Mark your calendars! Cyber Monday is December 1st and trust us when we say summer is not too early to start planning. If online shopping trends are any indication, Cyber Monday 2014 will reach an all time high. Last year, sales on Cyber Monday set a new one-day record, up more than 20 percent from the year before.
It’s all about inventory
Do you have products that traditionally sell well around the holidays or will you be promoting items that make great gifts? If so, prepare now to make sure you’ll have enough to fulfill Cyber Monday orders quickly. Surveys show product availability is one of the top factors influencing holiday shoppers. Adequate stock is also key to delivering gifts on time, a factor that is more important at Christmas than any other time of the year. This graph from the National Retail Federation gives you an idea of what sells the most on Cyber Monday.
Make sure your website is ready
If you have an online store, make sure it will be ready to handle higher traffic on Cyber Monday. Consider asking your server host to temporarily expand your website bandwidth during the holidays. It’s also a good time to double check the security of your website and payment processing reliability.
Build a holiday marketing plan
Now is the time to start thinking about creating a holiday gift guide for your home page and social media campaigns. Decide what products you will feature that would make great Christmas gifts and plan to have extra inventory available. Start thinking now about designing a gift guide page with a holiday theme or specific gift suggestions, similar to Amazon’s Gift Central below.
Shoppers want a deal
With all of the competition online, plan to offer a discount or promotion to get the attention of Cyber Monday shoppers. Making decisions now about the deals you will offer will help you prepare financially and make sure the inventory you need will be in stock in December.
Here are some common discount types to consider:
Dollar or percentage off – This is probably the most widely used and easy to implement discount. You can apply it to specific products or entire orders.
BOGO – “Buy one get one free” or “Buy one get one 50% off'” can be an effective deal to offer.
Free Shipping – It’s practically becoming the norm online, especially on busy shopping days like Cyber Monday. Find out why more online sellers are offering free shipping.
Quantity Discounts – These encourage shoppers to increase their overall order value to qualify for a discount. For example, “Receive 20% off your purchase of $100 dollars or more.”
On Amazon alone, customers ordered a total of 37 million items on Cyber Monday last year, up a whopping 39 percent from the year prior. Planning ahead will help increase sales and create a better customer experience…which can turn Christmas shoppers into loyal buyers after the holidays!