Cyber Monday Marketing: Is Your Store Ready For Ecommerce’s Biggest Day?

a woman faces away from the camera and holds three shopping bags

As an online business owner, Cyber Monday is one of the most exciting and busiest days of the year for your store – and that all comes from having an amazing Cyber Monday marketing plan.

Often coupled together with Black Friday, the two days mark the beginning of the end-of-year shopping season and a weekend where consumers are ready to part with serious cash.

In fact, in the US, the most money spent online in 2018 – $6 billion – was on Cyber Monday.

With that sort of money on offer, you’d be silly not to sit down and form a Cyber Monday marketing game plan of your own.

If you’re wondering what exactly you should focus on and how you should prepare your store, join us as we pass on some Cyber Monday tips and tricks to help you cash in on this holiday spending spree.

What is Cyber Monday and When is It?

A letterboard with 'cyber monday sale' sits next to an open laptop

While Black Friday shopping has been around since the early 50s, Cyber Monday – as you might guess – is a far more recent addition to the shopping calendar.

Taking place on the Monday following Thanksgiving, this year, Cyber Monday is on December 2, 2019 – the latest possible date for it to fall.

Cyber Monday made its debut on November 28, 2005. The name was coined by Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation and former Shop.org exec Scott Silverman, and its purpose was to encourage consumers to buy online.

Although it was a fairly recent introduction, Cyber Monday was quickly embraced by consumers and has become the biggest day of the year for online sales. Cyber Monday online sales have grown from $486 million in 2005 to $6 billion in 2018, thanks to the growing adoption of online shopping and technological advances – such as smartphones.

Statistia graph of Cyber Monday spending increasing from 2014-2018Is Cyber Monday Different From Black Friday?

Although Cyber Monday is inextricably linked with Black Friday and they’re both focused on encouraging consumers to shop, there are differences between the two.

Black Friday has traditionally been a day for brick and mortar stores – particularly big retailers – to have huge sales. The day has become associated with people going to extremes to score deals, including camping out to be first in line. The crowds on Black Friday can be so intense that every year people get injured – or even killed – in the rush to grab a deal.

On the other side of things, we have Cyber Monday where everything is done online, rather than in a shopping mall or store. Although big retailers also have Cyber Monday campaigns, this is a day when smaller online stores have the opportunity to compete for shoppers’ attention as well.

Where Should I Focus My Cyber Monday Marketing?

two hands hold a globe between them

While Cyber Monday is undoubtedly linked to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday – as is Black Friday – it has become a worldwide shopping holiday.

After its 2005 debut in the U.S., online retailers around the world have steadily built Cyber Monday marketing campaigns into their yearly plans. France and Canada embraced the day in 2008, the United Kingdom got on board in 2009, and in 2010, Germany and New Zealand joined in.

The internationalization of Cyber Monday has happened to a far greater extent – and much faster – than Black Friday, making it a unique opportunity to hold a sale in any market.

As a Dropshipper, is It Worth Doing Cyber Monday Marketing?

Because Cyber Monday has been adopted globally, it’s a fantastic day to target shoppers anywhere in the world. People want to spend money on this day and as a dropshipper, you’d be silly not to try and get them to spend that money on your products.

In 2017, dropshippers Albert Liu and Jacky Chou made $5,460 in sales over the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend with their home decor store. And almost half of their sales were made on Cyber Monday alone.

As I mentioned earlier, Cyber Monday offers small online stores the opportunity to get in on the action that was, for so long, the domain of major retailers. Black Friday might be the day for big, dominant brands, but on Cyber Monday anyone can shine – as long as they have a killer marketing plan.

Getting Your Store Ready for Cyber Monday

an overhead shot of a person at a laptop holding a credit card

Alright, you’ve realized you’d be a fool to miss out on Cyber Monday, but you may be wondering where to start. Here are a few Cyber Monday tips to get you on your way.

Get Your Collections and Product Pages Primed

Now is the time to update and proofread all your product and landing pages – don’t let one little typo ruin everything! If you think your product descriptions are a little lackluster, or you just don’t know how you could improve them, look at your competitors and see if there is anything there you could learn from how they do it.

Make Sure Your Site Loads Fast

Ever left a website in a fit of rage because it took so long to load? I have. In this age of super-fast internet, we’re used to getting what we want instantly and a slow website does nothing to offer a pleasant shopping experience. To make sure your website is fast, run a few website speed tests and optimize it as needed.

Do Test Orders

You don’t want any issues on the day, so the best way to make sure everything runs smoothly is by putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. Run through a few test orders on your store just to make sure everything is working as it should.

This is especially important if you’re trying a new supplier or adding any new products. The last thing you want is one tiny detail – like the wrong shipping settings – throwing your whole Cyber Monday plan into chaos.

Get Your Apps Sorted

screenshot of the shopify app store

In an ideal world, every visitor to your store would make a purchase, but we know that’s certainly not the reality. Luckily, there are a lot of apps you can install that can help increase your conversion rate.

Take your time to browse through the Shopify app store and find what might work for you – there are a bunch of awesome apps to choose from. A countdown timer app could add a sense of urgency, while a cross-selling or upsell app might increase your average order value. Ultimately the apps that will work for your store will depend on what you sell and the vibe you’re going for. Be sure to do some research and find what works for you.

Check Everything on Mobile

While historically more sales have been made on desktop than mobile on Cyber Monday, the first interaction a visitor will have with your store is often on their phone. To make sure your store in the best possible shape, check what your store looks like on mobile. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for:

  • Easy navigation: Make sure your menu is clear and that any apps you’ve installed don’t overwhelm your screen or make it difficult and annoying to navigate.
  • Beautiful images: Check what your pictures look like and fix any that are poor quality or look strange. People will want to zoom in up close, so the last thing you want is a pixelated image.
  • Great text: Be sure that your text looks good on screen. Think about where sentences end and whether you need more or less text in your product descriptions.

