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Cyber Monday Madness: Is Your Ecommerce Business Ready?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday might be American holidays, but with Christmas just around the corner, marketers can expect this holiday weekend to be a busy one for many online retailers.

The holiday season is comprised of more than just a few days; it actually consists of 60 days, starting in November through to the end of December. This means that marketers aren't preparing for a sprint, but a marathon. Consumers begin searching for deals before Halloween is even over, which means that marketers need to have their holiday campaigns and offers ready to launch as soon as the trick-or-treaters have retired their costumes.

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Quick holiday stats

  • Cyber Monday sales are expected to hit $3 billion this year, followed by Black Friday sales of $2.7 billion.
  • Customers will see an average discount of 27 percent.
  • The combined ecommerce revenue of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is 9.5 percent. The other 58 days of the official holiday season make up the remaining 90.5 percent.
  • In 2014, 1/4 of online purchases was completed on a mobile device, which was up from just over 18 percent in 2013.
  • Email marketing accounted for over 27 percent of Black Friday and almost 24 percent of Cyber Monday ecommerce orders in 2014.
  • Effective and timely holiday campaign strategies, with increased spending on actual sale days, resulted in an online customer engagement rate of 30 percent during 2013 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Key takeaways for Cyber Monday

1) Do your research.

What were the dominant marketing trends of the 2014 holiday season, and how can these impact your marketing strategy for this year?

2) Clean up your website!

Make sure customers can find what they're looking for easily. The holidays have a tendency to test people's nerves, and consumers simply don't have the patience do deal with an unorganized or slow website. Make sure your servers are dependable and can handle the influx of orders.

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Image Credit: The Dwelling Tree

3) Are you mobile friendly?

With 1/4 of online purchases made via a mobile device, don't miss out on a piece of the pie because your website isn't mobile friendly.

4) While on the topic of friendly, let's talk about user-friendly.

Is making a purchase as easy as 1-2-3 on your website, or is it more like 1-2-3-4...-10? Customers should be able to add items to their shopping carts with ease and checkout should be a breeze. Consider offering a guest checkout option for new customers who don't have the patience to register for an account on one of the busiest online shopping days of the year. Remembering account information of returning customers will also help speed up the checkout process and give your ecommerce business an edge over competitors who lack such features.

5) Use social media to build hype leading up to the actual sale day.

Consider giving your followers a sneak peek at what they can expect on Cyber Monday or, if you're feeling especially generous, offer up some social media-exclusive deals and coupons that only your followers will receive. Make sure you give yourself roughly a week to start running social media ad campaigns about your upcoming sales. The ad campaigns will help generate buzz about your offers and provide you with an opportunity to engage in conversation with your followers.

Use the Custom Audiences tool on Facebook to target existing audiences and create Lookalike Audiences by finding people who are similar to your best customers. You can also useCustom Audience data from your website to re-target people who have, for example, added items to their shopping cart but haven't completed the checkout. Remind them of the earrings in their shopping cart by showing them ads of the earrings with a matching necklace on Facebook.

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Image Credit: The Gloss

6) Email marketing isn't dead.

We're not saying blast your email list with coupons five times a day leading up to Cyber Monday. Mix up your email marketing by including informational messages about current trends, product features, lifestyle articles, and community stories. Your customers won't feel bombarded with promotions and are actually more likely to open a promotional email when it's mixed in with regular emails.

7) Don't neglect your social media on Cyber Monday.

It might be tempting to lay off your social media on the day of the sale since you've been putting plenty of work into it all week long. Don't! Make sure you have someone monitoring your social media regularly on the day of the sale to answer any customer inquiries or issues as they come up.

Good luck!

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