Cashing in on Cyber Monday – How to Ensure an Online Business Benefits
Cyber Monday is arguably the most important day of the year for owners of online businesses and presents an unrivaled opportunity that ought to be capitalized upon. Falling on the first Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, Cyber Monday is traditionally one day of the year that sees some of the highest levels of online spending. The theory behind Cyber Monday is that, with the Thanksgiving break out of the way, people turn their attention to Christmas, beginning to purchase gifts and holiday essentials and ordering online in plenty of time to ensure a timely delivery.
How Can Online Businesses Prepare For Cyber Monday?
There are a range of things online businesses can do in advance of Cyber Monday to maximize their chances of benefitting from this online shopping frenzy. Failing to prepare for the phenomenon can not only damage profit margins but can also harm a company if customers are left disappointed by their Cyber Monday online shopping experience and fail to return.
Pre-Cyber Monday Marketing is a Must
One thing all online retail businesses should be doing in advance of Cyber Monday’s arrival is implanting themselves in the consciousness of the consumer. Companies with an up-to-date mailing list should ensure that they are sending out a regular and relevant newsletter to customers, sowing the seed of a sale well in advance of the day itself. Newsletters should accurately reflect the perceived needs of the target consumer, offering examples of enticing goods. It is a good idea for online companies to do a final mail shot with an overt holiday theme on Cyber Monday itself. This can help link a company’s brand with the concept of the holidays in the consumer’s mind, subconsciously directing them towards the site when they start to shop.
Present Up-selling as Offers
Cyber Monday consumers like to know they are getting a bargain, while it is the seller’s responsibility to maximize the online spend for each visitor. One great way of satisfying both of these needs is to create offers that promote further purchases. A good example is to create a pool of ‘Three for Two’ purchases, which allow Cyber Monday shoppers who come to the site looking for one item to be tempted into making a second purchase with the promise of a third item free of charge. Selecting the products included in the ‘Three for Two’ offer carefully can protect profit margins – with the cost price of the third item covered by the existing the mark-up on the first two purchases.
Utilize Social Networking
If a company already has a social networking presence, then the lead-up to Cyber Monday is a great time to put this to use. Update Facebook pages and Twitter accounts with details of pertinent products such as gifts and holiday essentials – presenting the items as must-haves for the festive season and creating a buzz around them that will remain in shoppers’ memories when Cyber Monday arrives. Both Facebook and Twitter can be used to give out information on special offers. Creating small discounts for followers and friends, using discount codes released exclusively on social networking sites, can also be a good way of tempting customers to spend on the site come Cyber Monday
Ensure Stock Levels Can Cope
A final key preparation for the Cyber Monday rush is to ensure that stock levels are sufficient to cover demand. There is no point in companies attracting shoppers to the site only for them to be informed that a product they wish to purchase is out of stock and unavailable – not only will they take their business elsewhere on Cyber Monday but they are also unlikely to return for purchases on other dates.
Capitalize on New Customers
While the prime focus of Cyber Monday will be to drive sales from online shopping sites, internet retailers should also use this opportunity to build their customer base. Featuring a prominent newsletter sign-up (and even offering a small incentive such as a discount code for those that use it) can help companies gather customer details for future marketing purposes. Companies may wish to create a small checkout questionnaire for new customers to help them target future mail shots and offers, helping them to capitalize on Cyber Monday customers throughout the coming year.