Get ready Web shop owners: Cyber Monday is approaching faster than you can add a gift to your cart and click checkout. And, while analysts are predicting moderate growth this year for the Monday after Thanksgiving, around 2.4 percent compared to 12. 3 last year, according to one survey by BDO Seidman, people are still going to be buying gifts for the holiday season and many start their shopping that day. And, after all, any spike in shopper traffic is worth capitalizing on — but to do so, you have to be ready.
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To help, we're offering our Cyber Monday care package for e-commerce businesses that includes marketing tips, eBay specific strategies and resources for ensuring maximum site performance and optimal customer service.
First we'll cover general Cyber Monday marketing tips, then go over specific ways Shop.org, credited with coining the term in the first place, can help. Next, we'll outline recommendations for optimizing your feeds to shopping comparison engines, followed by advice for eBay sellers.
We'll also provide some resources for those concerned about how their site will handle increased traffic and for those needing help tracking site performance.
Finally, for e-tailers expecting lots of calls and questions from customers this time of year, we suggest some customer care services. All of this information will help your virtual cash register ring on Cyber Monday, and much of it carries over through to the New Year, so read on and happy selling.
Cyber Monday Marketing for More Money
Justin Palmer, of Palmer Web Marketing, offers his top 10 tips for providing incentives for your customers to make a purchase. Here they are:
- Share the Love, Spread it Out: One-day sales are great for everyone, except your fulfillment staff. In order to prevent hysteria for your customer service staff, run the sale over a few days rather than one day only. This also will allow time for customer viral marketing to kick in.
- Create Product Bundles: The value of a product bundle can be perceived as greater than the sum of its part because you are conveniently creating a one stop gift.
- Use your Customers for Viral Marketing: Take to the opportunity to capitalize on this huge traffic surge to encourage customer viral marketing. On your emails and landing pages for whatever promotion you run, include a link to a tell a friend form where shoppers can email your special to friends and family.
- Blow Out Loss Leaders: A very traditional strategy, but I've found it works well online. Most of the time, customers will buy additional full-price merchandise, especially when they realize they have to pay shipping anyway.
- Free Gift at Threshold Above Average Order: Give away some sort of gift item once customers reach a certain threshold. In order to determine the threshold, take a look at your average order on last year's Cyber Monday and increase it a bit. However, make sure the gift warrants spending that much.
- Cyber Monday Promotions: If you doing something really noteworthy, you may want to highlight it on the official Cyber Monday deal site run by Shop.org. Many prominent brands feature promotions there all year round, not just Cyber Monday.
- Random "Blue Light" Specials: Randomly highlight items throughout the day on your site. Better yet, highlight different items everyday through the holiday season to keep people coming back.
- Send Two Reminder E-Mails: For whatever promotion you run, make sure you keep your company top of mind after the Thanksgiving holiday. There will be a ton of marketing emails floating around, so you may want to send an initial email right before or after Thanksgiving. Then follow up with another right as the sale begins.
- Give Store Credit, Not Discounts: Don't give away the farm by offering outrageous discounts on your products if you don't have to. Consider offering store credit in the form an online gift certificate that can be used towards a future purchase. For example, rather than offering a $25 discount, offer a $50 store credit. Incentives like these tend to cost less, and they may actually be more attractive to your repeat buyers.
- Repeat Customer Discounts: Capitalize off the huge amount of traffic you'll be receiving by offering an incentive for the next purchase. While Cyber Monday sales are great, you really want consistent customers who will order all year long, even when there are no special offers. Try sending out a follow up e-mail with a gift certificate or coupon code to everyone who makes a purchase.
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