Considering the most accurate, timely and comprehensive view of consumers’ online shopping and spending behaviors can make or break a company’s year. A well-planned and successful website to serve your customers and reach prospective ones serves as an unquestionable audience for products and services. In addition to your website, you need to understand their online spending habits. A recent study determined that a successful Cyber Monday for a company can result in up to 19% higher numbers for the year. Merchants have a lot to consider, from ensuring that the company website is aesthetically pleasing to guaranteeing that a large influx of shoppers to the website does not cause delays. Because as most of us already know, every second of this online-shopping day can mean major profit – or losses for your company. For this reason, it is paramount that business websites are adequately prepared for Cyber Monday.
What is Cyber Monday?
The e-commerce version of Black Friday is called Cyber Monday and this important day occurs on the Monday following Black Friday. It’s the weekend after Thanksgiving and symbolically it kicks-off the holiday shopping season. In previous years, Black Friday is used as an early gauge of what’s working with customers, and what’s not. With the growth of online shopping, one can argue that retailers are often more interested in revamping their websites, rather than paying overtime to employees during this busy season. Although, Black Friday is an important day for retailers, Cyber Monday has evolved into a time of year that is important for online businesses and means that companies can engage in new marketing strategies, hit yearly targets, and move-in new products, while clearing out the old inventory.
According to reports:
- Cyber Monday is the #1 of the top 10 spending days in the United States.
- Green Monday (December 10) holds the #2 spot for the largest spending day in the United States. Green Monday is the last Monday prior to Christmas and is usually the shipping “cut off date” for most postal outlets to get standard shipped packages delivered to customers before Christmas.
How do retailers get ready for Cyber Monday?
Understand the online retail landscape, create superior digital marketing strategies and identify changes in consumers’ behavior and attitudes as they move through the purchase funnel. Easier said than done… right?
Conduct Market Research
There are a few selective tools that we recommend for this process. Keeping tabs on your website competition gets complicated when you’re selling online. SEMRush makes it less confusing. Get the search insights that show whether people increased their searches for your products and competitors within search engines. Begin your preparations early. If we look at last year in Google Trends, we can see that people actually started searching for “Christmas Gift Ideas” beginning in August.
Green Website Options
Green website practices cultivate added interest in business. A lot of entrepreneurs that build an online business experience frustration. With online commerce, the opportunity is great, however there is a lot of competition. So, a niche market can improve your odds. For example, if your business provides bug extermination services, research the option of providing “green” extermination services. I, for one, do not allow extermination in my house with typical chemicals. As a cancer survivor, I prefer to have environmentally-friendly green extermination in my home. This is just one example. Beyond the reason of market opportunities for businesses, there is also the advantage of doing the right thing. Consumers are often open to companies that participate in environmentally-friendly practices, such as hosting their websites with green web hosting. Another example is “giving back”. Companies that spend resources giving back to their local communities have the advantage of doing the right thing, which feels good. But not only is doing the right thing a positive experience, it is also one that does not go unnoticed in the business arena.
Plan Your Website For Cyber Monday With A Promotional Calendar
Choose which holiday strategy you wish to pursue.
Decide which holidays which you want your business to participate. Participating and preparing for all the holidays within the Fall season may not be possible. So, you might want to select your chosen few.
Create a promotional calendar
. Use it to plan out your steps necessary to execute your campaigns. Your calendar does not need to be complicated. You can use an online tool such as Google Calendar.
Plan out your return policy
and additional payment options for your online customers. Does your company already have a merchant account? e your company already has a PayPal account? Do you utilize a SSL certificate on your website (so that checkout pages are encrypted for added security)? SSL certificates offer more than just data encryption, they also serves as a powerful trust signal for your visitors. In order to have a SSL certificate installed for your website, you will first need a dedicated IP address installed, which in some cases, will mean that your web hosting plan needs to be upgraded.
Decide in which ad channels you wish to participate
- Blog Posts
- E-mail Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising (Google Adwords)
- Facebook Ads
- Social Media
- Retargeting – an effective option for advertising your promotions to people that have previously visited your website.
Prepare Your Website For Cyber Monday
The holiday season can be a hectic time. They can also be a very profitable time. So plan your website marketing strategy carefully.
- Be sure that your promotional calendar includes items such as:
- Write Emails – They should be written well ahead of time before sending to your email list. Remember, once you hit the send button, you can’t take it back. You might want to consider segmenting your email list for maximum effectiveness. Don’t forget the importance of the holiday season. Everyone is busy and short on time, so you will want to plan out your email marketing well ahead of time and consider the best time of day to send our communications as well as the best day of the week. You do not want to add to the stress of the season by over doing it Keep the tone light and up-beat.
- Ad Copy – Writing strong and effective copy can take effort. Compelling content is such that includes well written and original promotional copy. Start this one well ahead of your deadline because it is an important step.
- Blog Content – Writing blog content is almost a constant responsibility. Keep in mind that you will most likely want to post your new blog articles ahead of promotions so that you give Google plenty of time to index your new content prior to any promotions.
- Landing Pages – The landing pages which are the recipients of visitors who click on your promotional ad links can help to bump up your conversion rate for the holiday season. For this reason, it is important that they are designing in a compelling way. If you need help designing your landing pages, consider Thrive Leads.
Improve Your Website’s Appearance
Potential customers often use your website as the first impression for your brand. Your website should be dynamic, user friendly, and contain updated and original content. It should communicate your brand values that attracts new customers to come in an complete your most desired action (MDA) whether it be subscribing to your newsletter, submitting a contact form for a proposal, or purchase your products and services. Whatever your MDA may be, your website needs to be consistent and inherited across all of your communication mediums, including: website, blog, social media, invoices, marketing collateral, etc.
If you are considering a website redesign project, you will want to explore the website design tips section of our blog.
Test Your Website’s Speed
Conduct a speed test with WP Engine. With WP Engine’s new Word Press Speed Test, you can find out just how much the speed, or lack thereof, of your Word Press site is costing you—it tells you how much money is walking out the door if your site is slow.
Launch Your Online Marketing
The final step is to execute. Launch your campaign by closely following your promotional calendar. By the time you get to this step, if you have planned and prepared properly, you should have most of the components ready to go.
Cyber Monday Website Opportunities
This Cyber Monday – if managed well, can turn your website into a conversion machine!