Own Your Cyber Monday Marketing

A woman sits on a bench and taps a smartphone

With your store shipshape, it’s time to get your marketing for ecommerce sorted. And take note: This is something to start preparing sooner rather than later, so you don’t have a last-minute rush to get it all done. Here are a few tips for Cyber Monday marketing.

Know Who You Want to Target and on Which Devices

Facebook and Instagram ads are fabulous ways to make sales, but they can be especially expensive over this weekend. Make sure you get the most bang for your buck by being prepared and knowing your audience. Dive into your Facebook analytics and explore things such as age, gender, and location breakdowns, then use that information to make specific advertising material.

Screenshot of Facebook ads targetting

You should also decide what type of ads you want to use – video, images, or a mixture of both. Whichever you decide, make sure they’re engaging and high-quality. If you can’t think of any great ideas, check your competitors for inspiration.

It’s also worth thinking about which devices your ads will appear on. It may be smarter to advertise more expensive items – or items with a lot of options to choose from – on desktop because shoppers have more to consider before buying. However, if you sell products that are impulse purchases, they could be more suited to mobile advertising.

Craft Your Best Cyber Monday Emails

If you have a large mailing list, you should make use of this. After all, these people already know your store and brand so will take less convincing than new customers.

Decide on an email campaign you think will work best – this might be a one-off email on Cyber Monday revealing your big sale, or it could be a series of emails reminding your subscribers of your store and hinting at an upcoming sale in the weeks prior. Whatever you do, it will ensure your store is kept in mind when Cyber Monday rolls around and complement your

When writing your emails, be sure to think of engaging subject lines – the best Cyber Monday emails are those that stand out from the crowd. When it comes to the body of the email, don’t overthink it. Keep things clear, concise, and conversational and you’ll be onto a winner.

Capture the Buzz Early

A woman checks her phone and laptop

Cyber Monday is not only a great one-off day to snag an amazing online deal, but it’s also the beginning of the wider holiday shopping season. People know what Cyber Monday means and there’s a lot of shopping and seasonal excitement in the air in the lead-up. Ideally, you want to try and capture this excitement – and you don’t have to wait until Cyber Monday to do it.

People start hunting for deals well before Cyber Monday, so don’t be afraid to launch email and ad campaigns ahead of the actual day itself. You could try tactics like offering mini-deals in the days leading up to Cyber Monday, before your big sales day on Monday. It’s great for sales and for ensuring customers keep your brand in mind.

Or maybe you could come out swinging and start your Cyber Monday sales before Thanksgiving. People are already prepared to start shopping, so why not get a jump on everyone else and swoop early.

Offer Creative Deals

When thinking about a great Cyber Monday promotion your mind probably jumps to slashing prices with hefty percentage-off deals. But there are other ways you can entice shoppers.

Offering a gift with every purchase could be the added extra that’s enough to draw people in, or in the same vein, a buy-one-get-one-free deal.

Alternatively, people love limited-edition products. Stocking an item with a limited amount available is a great idea – especially if you include a stock counter on the product page to increase the feeling of scarcity.

In fact, with shoppers being so aware of the madness that the shopping season brings, the products you sell don’t even necessarily need to be good. For example, for Black Friday 2014 the game Cards Against Humanity sold 30,000 limited-edition boxes of bull poop – marketed as “Bull**** by Cards against Humanity” – as an anti-Black Friday stunt. $180,000 worth of sales and $6000 in profit, all from the sale of poo.

As it turns out, Cards Against Humanity ended up donating the profits from the stunt to charity, which is a great idea in itself – even without the poop.

People are increasingly looking for businesses to lead the charge with philanthropic and charitable endeavors. Creating a special campaign surrounding a charity or cause could be a great Cyber Monday marketing decision – especially if it complements your products or niche.

Follow Up

Just because someone didn’t purchase on their first visit to your store on Cyber Monday, doesn’t mean you just give up on them. Think of it like a “no man left behind” situation and do your best to recover those sales.

Firstly, you should definitely have retargeting ads ready to go on Facebook. After all, if someone showed interest in your store on Cyber Monday, there’s a great chance they’ll still be interested in what you have to offer a couple of days later. Perhaps you could include a special deal on the retargeting ads that will entice shoppers, even after Cyber Monday.

One of the easiest ways to recover sales is with abandoned cart emails. You probably have these turned on already (or at least, you should), but consider spicing them up for Cyber Monday with an additional deal or offer to motivate them to purchase.

And while we’re talking about email, why not send out a post-Cyber Monday email as well? As mentioned earlier, Cyber Monday is the start of the holiday spending season so people are still very much prepared to spend in the days and weeks following it – try and capitalize on this with a special last chance deal.

Heck, you could even take things a step further and turn Cyber Monday into Cyber Week. Forget one day of deals, turn up the volume and run ads and emails offering unbeatable deals for a seven day period. This could be a great way to attract customers and make your store stick out from the crowd.

Your Cyber Monday Strategy Summed Up

With Cyber Monday rapidly approaching, don’t get panicked – get organized!

Make sure your store is prepared for traffic from all devices and looks the best that it can. Meanwhile, get creative with your campaigns and make your advertisements stand out from the crowd.

And remember, while Cyber Monday could be a massive day for your store, it’s also the start of the holiday spending season. So even if your campaigns don’t go to plan, you still have a whole month of big spending activity ahead of you.

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