10 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Cyber Monday

According to Wikipedia Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday after Thanksgiving in the United States. The term "Cyber Monday" was created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online. The term made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled "'Cyber Monday Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year".

Since 2005 consumers have been driven to online stores with shopping incentives as they shop for the holidays. In 2012 Online sales soared 30% higher from Cyber Monday last year, according to IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, which tracks more than one million e-commerce transactions per day from more than 500 retailers. Cyber Monday reached $1.465 billion in online spending, representing the heaviest online spending day in history, according to a report released this week by comScore.

As for 2013, Adobe has “crunched” the numbers and is predicting another steller year for ecommerce sales on Cyber Monday. In a recent article released by CNet.com, Abobe Digital Index principal analyst, Tamara Gaffney said, "Thanksgiving is the fastest-growing shopping day, and that's the biggest news this year. Cyber Monday will have the highest online sales in history. There are a few days in the season that are billion-dollar days." It has been reported Adobe estimates Cyber Monday shopping will be up 15% in 2013, and it is predicted Cyber Monday spending is set to to break more than $2.27 billion in the highest single US online shopping day ever.

As you can see, Cyber Monday is a vital part of owning an ecommerce business, Pure-Ecommerce would like to provide you with 10 things you can do to prepare for Cyber Monday. Now is the time to put these 10 tips into action – you would not want to miss out!

1) Prepare your ad words. If you haven't done ad words before, now is the time! Do your research and prepare and set up those ads. Check out www.spyfu and see what words/phrases your competitor bid on last year. Add the keyword terms “Cyber Monday” or “Black Friday” to some of your ad copy as well!

2) Build anticipation of your cyber Monday specials by posting daily on ALL forms of social media. It is recommended to do this 5 days prior. If you start too early people won't buy until Cyber Monday.

3) Don't forget Black Friday. Black Friday can be huge for online shopping as well. Black Friday for 2012 brought in $1 billion in sales for online retailers for the first time in history, according to market research firm comScore.

4) Make sure your return policy is in place and ready to go! Be sure it is clear and concise as shoppers will review it when decided to purchase a gift from your online store. If you feel you need to extend or change any of your policies now is the time to examine this and make the necessary changes.

5) Display those shipping dates correctly. This is an important time to check in with each of your vendors and get accurate ship times. Also, ask them how they will be updating inventory changes! Be ready and communicate important “Shop by” dates on your home page, any specific product pages and on your shipping page as well.

6) Set up your gift boutique. This will be a category with ideas for different types of gift categories. Have staff picks, Gifts for Dad, Gifts for Mom, Gifts for Kids, Gifts for Teacher, etc! This is the area to really highlight the best products to give this holiday season. Your gift boutique will also give inspiration to those shoppers who may need a little more inspiration!

7) Are you offering free shipping? This is a great way to draw holiday shoppers in so you will want to make sure this is displayed all over the site!

8) Make sure you have your newsletter set up and ready to go. Have a Black Friday and a Cyber Monday newsletter prepared with special incentives and information about your best holiday products. Send a newsletter out one on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving letting them know that there will be Black Friday deals. Give them a little teaser….Don't say WHAT it is..Just invite them to come. Then on Black Friday send out the actual deals! Make sure the ad lists the deadline and what incentives you are offering – be clear and concise and give them a call to action! Once again send another anticipation newsletter on Sunday and send on early on Cyber Monday with the actual specials. It is important to have a compelling subject line to “draw” your customers in and to open the newsletter. This time of year people are bombarded with marketing tactics for the holiday season so you will want to be sure your newsletter will stand out in the “crowd”. Include any hot deals, special pricing or incentives in your subject line to let your customer know they need to open it to find out more!

9) Offer holiday specials or exclusives to include in your marketing campaign for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here’s some ideas to get you started….offer Free Shipping, Gift with Purchase, special pricing, or a GIFT CARD with for a certain purchase amount. For example for every $100.00 spent receive a $15.00 Gift Card to send to yourself or another gift recipient.

10) Stay engaged with social media. Perhaps have your own special via Facebook. For example each day post for the next 10 buyers that post sold they will receive a certain product at $______ off. Normally, the larger the ticket item – a rocking horse would be $25 off. You want to have a really compelling deal to draw in someone’s attention. You will also want to be sure the product is relevant to the holiday season and try not to be gender specific so it will appeal to the masses. Stay consistent so your followers will anticipate your posting. Also acknowledge followers who comment or share on your holiday posts. This will start a great “conversation” with potential customers and will let others know you are listening to them.

Don’t wait – act now to prepare your online store for another anticipated record breaking Cyber Monday! Pure-Ecommerce is here to provide tips and techniques to help current and budding ecommerce entrepreneurs excel in the online marketplace. The holiday is an exciting time in ecommerce as it shows consumers they can find some of the best deals and products as they walk through the virtual doors of your online store. This is why you will want to start implementing these 10 things to help you prepare for Cyber Monday. Pure-Ecommerce wishes an exciting and successful holiday season!

Save, share and "pin" this #infographic as you check your list twice to ensure you have your site ready for Cyber Monday!  For the latest tips and information to getting your ecommerce business ready this holiday season follow Pure-Ecommerce on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

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