It’s just over a week away, after we’ve all wrapped up the Thanksgiving leftovers and weathered the Black Friday stampedes: Cyber Monday. This new-fangled sales holiday – December 1st this year – can be a dream come true for marketers and businesses, since it’s a timely and popular way to kick off the holiday sales push. However, it can also be a bit of a nightmare, since you’ll be competing with many other great offers and discounts. Not to mention the pressure to get it right so that the upcoming holiday month starts off on the right foot!
Not all eCommerce companies are well-suited to offer a Cyber Monday discount or special, but for most businesses it can work when done right. A few tips to get you started in the right direction:
1. Keep It Simple
Potential customers are going to be bombarded with offers from all sides on Cyber Monday, so you’ll need to stand out even if you only get a few seconds of their attention. Whether it’s an email offer, a social media post, or something you’ve publicized elsewhere, you won’t have space, and customers won’t have time, for lots of details.
Short and simple offers are best: think freebies, percent off discounts, cash off discounts, BOGO offers, free shipping. Consider offering sitewide discounts or free shipping to anyone who purchases on that day, without requiring a voucher code. You’ll be smoothing out your sales funnel for new and returning customers, so don’t slow them up with codes if you can help it.
Whatever you do, keep fine print to a minimum. Don’t make online buyers jump through hoops. On a day with so many great offers, customers will probably just skip your deal altogether, rather than read through a landing page or email full of “only valid with purchase of…” or “discount applies to purchases over…”
2. Test and Test Again
Trust me, I speak from experience (an experience that haunts me). If you offer a great deal that really increases your site traffic, you really, really want to make sure that your site can handle that traffic. I have seen truly bizarre malfunctions from overtaxed webshops, from price glitches to credit cards being charged multiple times (a true customer service nightmare). Talk to your website backend guru or team, double check on your server capacity, and make sure everyone on that side knows what might be coming.
Related Class: E-commerce Testing to Dramatically Lift Sales
Since Cyber Monday has really caught on in the last few years, offers are often picked up by discount sites, tweeted and retweeted, and shared by pages and social media channels that specialize in spreading deals around the internet. You might feel like your offer is just for your Facebook friends or Twitter followers, but it may not stay that way! Prepare for more traffic in case you see a lot of shares.
If you choose to use voucher or promotional codes, be sure to test them as well – hell hath no fury like a customer whose voucher code didn’t work on Cyber Monday.
3. Focus Your Efforts
For the average business, Cyber Monday isn’t a great opportunity to reach brand new leads from all corners of the internet. Instead, it’s a great opportunity to get your qualified leads to finally purchase, and to re-engage with stagnant leads and past customers. Think about it: the chances of meeting a brand new prospective buyer, showing them what you have on offer, and convincing them to buy at a discount right away – all in one day – are relatively slim.
If you have limited marketing means (and who doesn’t), focus your attention on current and past leads, your mailing list, and your social media followers. Targeting these groups will allow you to spread your message widely, without wasting energy on people who will never be your demographic or need/want what you’re selling. Have a dedicated sales team or person? They should be hitting the pavement (or phone, or email) to talk to leads about the special offer they can’t miss on Monday.
Related Class: Mastering the Facebook Sales Funnel
And please, don’t wait till Cyber Monday to get started. Marketing should be activating your mailing list and social media followers by laying the groundwork ahead of time. In the coming week, everyone on your email list, and anyone who likes your Facebook page, or follows your business on Twitter, Instagram or Google+ should know about the deal or freebie you have prepared for December 1st. Unfortunately you have a big hole in the middle of the week – Thanksgiving – when people aren’t likely to be deal hunting or even checking their email often, so get started early and post often if you want to catch everyone in between busy holiday plans.
Don’t wait on this if you’re hoping to capitalize on Cyber Monday – sit down with your marketing and sales team tomorrow and plan out your week, with clear goals for sales and leads. If you choose a simple offer, get it out to the right people, and prepare for it on the technical side, December 1st can be the first big day of what will ideally be a big month for your sales.