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Cyber Monday: how to prepare for and make the most of this shopping event

by Anders Bohea on November 16, 2015 , No comments

Cyber Monday is not just about getting your pricing strategy right, it’s also about making sure your website development team has built your site to cope with the traffic, and about leveraging the event to build your business through the rest of the year.

 

What to do for Cyber Monday itself

Getting Cyber Monday offers right is a difficult juggling act. You need to select deals very carefully so that customers don’t go away feeling that they are being fobbed off with a “garage sale” of out-of-date items, a common complaint about this year’s Amazon Prime event in the US. However, customers won’t like seeing only 5-10% discounts: they expect deep discounts and great deals on Cyber Monday.

You still need to make a profit or at least clear old stock though, so what should you do? A couple of ideas might be to deeply discount last year’s stock while advertising this year’s at a small discount, driving some users across to the more expensive option. Or to make special offer bundles with some premium items at a smaller discount and line-end items thrown in at a big saving.

Prepare your website

Regardless of your stock plans and your pricing strategy, if your website can’t bear the load then potential customers are going to go elsewhere. Have your website development team audit your website for things like enough disk space to store logs and database records, and enough bandwidth with your hosting provider: you don’t want big excess charges or, worse, to be cut off partway through the day.

Your website development team should be able to make sure that your database and web server are tuned up to their best capacity for the day. You should also spend a bit of time developing some Cyber Monday-specific site graphics and themes, and a bespoke landing page or two, too – Cyber Monday is, again, a marketing event as much as a sales event.

Finally, with mobile continuing to grow as a sales pathway, it’s time to make sure your website is mobile-friendly, all the way to the checkout.

 

Selling out – the poisoned chalice

For e-commerce retailers handling short-term offers, ensuring that they don’t oversell deals because too many people put them in their basket at the same time is important – but so is the reverse, not clearing all the deals because stock was tied up in other customers’ baskets. Sites like Amazon get around this the same way that online ticket sellers do – by allowing only a small 15 minute window for purchases, so that stock gets freed back out of baskets that have been abandoned as quickly as possible. Speak to your website development team soon if you think this is relevant to you, as most off-the-shelf shopping cart solutions won’t support this sort of timered basket.

 

Spread the benefits throughout the year

This all seems like a lot of effort for a one-day sale, but remember, if you drive users to sign up to your email list in advance in order to get access to special deals, and offer them a chance to opt-in at the checkout, you have a good chance to build the reach of your business for the year ahead.

 

If you are based in PortsmouthHampshire or surrounding areas and would like to discuss how to manage your e-commerce or digital marketing for your small-to-medium business, view our portfolio or make contact with our web design and digital marketing team. We really like to talk.

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