As an ecommerce retailer, you know the significance of Cyber Monday. Every year, on the first Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, millions of shoppers flock to online retailers in search of the best deals of the holiday shopping season. Cyber Monday sales are a boon for customers, and they offer opportunities as well as challenges for retailers. As a business owner, you want to capture sales volume from this huge online shopping event, but only by offering Cyber Monday deals that contribute to your bottom line.
If you’re an online retailer considering a Cyber Monday sale, read on to learn how to make the endeavor profitable and sustainable.
What is Cyber Monday?
The term Cyber Monday refers to the online sales offered by ecommerce retailers on the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend. The term itself dates to a 2005 campaign by the National Retail Federation as a way to encourage consumers to shop online. The days after Thanksgiving were already known as the unofficial kickoff of the Christmas shopping season and were headlined by Black Friday.
For decades, brick-and-mortar stores offered Black Friday sales to attract customers and encourage them to spend. Cyber Monday seeks to do the same thing for online retailers. It is now the United States’ biggest online shopping day of the year. The biggest shopping day worldwide is Singles’ Day, a huge event in China. In 2022, 77 million people shopped online on Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation. Some 59% of online Cyber Monday shoppers used their mobile device, the most on record.
Benefits of participating in Cyber Monday
- Increased sales and revenue
- Customer acquisition and retention
- Clearing old inventory
- Brand exposure
- Marketing opportunities
- Data collection and marketing insights
- Incentive to improve your ecommerce experience
As an ecommerce retailer, you stand to benefit from Cyber Monday. Whether you offer major sales or small discounts, there are several key ways Cyber Monday can help your business:
1. Increased sales and revenue
Cyber Monday generates a significant surge in online shopping. By offering discounts and deals, you can attract a large number of bargain hunters. This additional traffic can lead to higher sales volume and more revenue. For this reason, many retailers extend Cyber Monday deals for several days, going so far as to offer an entire Cyber Week of discounts.
2. Customer acquisition and retention
Cyber Monday can help you attract new customers who weren’t previously aware of your business and its products. Offering competitive deals can entice first-time buyers to make a purchase, potentially converting them into loyal customers. By extending exclusive Cyber Monday discounts to existing customers, you can increase goodwill and boost long-term customer retention. What starts as a retail sale on a late November Monday can blossom into a years-long relationship between your business and a customer.
3. Clearing old inventory
It’s an open industry secret that retailers use Cyber Monday to clear out excess or older inventory. Offering discounts on these items can free up valuable storage space for new products and help you prevent overstocking. This particularly benefits small businesses with limited space for warehousing inventory.
4. Brand exposure
Offering Cyber Monday deals can increase brand awareness, even among people who don’t end up buying from you during the Cyber Monday week. By offering enticing discounts, you can capture the attention of a broader audience and gain more social media mentions, reviews, and word-of-mouth referrals.
5. Marketing opportunities
Go beyond word-of-mouth marketing by creating targeted campaigns for Cyber Monday. These can include paid search advertising, video ads, social media marketing, and email marketing campaigns, among other tactics. Cyber Monday marketing gives you a chance to appeal to both your most loyal customers and a wider audience, including inactive customers who have been waiting for a sale.
6. Data collection and marketing insights
Online sales events like Cyber Monday can provide you with an opportunity to collect data about consumer behavior and preferences. By analyzing shopping patterns, you can gain insights into what products are most popular, which marketing strategies are effective, and how to tailor your offerings to capture more online spending.
7. Incentive to improve the ecommerce experience
As you prepare for Cyber Monday, you may decide to adopt new technologies and enhance your site’s user experience (UX). For instance, you could invest in more server space to improve website performance or implement a personalized recommendation algorithm to encourage more purchases. You might also upgrade the mobile version of your online store to tap into the ever-expanding mobile shopping market.
How to prepare for Cyber Monday
- Offer appealing discounts
- Audit your ecommerce store
- Ensure you’re leasing enough hosting space
- Optimize your site for mobile
- Check your inventory management
- Staff up your customer support
- Take extra security measures
- Evaluate site performance
A successful Cyber Monday requires careful planning and execution. Here are some tips to help maximize your Cyber Monday:
1. Offer appealing discounts
Many shoppers approach Cyber Monday expecting deep discounts on big ticket items. You don’t necessarily have to offer jaw-dropping sales to win customers, but with so much competition, it’s wise to offer at least some sort of deal. Among other pricing strategies, you may offer buy one, get one deals to encourage larger shopping cart totals. Consider using a strategy like loss leader pricing, where you incur a loss by selling one item at a major discount with the expectation that you’ll more than make up for it on a customer’s other purchases.
Discounts drive sales, but if you make them too deep, they’ll cut into your profits. Know the margins on your products so you’re aware of how much you’ll make after discounts are applied.
2. Audit your ecommerce store
In the lead-up to Cyber Monday, audit your website. Look for ways to streamline its layout and improve on-site navigation. You’re aiming for easy browsing and quick access to deals. Use content delivery networks (CDNs) to distribute traffic and improve load times. Make sure the checkout process is smooth and hassle-free. Display shipping thresholds on the homepage or in a header so it’s clear for customers.
3. Ensure you’re leasing enough hosting space
You want to avoid website slowness or a crash, under the crush of Cyber Monday traffic. Ensure your hosting plan can handle the surge. Even the most loyal customers may turn away from their favorite store if its website won’t load. Consider using cloud-based web hosting solutions that can scale as needed.
4. Optimize your site for mobile
Statista reports mobile sales in the US were an estimated $431.4 billion in 2022, and increasing numbers of people are shopping on mobile devices. Ensure your website is fully optimized for mobile commerce. This way, you can serve the large numbers of shoppers who use smartphones and tablets in their hunt for big discounts.
5. Check your inventory management
Monitor inventory levels and update product availability in real-time to avoid disappointing customers with out-of-stock items. Shopify offers top-of-the-line tools for mastering inventory management.
6. Staff up your customer support
Increase customer service staff to handle potential inquiries and address issues promptly. If phone support is not an option, consider using live chat or chatbots to assist customers in real time. To take pressure off staff, make sure your FAQ section is easy to find and updated with common questions shoppers have about your products or brand.
7. Take extra security measures
Protect your site by using SSL certificates to secure customer transactions and personal information. Implement measures to prevent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and other malicious activities. Update all software and plug-ins to patch any vulnerabilities. Reassure shoppers that your site is secure by displaying security badges and other trust signals on your site.
8. Evaluate site performance
Continuously monitor website performance, traffic, and sales data throughout Cyber Monday. You can use tools like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Digital Insights, and your own web hosting platform’s analytics tools. If you run your ecommerce store with Shopify, you can take advantage of the platform’s built-in analytics functionality and various third-party analytics apps from the Shopify App Store.
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Cyber Monday FAQ
What’s the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Black Friday is a retail sales event that takes place on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It centers around brick-and-mortar stores. Cyber Monday takes place on the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend. It centers around online shopping.
What are popular product categories that customers look for on Cyber Monday?
Many customers shop for big-ticket items, like appliances, as well as clothing, electronics, and household goods.
Should I offer discounts exclusively for Cyber Monday?
Many retailers find benefits in offering deals and discounts that are exclusive to Cyber Monday. Limited-time discounts can motivate buyers to make purchases in the moment.
Are online sales on Cyber Monday typically higher compared to other days?
Retail sales data indicates that, in the United States, Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year by total revenue. In 2022, Cyber Monday resulted in $11.3 billion in sales, according to Adobe Analytics.