Preparing for Cyber Monday’s Online Sales - 4 Ecommerce Tips for Merchants
Since its introduction in 2005, Cyber Monday has become the biggest day for online sales. Immediately following Black Friday, consumers are in “shopping mode” and want to continue purchasing any goods that couldn’t be acquired during Black Friday sales. Online shopping during Cyber Monday helps fill this need to complete their yearly holiday purchasing.
So, with millions being spent online during Cyber Monday, online merchants need to get ready to take advantage of the shopping rush. The following 4 ecommerce tips can help merchants make the most out of this relatively new consumer holiday.
1) Bring customers in.
Getting visitors to your site is the key element to a successful holiday sale. If you don’t have potential shoppers visiting your online store during this season, you won’t have the opportunity to expose them to your Cyber Monday deals.
A couple of quick and easy-to-implement suggestions to get traffic to your store are:
- Email Campaign. Send a newsletter to all of your existing customers announcing your upcoming deals for Cyber Monday. It’s best to send an email 1 or 2 days before Black Friday; followed by a second volley early on Cyber Monday morning.
- Affiliate Marketing. Sign up for a Shareasale.com account. It’s a simple process and allows you to submit your website (along with any special promotion deals you might be running), to a collection of affiliates. Use this to offer the affiliates a good commission in exchange for promoting your website.
- Ad Campaign. Launch a highly targeted ad campaign that concentrates on your market specifically or promotes a specific product. If you haven’t advertised on Google Adwords before, you can start within minutes with up to a $75 credit.
- Comparison Shopping Engines. Get your products listed on Google Shopping and Bing shopping. These can generate immediate traffic to your store.
2) Get their attention.
First impressions count, and once the rushed holiday shoppers hit your site, you only have a couple of seconds to get their attention before they move on to the next online store.
Your website’s home and landing pages should capture and retain your visitors’ attentions. At this point you need to make clear why visitors should order from your website and not from a competitor. Keep these ideas in mind when optimizing your site.
- Sell At Cost. Retail chains often advertise products at cost or even at a loss in order to get consumers through the door. Apply the same principle to your online store and select some items that you can afford to lose profit on. The idea is to entice your visitors into staying long enough to purchase your goods and see what else you have to offer.
- Targeted Lists of Products. Get your visitors’ attentions by putting together a special collection of merchandise like: Gifts under $10, Gifts for Him/Gifts for Her, Unique Gifts, Etc.Think of these lists as an end-cap along the aisle of your favorite retail shop. By providing this information you’re adding value to your site and giving shoppers a reason to browse your selection of products.
- Added Value Promotions. Studies have shown that promotions which include a material reward such as a free gift, gift certificates, or store credit; are perceived as a better value by shoppers over a percentage or dollar discount. The logic behind this theory is that a monetary discount is essentially used during the purchase at hand and may be soon forgotten; whereas a material reward is seen as something that is added to the purchase.Use this basic consumer behavior to your advantage. Create promotions which offer a physical value to their purchases and help drive traffic to your site
- Trust and Security. Reinforce the feeling of trust and security your customers experience while shopping your store. Show clear privacy and trust marks, offer quick processing time, display your phone and address information clearly and make your business accessible to your visitors. This is one of the main deciding factors online shoppers use when choosing one online shop over a competitor. Our suggestions include using a dedicated SSL Certificate and any of the various Security Seals available for use on your site.
3) Maximize average order value.
By offering unique products, items at cost and special promotions, you’ll be able to turn visitors into customers. Make sure every order counts and gently direct your customers into increasing the average value of their orders.
The following suggestions can help you to achieve this,
- Free Shipping at Threshold. Keep in mind that holiday shoppers will expect free shipping deals. As a merchant you should definitely offer free shipping for holiday sales. However, you should also include additional parameters on the deal to increase your sales.For example, offer Free Shipping after a specific order amount is reached. This way, it’s part of the promotion but also requires visitors to increase the amount of their order.
- Free Gift at Threshold. Similar to the above, but in this case you would give away some type of gift item once customers reach a specific order amount. Again, the logic is to offer some sort of incentive for the customer to spend more.
- Bundle up items. Offer additional savings when buying 2 or more items from the same category. Offering $5 off on additional products when ordering one item is always an effective strategy. For example, “Order a flashlight and get $1 off a battery pack”.
4) Increase your customer base.
Get the most out of the increase in traffic you’ll be receiving by offering an incentive for the next purchase. Consider that Cyber Monday sales only represent the beginning of the holiday season, so, you really want satisfied and consistent customers who will order again from your website, even when there are no special offers.
Try some of these suggestions:
- At Checkout. When online shoppers find what they consider to be a good deal, they feel proud of it and want to share with others. Use the Thank You page and confirmation emails to ask for referrals, or perhaps offer an incentive for recommending a friend.
- After Checkout. Schedule a follow up email a week after the order has been shipped and include a gift certificate or coupon code for their next order. This will allow you to effectively thank the customer for their purchase and openly invite them to return.
- Future Incentive. Make a rewards program part of your online store, give shoppers points for each orders. Customers will likely come back to your store knowing they already earned some points on their previous purchases.
Each of these suggestions will contribute greatly to your returns for this holiday shopping season and help you take advantage of everything Cyber Monday has to offer Online Merchants