Ready to make your virtual cash register jingle all the way through this holiday season? Any small business knows that the holiday season can make or break their year, and the great news is that consumers are in the mood to spend. In fact, the National Retail Federation announced that 2018 holiday retail sales are forecasted to increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent over 2017, a nice bump from the average annual increase of 3.9 percent over the past five years!
You can start by making sure your site is open for business with Cyber Monday marketing strategies, since nearly half of all holiday shopping will happen during Cyber Week, according to Salesforce. When is Cyber Monday 2018? It’s always held the Monday after Thanksgiving and the Black Friday holiday. This year, it falls on Monday, Nov. 26.
In fact, that was the genesis behind Cyber Monday: Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, started marketing it in 2005 as a complement to Black Friday. The theory was that back in the day consumers had slow dial-up connections at home so they’d do their online shopping during a workday to take advantage of their employer’s fast internet.
Today, of course, retailers need to be more concerned about their mobile game. Here are some Cyber Monday marketing strategies that will make your holiday retail sales merry and bright.
Finalize your marketing and promotion plans now
It’s never too soon to start rolling out your marketing, and SMBs should craft a strategy that showcases their business strengths. In many cases, that will include a focus on your customer service, which can be a differentiator as shoppers get caught up in holiday havoc.
This is also the ideal time to plan your social media strategy with holiday-related photos, tips and advice, skewing toward themed content to entice those customers who are ready to buy.
Double-check your website is ready for mobile shoppers
No matter how strong your Cyber Monday marketing strategies, your website has to be ready. And that’s because an overwhelming 70 percent of shoppers choose a company based on their mobile experience, finds tech firm Metova. Now is the time to make sure that your site is optimized for mobile and that your messaging and pricing is clear, recognizable and competitive.
Consider checking your loading speeds: a 2016 study for Google found that more than half of customers will abandon a site that takes longer than three seconds to load — and expectations are likely even higher in 2018. You can check your speed here and use a service like UptimeRobot to get alerts when speeds are lagging.
Develop special promotions for Cyber Monday
Door busters entice us for a reason — they build on our Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). Cyber Monday marketing strategies can replicate the tactic through special online “deals of the day or hour,” at an attractive promotional price, with a countdown timer to emphasize urgency.
Convert Cyber Monday customers to returning fans
Your Cyber Monday marketing strategies might have lured customers in for a certain promotional offer, but now is the time to build loyalty that can pay future dividends. Try to keep the conversation going after a purchase by sending shoppers a special offer — a code for x percent off their next purchase; a discount if they share your missives with a friend; or a bundled item, like buy-one-get-one half-off.
Create a complementary in-store experience
If you are a bricks-and-clicks operation, try to make sure your physical location is set up for ease of shopping. Many customers today appreciate an option to buy online and pick up in the store, rather than paying for shipping or waiting for delivery. That’s a win for retailers to get customers in your store, where they might make an extra impulse purchase.
You can make sure it’s easy for them, though, with clearly delineated signage, such as banners, so they know where to find their goods. To encourage use of this option, consider designating close-in parking spaces for these customers and you can offer a perk, such as free gift wrap, to get them in the store.
If planning your Cyber Monday marketing strategies sounds overwhelming, consider enlisting holiday help. The marketing services department at Office Depot offers professionals equipped to guide your strategy to reach customers and can help with design, website, SEO and other marketing needs.
By starting your marketing and promotion plans now, you’ll be ready to take on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and every shopping opportunity all season long.