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Cyber Monday: Is your online store ready?

October 13, 2014

Cyber Monday was born in 2005, when Shop.org, the online arm of the National Retail Federation (NRF), noticed a trend of online sales jumping on the Monday following Thanksgiving, keeping up the momentum of shopping kicked off by Black Friday.

Fast forward seven years later, and Cyber Monday is expected to approach a haul of $1.5 Billion in online sales in 2012 in the U.S. alone. Cyber Monday, which falls on November 26 this year, is fast approaching. It’s not too late to cram in a few last-minute pointers, so here is how you make sure your online store is ready for a healthy slice of that pie:

  • Prepare and test the mobile experience of your site across different platforms – If you have an online storefront set up, you’re in good shape: 75% of Americans plan to shop online this holiday season vs. 69% who plan to shop in physical stores. But is your store ready to handle the devices that will be used to access it? A study shows that out of the 75% who plan to shop online, 69% plan to access sites using their home computer, while 44% will shop through a tablet, and 34% browse online stores with a smartphone. Make the experience great for all devices.
  • Give special promotions – In 2010, 88% of online merchants launched special promotions for Cyber Monday. So if you do not offer promotions, you will stand out for the wrong reasons in the eyes of shoppers. Special email campaigns (63%) and free shipping promotions (22%) topped the list of promos.
  • Encourage your customers to buy in bulk – Growth in average amount spent per shopper outpaced growth in the number of shoppers by 8%. Your store has a higher chance of faring better if it gives special discounts/offers to shoppers who spend more than a certain amount.
  • Figure out your demographic – 18-34 year olds were 40% more likely than 65+ year olds to use the internet at their work to shop online.
  • Brush up on general holiday merchant best practices – read our 2-part series on how to boost your online sales this holiday season.

The holiday season and Cyber Monday can be an exciting time for everyone, shoppers and merchants alike. It doesn’t matter which side of the (virtual) checkout line you’re in – you get what you put into the holiday season. So this year, be sure and to invest some extra time and resources and the results just might surprise you.

Dimitri Onistsuk

Dimitri Onistsuk is the marketing director at Shipwire, and is in charge of figuring out what knobs to turn in order to spread the word about the leader in order fulfillment. During his years working in ecommerce, shipping, and fulfillment, he has helped countless merchants sell stuff to their global customers.