Are you prepared for the biggest online shopping day of the year?
According to Forrester Research almost 40% of online shoppers say Cyber Monday is their biggest shopping day of the year.
With more than $2 billion in sales, Cyber Monday has grown into the biggest sales opportunity for online retailers. But crazy holiday profits don’t happen by themselves.
Online retailers must have a plan of attack to grab the attention of holiday shoppers and funnel them into the sales process. Along with the obvious marketing tactics including emails, newsletters, Facebook ads, and Google ads, there are a few easy things you can do to take advantage of this once-a-year opportunity.
1. Create an abandoned cart strategy.
An estimated 37% of carts are abandoned by shoppers who are not ready to buy. Some are just window shopping, and some are interested, but don’t finish the sales transaction. Something led them to your shopping cart, which means they are definitely interested in your product. Don’t give up with them just because they clicked away! Instead, try to recapture these interested buyers.
Check with your e-commerce system to see if they have any resources to recapture these shoppers. If not, Selz is an e-commerce framework that can be integrated into platforms like WordPress and Blogger, or sellers can make their own Selz store. Selz has an abandoned Cart app that allows sellers to send gentle reminders to customers and hopefully lead them to finish their sale. By using an abandoned cart app, you’ll potentially increase overall sales because recapturing interested customers is ultimately easier than trying to get new ones.
2. Design a holiday gift guide.
A holiday gift guide is the reluctant shoppers best friend. It’s a list of products that are perfect for a specific person. In the busy shopping season, gift guides make shopping quick and easy. It guides the shopper to the best item for each person on their list and makes the entire shopping process easier for the reluctant shopper.
You can make an ultimate holiday gift guide based on the person (mother, wife, sister), by area of interest, by type of gift (clothing, electronics, housewares), by price point, or by activity (cooking, reading, fitness, etc.). The idea is to make it as simple as possible to guide each shopper to the perfect gift. For example, the Sloan Boutique created a holiday gift guide based on a wide variety of price points, with several selections at each price that would create value for their customers.
3. Check your mobile and tablet sales process.
Mobile commerce is expected to reach $626 billion a year by 2018, and most sales will be done on tablets. With profits that high, online sellers must have a responsive website that runs flawlessly on any mobile device, regardless of size.
Go through the entire sales process on a variety of devices. Check with your e-commerce platform or website manager to see if your site has everything it needs to conduct mobile sales. You want to create a fast, easy, simple checkout process that works on any device.
4. Offer doorbuster specials.
Having a limited number of items on sale at a certain time is a great strategy to drive sales. Most major retailers use doorbusters on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but not all e-tailers have taken advantage of this easy sales strategy.
Online retail giant Amazon has several different deals, or doorbuster-type sales. They have daily lightning deals, plus timed-deals for Cyber Monday. Since Amazon is one of the leaders of the eCommerce industry, try a page from their playbook and add a few doorbusters to your sales line-up.
5. Promote all-day specials on social media.
This is probably obvious, but the time to set up your social media strategy is well before Cyber Monday. If you’re using the doorbuster strategy, the timing of your social media posts needs to be precise and on time.
If you’re a smaller retailer and don’t have a dedicated social media manager, try one of the simple social media management apps like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Social Sprout. Add all your social media channels and map out your sales plan. Although social media is more for branding, it can also drive sales on days like Cyber Monday when everyone is looking for a great deal.
6. Offer free shipping or shipping deals.
The importance of shipping cannot be overemphasized, especially on Cyber Monday. With a huge number of retailers using the free shipping hook, it’s almost expected. If you don’t want to add free shipping for the day, at least add a shipping special like free shipping for orders over $100.
Unless you have a unique product that can’t be bought anywhere else, customers will look for another retailer that offers free shipping. Outdoor retailer L.L. Bean is famous for their free shipping policy, and uses the “Shipped for Free” headline on all their webpages.
7. Add upsells, upgrades and add-ons.
It’s awesome when you get a sale, but it’s even better when you can add an upsell. Upsells, upgrades and add-ons are a great way to increase profits. You’re already selling to a customer that wants and likes your products. It’s the perfect time to give them the opportunity to buy a little more from you, generally at a reduced price or special discount.
Send Owl, a digital e-commerce platform, allows sellers to add upsells and cross-sells. This allows retailers to offer customers an additional sale opportunity at exactly the right time.
Start Planning for Cyber Monday Now!
Shoppers will be clicking away on Cyber Monday. So, start planning now if you want a piece of the action. Regardless of what strategies you add to your marketing plan, time is of the essence.
Cyber Monday is a golden opportunity to take your business to an entirely new level. With the right strategy, any online retailer can profit from this once-a-year shopping opportunity.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Liesha Petrovich is the creator of Micro Business Essentials, a blog dedicated to helping women balance their business and their crazy life. In her free time, she’s working on a Doctorate in Entrepreneurship. Grab a copy of Preventing Business Fires, a Mompreneur’s Workbook and follow her on Twitter.
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