It's that time of year again! Small businesses across the globe are preparing for the holiday season and one of the biggest shopping days of the year - Cyber Monday.
In 2021, Cyber Monday totaled $62 billion in online sales in the US, with one-in-three shoppers choosing online retailers over brick-and-mortar locations. Globally, Cyber Monday set a new record as the largest online shopping day in history, with sales reaching $275 billion. Just like Black Friday, Cyber Monday is only getting bigger each year, so if you're a small business owner, it's time to start preparing for this huge shopping event!
In this post, we'll go over eight tips to help small businesses prepare for Cyber Monday. You will gain insights on how to stand out amongst the competition, what type of deals and promotions to offer, how to better prepare your website, some helpful marketing management tips, and more.
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What is Cyber Monday?
To understand how to best take advantage of this ecommerce event, we first need to understand what it is and where it came from. The term "Cyber Monday" was coined in 2005 by Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation and Scott Silverman of Shop.org. They noticed that more and more people were shopping online on the Monday after Thanksgiving and taking advantage of their high-speed internet connections at work to do so.
As a result, businesses began to market heavily to consumers on this day, offering special deals and promotions - and it paid off. Cyber Monday sales have grown steadily year on year, from just $1 Billion in 2010 to $62 Billion in the last year. It is a major sales day for retailers across the country and a great opportunity for small businesses to take advantage of Cyber Monday’s online shopping boom.
Cyber Monday Ideas for Small Businesses
While Cyber Monday is the perfect time to grow your small business and offer your products and services to consumers at a discounted price - if you're not adequately prepared, you might find yourself getting lost in the crowd. To make the most out of your Cyber Monday promotions, consider the following.
Prepare Your Website
You should first make sure that your ecommerce website is prepared for the influx of traffic. This means ensuring that your website is loading quickly and that you have enough bandwidth to handle the increased volume. If you sell on Amazon, make sure to update your product listings with holiday photos and messaging. A tool like Listing quality check for Amazon can highlight areas for improvement.
Increase Your Reviews
Reviews are a key factor in driving conversions, so make sure that you have plenty of positive reviews on your website and social media platforms. Remember, you can incorporate the best Cyber Monday ideas of any small business out there, but if your website is slow or there are no reviews, potential customers will quickly click away.
Plan Your Promotions
You should consider getting some updated photos of your products to post on social media. Prepare writeups for holiday content well in advance. Amazon sellers should make sure to take advantage of Sponsored Products and other advertising campaigns. You can also use Amazon's Vine program to get your products in front of influencers who help promote your products to their followers.
Tools like PPC Optimizer for Amazon can help you run cost effective ad campaigns. Remember to set up competitor targeting on your Amazon competitors so that if they have a huge promotion, you can borrow some of their clicks!
How to Set Your Small Business Up for Success on Cyber Monday
Now that we've gone over some of the basics of preparing for Cyber Monday, let's dive into some specific tips and advanced ideas that will help your small business succeed on Cyber Monday. We will cover everything from stocking up on inventory to putting together amazing Cyber Monday deals.
Tip 1 - Stock Up on Popular Products
You need to make sure that you have enough inventory on hand to meet the demand of Cyber Monday shoppers. This means stocking up on your best-selling products as well as any seasonal items that might be popular during this time of year. Keep in mind that many shoppers start their holiday shopping on Cyber Monday, so you want to make sure that you have enough inventory to last until Christmas.
If you're not sure what products will be popular this Cyber Monday, take a look at your sales data from previous years. This will give you a good idea of which products are in high demand and which ones you should make sure to stock up on. You can also look at trends in the industry to see which products are becoming popular and might be in high demand this Cyber Monday.
Tip 2 - Expand Your Delivery and Pickup Options
If you're new to ecommerce, you might not have a lot of experience with shipping and delivery. It's time to get up to speed on these topics, as they will be crucial to your small business’ success on Cyber Monday. Options you should consider include:
- Offer free shipping on all orders.
- Offer expedited shipping at discounted rates.
- Have tracking information set up so that customers know when to expect them.
Tracking is a key customer service element that will help keep your customers happy and reduce the number of customer support issues you have to deal with.
Tip 3 - Create Exciting Cyber Monday Deals
The key for a small business to succeed on Cyber Monday is to create deals that are too good to pass up. Remember, the whole point of this shopping holiday is to get shoppers to spend money, so you need to make sure that your deals are enticing enough to get people to open their wallets.
