2020 has already broken all the records within e-commerce. Considering consumer spending grew 44.4% in Q2, which is normally a slower spending quarter, what can we expect for the 4th Quarter? It is safe to say we can expect a similar expansive growth.
Consumers are projected to spend less time shopping in stores and more time adding to their carts online. Apart from China’s Singles Day (Read Blog Here), Cyber Monday is undoubtedly the busiest online shopping holiday of the year. It also comes on the heels of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and the overall start to the holiday shopping season. Now the real question everyone wants answered is, how do you run Cyber Monday successfully for your business? How do you maximize profits without maxing out your store, employees, shipping centers, etc.? This may seem like the easiest answer there is, but the first step that many business owners miss when preparing for Cyber Monday is to plan WAY ahead. If possible, start looking at holiday promotions in Q3, instead of just a couple of weeks before. Thinking ahead will be the key to your Cyber Monday success.
Here are some additional tips to absolutely sleighing Cyber Monday this holiday season!
- Analyze past and current data
It is important to understand how your business preformed in previous years on Cyber Monday, including what went well and what did not. It is a natural part of running a business to make mistakes throughout promotions and sales, but it is common that companies only review these errors right after they take place, and then they are forgotten. By analyzing both your past and current data, you’ll better understand where purchases are coming from, how long items sit in customer carts, how long customers spend on your website, how they are getting to your website (organic, promotional, social), and everything in between. If most of your purchases are coming from promotional social media posts, then you will want to spend more time on that part of your business to promote Cyber Monday.
- Re-report on your target market
Part of understanding and analyzing your customers is understanding your target market. Taking us back to the example of most of your consumers coming from social media promotional ads - you need to specify which promotional ads they are coming from. If it is Instagram, your target market is mostly likely ages 18-34. Once you know this, you can start thinking about questions like: How does that age group like to be marketed to? What kind of products do they want to purchase this holiday season? More times than not, consumers do not actually know what they want, they want companies to tell them what they want, and these are based on seasonal trends. Since companies control what goes on sale on Cyber Monday, you need to make sure that it is what consumers will purchase. Nothing is worse than spending time and money promoting a Cyber Monday sale, only for it to be an item your target does not want.
- Compare data to current trends
Now that you have collected both past and current data, it is time to compare to the market. Though we all know companies cannot predict the future, the best way to succeed in business to look back. Since you have already taken the time to look back on your own business, it is important to also look back on the general market. Comparing your business to other businesses or your overall sector helps to understand if you are on target with the rest of the pack. You can analyze publicly traded companies' expensive reports, stock pricing, or even analyze their gross profit margin. Private companies' information will be harder to come by, so you will have to make assumptions based on the size of the company, the investments they received (if any), and the price of their products. Try your best to make the same comparisons between your company and others, for example, don’t be unfair to yourself by comparing your net profit to their gross profits. Remember, your company must decide what the consumer is looking to purchase, while also understanding current and past trends.
- Tackle any current Business Infrastructure Issues
Part of analyzing your previous data is finding hiccups within your Business Infrastructure. You want to try to run everything as smoothly as possible when you are getting the large influx of orders you will be getting on Cyber Monday. Examples of reliable infrastructures include Supply Chain Management, IT and Customer Service Support, Warehouse Management, and integration of a Shipping Solution. The benefit to planning way in advance is that you can test your changes in your infrastructure before the big day.
- Communicate to Your Customers
Customer communication does not always mean promotional pricing information. Other items worth communicating include headlines on your website with sale start and end date stamps, organic content on social media pages showcasing upcoming sale items, email newsletters talking about what they can expect from your business during the sale. Keeping up on communication is the best way to keep customers interested and shopping your store before they shop somewhere else.
- Market Effectively
This goes back to, you guessed it, your data. When you analyze your data correctly and know where, and what, your consumers are shopping for, then you can apply an effective marketing campaign to the right consumers at the right time, in the right place. This is where tried and true strategies come into play. According to our partners at BigCommerce, consider creating a specific landing page highlighting your promotions or bundling sale items together. (For more BigCommerce Cyber Monday marketing tips click HERE.) Consumers are looking for deals, so make sure you answer the questions: Why should customers shop your store over your competitors? What is your company’s edge? Use the data you have been collecting and analysis to get that edge.
- Update your Business Plan
If you are new to the ecommerce space, it is important to note that every company changes their business plans and goals along the way. The reason that you should adjust your business plan before Cyber Monday is because you want to make sure that your goals align, and expectations are realistic. When you take the time to adjust your business plan for the holiday season then the company can stay on the same page. Keep your company on track.
- Communicate Internally
All your holiday prep work could be for nothing without ensuring your whole company is on the same page. From top to bottom, it is important that everyone understands the seasons goals and expectations. For example, if your customer service policies have changed, it is important to not only let those employees who answer phones know, but that these new policies are understood by the whole company. Do not leave anyone in the dark.
Cyber Monday is a big deal. According to CBS, consumers spent $9.4 billion dollars in 2019 on Cyber Monday alone. Do not miss out on this massive e-commerce day because you did not plan effectively. Not sure where to start this holiday season? Check out our FREE e-book to help you take on Q4! Take our advice, plan before it is too late.