The last few months of the year are marked by people putting costumes on their houses. Right now, people are likely taking down ghosts, ghouls, and gore from their windowsills and replacing it with rosy-nosed reindeer, snow flakes, and jolly ol’ St. Nick. While a look outside your window might make it seem like everyone is getting ready to skip over Thanksgiving and put presents under the tree, online retailers are working double-time behind the scenes to get ready for the biggest couple of weeks in e-commerce.
In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about what you can start doing right now to optimize your shop and be ready for Cyber Monday and the titanic sales weeks that surround it.
Cyber Season 2013
Monday, December 2nd of 2013 is going to be the single biggest day for online shoppers this year. Last year’s Cyber Monday brought in $1.4 billion dollars in sales and the forecast for this year predicts a whopping $2.27 billion. Although these Mondays are of particular importance to online retailers, the days sandwiched between Thanksgiving and Christmas are all red-hot for sales. This year, however, that period is only 27 days long–6 days shorter than 2012. With online shopping more popular than ever, what does a shorter holiday shopping season mean for retailers?
• Thanksgiving Day is expected to grow more in sales year-over-year than any other day.
• Your company’s marketing team must be active and creative for all 27 days.
• Overall sales volume is expected to increase 12% despite the shorter duration.
• Although sales numbers will increase, so too will cart abandonment rates.
So, what can you do to get ready for the incoming traffic swell?
First, you need to start messaging your customer base right away to get your brand on the minds of customers. Of course, with the seasonal increase in messaging comes…
The Email Frequency Debate
If you haven’t yet sat down with your email marketing department to create a plan for the holiday season, it’s time to burn the midnight oil and get it done. Between this month and next, the frequency with which companies send messages out to their customers should increase, but the question that invariable gets asked is, “How much engagement is too much?” Nobody wants to see unsubscribe rates skyrocket while click-throughs plummet, making it very important to ramp up email sends the right way.
Segment by Activity – The users most active on your website are likely the most tolerant of your email messaging. Create a few segments, based on a user’s frequency of visit, in order to determine how often an email is sent to a recipient. Don’t be afraid to send more messages to those who frequent your site, while scaling down messages to those who haven’t been seen in a year or so.
Target Holiday-Exclusive Shoppers – If you’ve got a core group of shoppers that seem to only show up around the holidays, go ahead and draft an email just for them. These holiday shoppers exhibit a pattern–one that you’d like to see continue. They’ve been pleased with what you have to offer, so offer it again!
Product Segmentation – Cyber Monday has always been about offering great deals of specific products–use these details to your advantage. When a particular item goes on sale, alert those who have previously purchased (or abandoned) a similar product.
While inundating consumers with incessant messaging will likely do more harm than good, careful segmentation can allow for email growth without negative recourse. Remember, your emails’ from and subject fields are seen even by those who don’t open, so title appropriately.
It can’t be stressed enough–Cyber Monday is the single biggest day for online transactions. To prepare for the high volume of visitors, there are a few special considerations to be made.
The ‘Spirit’ of Cyber Monday – While the prices for your goods and services may go down some to entice the masses, it’s important to remember that a majority of shoppers are out “deal hunting.” Make sure to poise your price reductions as time-sensitive sales and build pages around these expiring offers. By creating a sense of urgency, you’ll help convince some apprehensive shoppers that the time to purchase is now.
New Landing Pages – Alongside your increased email marketing efforts, design fresh landing pages that’ll put segmented users exactly where they need to go. While users are expected to do a good deal of shopping around for the best prices on Cyber Monday, it never hurts to land customers exactly where you want them to go.
Attracting deal-hungry consumers to your site is arguably the most difficult piece of the Cyber Monday puzzle. However, not every visitor that finds your site is a converting customer. In our next blog, we’ll go over site abandonment strategies for Cyber Monday and talk about the role social media plays in creating sales.
For more information on what UpSellit can do to help you optimize your holiday traffic and reduce website abandonment, please contact us for a free consultation.
Written by Joe Rosenthal