Is Your E-Commerce Site Prepared for Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday, also known as the Monday after Thanksgiving, has become one of the most coveted shopping days of the year as retailers offer special deals and sales to drive consumers, and their money, online.
Last year in 2016, Cyber Monday sales hit an all-time record with consumers spending $3.45 billion online throughout the day. So even if eCommerce is only a fraction of your revenue, you should prepare to see an influx of traffic and be ready to take advantage of it.
Here are some tips to make sure you’re not only prepared, but in a position to succeed on Cyber Monday.
Make Sure You Can Handle The Traffic
This could apply to physical stores as well, but I’m specifically talking about your website. With so many shoppers going online for Cyber Monday, you’re bound to see an increase in traffic on your site. You’ll need to ensure your site can handle that.
Check with your web host to determine what can be done to increase your site’s bandwidth and prevent any slowdowns. It’s quite possible the web host has already made plans to accommodate Cyber Monday traffic, but it’s worth a call to make sure your site doesn’t crash on the biggest day of the year.
Be Ready for Mobile
If your website isn’t already mobile friendly, or responsive, fix it immediately. It’s a good idea to have a mobile responsive site throughout the year, but especially on Cyber Monday.
The majority of people now choose to browse the internet from mobile phones as opposed to desktop or laptop computers. If your site is difficult to use or see on a mobile screen, your customers may decide to shop elsewhere.
At this point, I hope you already have product images on your site. But if you don’t, make sure you add them before Cyber Monday. Use high quality images from multiple angles to feature the product. If appropriate, post a video of how the product works or looks in motion and post that as well.
And if you have multiple colors or patterns of a product, post at least one photo of each. You want to give consumers a feel for the product they are purchasing. In a way, you are trying to recreate the interaction a consumer has with a product in a physical store.
Know Your Deals
Spend some time to identify what sales you’ll be offering on Cyber Monday. Knowing this well in advance will help you to prepare your website, marketing materials, and inventory. If you plan to offer a discount on a specific product make sure you stock up on inventory and know what your plan is if you run out.
You’ll also be able to market these deals to your existing customer base and, as Cyber Monday gets closer, place advertisements on social media and other sites. However, as you are planning these deals, try not to get carried away. You want to make sure the discount offer is easy to follow and direct.
If you place too many gimmicks around a deal, or have too many offers in general, consumers may become overwhelmed and choose to shop elsewhere. So rather than having 60% off TVs before 10 AM, 33% off phones after 3 PM, and 40% off everything else all day, choose one or two offers that you think will have the biggest impact on sales and stick with them.
Leverage Social Media
Spread the word about your Cyber Monday deals using social media. You can start doing this a few days before Cyber Monday, but make sure you continue to post specific deals with product links to your brand’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Social media makes it easy for customers to share deals and products with their networks which can in turn increase your sales.
However, if you choose to use social media on Cyber Monday make sure you have someone on staff who can continuously monitor comments and direct messages. You don’t want any customer questions or complaints to go unanswered.
Cyber Monday can be a huge day of sales for small and large businesses alike, but you’ll need to spend a little bit of time preparing for it. The tips above are just to help you get started. Make sure you have a plan and talk to your staff about how to handle the increase in sales. The more prepared you are, the more successful Cyber Monday will be.