Cyber Monday on keyboard

Have you ever walked down an aisle at Target in the middle of August and wondered why there were already Christmas garlands being stocked? It look ridiculous, right? Who plans for holiday shopping that far ahead? As overwhelming as the dizzying red and green panorama of holiday gear feels, it’s actually smart to prepare early. Take a tip from the successful web retailers who plan for Christmas in July, and start getting ready for the infamous – Cyber Monday. With a record breaking $2.29 billion in sales last year, Cyber Monday is quickly becoming an online seller’s ultimate holiday- but only if you plan ahead.

Follow these five tips for Cyber Monday preparation, and don’t sweat. We’ll arm you with everything you need to maximize sales and minimize stress.

1. Plan Ahead

Yeah, I know. We just told you that. What we mean here is coming up with a plan for how, where, and when you want to advertise your deals for Cyber Monday. You should start talking about your promotions and sales a solid week before Cyber Monday- this will create hype around your products, while also being time sensitive. If you start talking about deals too soon, the excitement around your discounts can loose some steam, and buyers may get distracted by another store’s sales. If it helps, create a chart to help you stay on track for when and where you want to post on social media to promote your deals. We created a sample chart below to give you an example:


Download this template to get started on your plan.

2. Give Buyers a Deadline

Run time sensitive sales for your store. Make some deals only available until midnight- others only available for one hour, starting at 9 am (or whenever you think your market will be the most attentive). This will create a sense of urgency, and shoppers will buy. They will feel that pressure mingled with the excitement of being able to score that deal, and it will encourage their purchase.

3. Show Preference

Get choosy on your social media, and give special bonus discounts only to followers who repost your product. Pick a product that traditionally sells well, or is a new item in your inventory, and post it to your social media accounts. Alert your followers that for every repin or repost, they’ll receive an additional percentage off at checkout. Neiman Marcus did this for a new Rebecca Minkoff bag they were launching in stores, and offered  a discounted price to Pinterest followers who repined the bag. As a result, their pinning activity increased by 32% and they gained 3,000 new Pinterest followers. It broadened their audience, as well as gave followers an incentive to follow through with purchase. The campaign was so successful, they’re doing it again. Showing preference for shoppers who repost your media gives them the extra push to buy, and gains you some free PR. It’s a win-win.

4. Get Graphic

Speaking of those social media specific promos, start working on how you want them to look now. Plan ahead for store banners, a new Facebook cover photo, the design of your social media pics, and whatever else you plan to post. Use photo editors to make sure your products look clean and enticing. Additionally, it will help if there’s a common design theme among your new banners and graphics. Think carefully about what colors you want to use, and why. Reread our post on Color Theory to figure out which colors encourage feelings of excitement, urgency, and make shoppers want to click “buy.”

5. Make Checkout Easy & Cheap

Its no secret- the world of online shopping is quickly moving towards free shipping. Customers want what they want, when they want it, and for no additional cost to them. Many sellers are adding free shipping options to their checkout, and with good reason. In a 2014 study, shoppers voted free shipping as their number one priority when buying online, beating out all other options at a staggering 81%. If free shipping year-round is not plausible for you, consider offering it alongside Cyber Monday deals. Competitors will also be slashing prices- free shipping could be the differentiator between you, and them. Advertise your plan to offer free shipping. Buyers will take notice.

We hope this list helps you feel some ease when it comes to preparing for Cyber Monday. We’ll continue posting checklists and tips to get you game-ready for the big day. If you start now, you’ll be miles ahead of the competition when Black Friday fades and Monday dawns.

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