your website during those peak times as well, or even setting up an automated customer service chatbot to assist with general issues and concerns around the clock.
Setting up automation services for your retail business this Cyber Monday can be extremely beneficial to your customer base and sales. Schedule your email blasts and social media updates so that you can queue them up and release them at optimal times leading up to the sale. Countdowns that show when an item will be going on sale, pop-ups that alert a customer when an item in their cart is low in stock, and automated emails that notify a customer when they’ve abandoned their online shopping cart are all ways to build excitement and give a little extra encouragement to shoppers to take advantage of your Cyber Monday deals.
Whether you’re a seasoned holiday retailer or just starting out, being prepared for increased sales during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend is essential. Optimizing your website, advertising ahead of time, managing your inventory, having a good customer service team, and automating services are all steps to success and profitability for your retail business this November.