Cyber Monday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. In 2020, Cyber Monday (CyMon) registered a 45% increase in online business sales compared to 2019. Sure, some of these sales were influenced by the pandemic lockdown. However, the easiness online stores offer over brick-and-mortar stores is still held today.
Experts in the field have claimed that more than a third of U.S. residents will prefer to buy in an online store than a physical store this year. In addition, experts also predicted that this year's online sales could go up to 25% more than last year.
Having a plan for CyMon is a must. Below, you will find some full-proof suggestions to maximize your online store's income this 2021.
1. Start promoting early
The very first suggestion you need to consider is to start promoting your online business as early as the middle of October. More than half of consumers begin their holiday shopping research as early as October. They want to know which stores offer the best prices and compare them against other stores to get the best deal.
Mid-October is the best time to start promoting coupons, newsletters, or even an online catalog with the best deals you will offer for Thanksgiving weekend. With this early campaign, customers can make a prompt decision and, if your prices fit their budget, you will get more sales. Moreover, adding a countdown banner to your website will create expectations and a sense of urgency. Both are great for increasing sales.
2. Double-check site performance
Most people will be discouraged when buying a product online, and the site speed is slow. Basically, a slow site equals low sales. Plus, a third of those customers will not return to a slow website after that interaction.
CyMon is one of the most internet-populated days of the year. And, since it has been adopted by other countries as well, you can expect your site's traffic to overload with people trying to find the best deals. This overload is the reason you need to check your site's speed.
Two or three days before the big day, check your site's health and try to make a purchase as a customer would. Make sure to select a few products and add them to the cart, add a coupon, add a new credit card, select a delivery method, and purchase the items. This demo will give you a live version of what customers will see when purchasing a product. You can also help you identify any errors your webpage presents.
In addition, make sure you have a mobile responsive design and perform load tests. Loading test tools simulate how your website operates when there is heavy traffic.
3. Improve your web page
We are all afraid of what we don't know. So, suppose a webpage is challenging to navigate. In that case, customers will prefer to go to another familiar site rather than understand how a webpage works. This reason is why you must try to improve your webpage before CyMon. Here are a few tips you can implement into your online store:
Payment options. We live in the era of technology. While most of us are still using conventional methods like cash or credit cards, some shoppers prefer digital payment methods such as PayPal, Venmo, or Bitcoin. Try to explore these channels through an expert and, depending on your market, add a few of them.
Shipping options. In the last two years, online sales have skyrocketed, and more people like the idea of getting products delivered to their homes. If you are a local vendor, try to reach out to shipping companies for extra coverage for Cyber Monday and the week after. Also, try to offer overnight or two-day delivery if available. Pick-up at the store is also a great solution.
Make backups. While most of your webpage is in code, consider having a "hard copy" of your product images. In case of a problem, you will always have a backup copy in case the code fails. This suggestion also applies to your homepage banners, recommended products, and general images, like your logo or icons.
4. Be descriptive
In real estate, everything comes down to location. Similarly, in an online store, everything comes down to the description. A product's description is just as important as the product's photographs. You can find some suggestions below to up the description of your articles.
Plan ahead. The first thing you would want to do is check your last year's sales. These sales can give you a perspective on which products sold the most and those you should apply discounts to. Moreover, you can create special Cyber Monday bundles too!
Improve your homepage. As mentioned above, a countdown banner is a perfect tool to add to your homepage. Another great tip is to display discounts. By displaying deals on your homepage, consumers can clearly see in which products they can save more.
Sell with your description. Within the article's webpage, there should be a description tab. In this tab, you will describe the product as detailed as possible, but also will add a little flair to try to sell the products such as:
Limited time only
A few left
Only (x) remaining
Add a chart. If you have bought clothes online before, you have noticed that there is always a chart with all the measurements. These measurements are related to the product, such as length, width, arm length, etc. By adding a chart like this, customers can quickly decide if the product is right for them.
Provide realistic shipping dates. Don't promise if you can't deliver. Be realistic when providing shipping dates to the customers. If the shipping company cannot give you an exact date, try to use a variable system, for example, 2-3 days.
Provide security. Offer your customers a list of safety measures your company is using. These could vary between package handling, employee security, or even COVID-19 regulations.
Some consumers are not sure of what they are going to buy exactly. So a little push in the description might be decisive.
Inventory is a given. It would be best if you had more than the right amount of stock two weeks before CyMon. Most importantly, ensure that your inventory is updated on your webpage and in all other services you use, such as Amazon, Etsy, or eBay.
You can test this process by buying a product outside your online store and checking if the inventory decreased in your online store. By syncing all of the websites your articles are sold on, you will have more control over the products you have left.
What if I run out of inventory? This question is tricky, as its answer will depend on which type of products you sell. For example, if you sell graphics cards, you will know that there is a temporary shortage and, unfortunately, you will need to put a sign on your website that you are out of stock. On the other side of the spectrum, if you sell products like kitchen appliances, you can opt for a waiting list limited to a certain number of articles after you run out of stock. The waiting list must be limited due to the number of products a provider can deliver to you in a certain amount of time. Be careful and calculate your costs accordingly.
After incorporating all of the tips above into your CyMon plan, all you need to do now is prepare yourself mentally for the high sales season. Expect that some things could go wrong in the holiday season, but having a backup plan for those errors relieves a little bit of pressure. The last tip of this article is just that. Make a list of all the things that can go wrong and elaborate a plan to fix them as fast as possible if the errors present themselves. Overpreparing is not such a bad thing after all.