Popular product discounts
One way to create great deals is to offer discounts on popular products that will be in high demand on Cyber Monday. A separate landing page can be created for exclusive Cyber Monday deals.
You can also bundle products together to create value-packed deals that shoppers can't resist. For example, you could create a holiday gift bundle that includes a few of your best-selling products.
Highlight savings to customers
Consider including screenshots from similar vendors to show what kind of savings your customers will get by shopping with you. This makes it easy for shoppers to see the value in buying from you.
Tip 4 - Social Media and Email Marketing Management
As you get closer to Cyber Monday, you need to start ramping up your marketing management efforts. This is the time to really start pushing your small business’ Cyber Monday deals and getting the word out about your store.
Create social media posts that highlight your best Cyber Monday deals, and make sure to use relevant hashtags. You should also run social media ads and email marketing campaigns. Create a special email that highlights your best deals and send it out to your list a few days before Cyber Monday. You can include a link to your Cyber Monday landing page in your email signature.
Tip 5 - Influencer Campaigns
Contact influencers of all sizes to help share about your upcoming deals. These relationships can be as simple as sending them the product and asking for feedback to planning an Amazon Live Stream where they link directly to your product page!
Tips for Improving Your Cyber Monday Sales
While preparation is a key part of success on Cyber Monday, you'll need to have a solid plan for converting your prospects into paying customers. Let's dive deeper into some strategies you can use to make the most out of Cyber Monday.
Tip 1 - Give Gifts/Gift Cards with Every Purchase
Customers love getting something for free, so consider offering a free gift or gift card to boost Cyber Monday sales. If you're not sure what kind of gifts to offer, think about your target audience and what they would appreciate. You can also offer a variety of different gifts so that customers can choose the one that they want. This will not only promote customer loyalty, but will also help you move more inventory. A win-win!
If you have a way to engage the customer with a subscription, this is the perfect time to push those subscriptions. Lead in with 10-20% off their first order along with a free gift, then give them off 10% for life on the subscription. This creates a beautiful raving fan that will speak your phrases for years to come.
Tip 2 - Ship Promptly
This goes back to our first tip - preparation is key. Make sure that you're prepared to ship orders quickly and efficiently on Cyber Monday. One way to do this is to use a fulfillment service like Shipstation. They can help you automate your shipping process and make it easier to get orders out the door quickly. It's also important to set realistic expectations for your customers. Let them know how long it will take for their orders to ship, and make sure that you stick to that timeline. Prompt shipping is one of the best ways to create happy customers who will come back and shop with you again.
Tip 3 - Prevent Cart Abandonment
Shopping carts are abandoned all the time, but on Cyber Monday, the abandonment rate is likely to be even higher. This is because shoppers are often looking for the best deal, and they may be tempted to abandon their cart if they think they can find a better deal elsewhere. There are a few things you can do to prevent cart abandonment on Cyber Monday.
- Make sure that your website is running smoothly and that there are no technical issues.
- Offer a variety of payment options so that shoppers can choose the one that's best for them.
- Send a reminder email to shoppers who have abandoned their carts.
This email should highlight the items in their cart and offer a discount or incentive to encourage them to complete their purchase.
Tip 4 - Provide Responsible Customer Support
On Cyber Monday (and every day), it's important to treat your customers well and resolve any issues they may have. This includes being responsive to customer questions and concerns, offering refunds or replacements when necessary, and generally going above and beyond to make sure your customers are happy. Happy customers are loyal customers, so make sure you're providing the best possible customer support on Cyber Monday (and, well, every day).
After the Holiday, look for ways to keep these new customers engaged. On Amazon, you can use the remarketing functions in Amazon advertising and in DSP. On your website, you can remarket through paid ads, plus you get to use your new email list to do a drip campaign to keep them engaged until their next purchase.
And there you have it! You can succeed on Cyber Monday by planning for it in advance. Stock up on products, expand your shipping options, and plan out deals and discounts. Start your social media and email marketing campaigns in time by keeping all the content, graphics and landing pages ready. Throw in specials like a small gift, discounted bundles, or free express shipping. Set up resources to provide solid customer service despite increased inquiries and orders. Use automation to follow up on customers who ask questions or abandon loaded carts.
These are just a few tips to help you make the most out of the holiday. By following these tips, you can boost your sales and create happy, loyal customers. Repeat business and growth can be enjoyed by successful small businesses even after Cyber Monday. Happy selling!
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Now that you know how to boost sales on Cyber Monday, you may be wondering how to best prepare for the rest of the holiday season. Read our Complete Holiday Season Seller Guide and watch your profits climb!