Must-Read Cyber Monday Business Tips from YFS Magazine

Here are 8 quick tips to consider as you close out the day and manage the weeks ahead.

5. Stay on brand with your messaging

Make sure that your sales messaging is aligned with your overall brand image. For example, if you are a luxury online retailer that specializes in high-end antiques, announcing a deep discount, everything-must-go sale may not resonate well with your audience. Instead, stick with what works and share “exclusive offers.”

Also communicating social proof can go a long way – share testimonials, highlight favorable reviews, and ask customers to share what they love (and hate) about their shopping experience with you. Become a triple threat and use high traffic periods to communicate your brand, create value and gain customer insights.

6. Ramp up and monitor online security

Protect customer data and your infrastructure. “We see businesses that look at cyber attacks like being hit by lightning, thinking, ‘It won’t happen to me,” Marty Meyer, CEO of Corero Network Security, a cyber security company explains. “But if it does, your business might be seriously injured or dead.”

According to Meyer, “a successful attack could spell hours of downtime, long waits for the ISP, and relying on a whole lot of luck to get back up. Small businesses are, unsurprisingly, the ones with the most to lose when a cyberattack occurs: They have the least bandwidth, least secure ecommerce options and, perhaps most importantly, they have the least resources to rely on when an attack occurs.”

Ensure your e-commerce site is protected from security threats and that company computers (including your own) are up-to-date with antivirus, anti-malware and firewall software.

Utilize website performance monitoring tools including Monitor.us, Site24x7, Splunk, and Uptrends to monitor your website, server and transactions from a global and end-user perspective.

7. Be aware of consumer rights

Did you run out of inventory — or possibly find that the surge in sales is creating a long list of back-orders? Keep your customer in mind.

According to the Better Business Bureau, “Federal law requires that orders made by mail, phone or online be shipped by the date promised or, if no delivery time was stated, within 30 days. If the goods aren’t shipped on time, the shopper can cancel and demand a refund. There is no general three-day cancellation right, but consumers do have the right to reject merchandise if it’s defective or was misrepresented.

8. Conduct e-commerce housekeeping

Review your return, terms of use and privacy policies to ensure they’re up-to-date and fair. Let customers know that they are shopping on a secure site by making your trustmarks readily available online.

Lastly, avoid business stress by developing a t0-do list for the week to ensure you can manage a successful Cyber Monday for your small business.

For the holiday season-to-date, according to Comscore, “$13.7 billion has been spent online, marking a 16-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. Black Friday (November 23) saw $1.042 billion in online sales, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2012 and representing a 26-percent increase versus Black Friday 2011. Thanksgiving Day (November 22), while traditionally a lighter day for online holiday spending, achieved a strong 32-percent increase to $633 million.”

As you conduct business during the holiday period, stay current with the latest historical information on sales, employment data and consumer trends from the National Retail Federation. Download the NRF Holiday Survival Kit for free.

Connect with Erica Nicole on Twitter.

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