Tips for a Stress Free Cyber Monday & Post Cyber Monday Ecommerce Experience

As the holiday shopping season looms, online retailers are bracing themselves for the busiest ecommerce day of the year. That day, more colloquially known as Cyber Monday, is set to attract millions of online shoppers all looking for the best deal. While boosting your site’s SEO may help visitors to find your store, that’s only half the battle. Now you have to deliver, literally.


The season of giving often gives retailers heartburn from trying to squeeze every dollar from the holidays. That said, that heartburn isn’t necessary.

In fact, relief is possible with the implementation of these often under-utilized strategies to support larger marketing initiatives.

When you think of holiday marketing, what comes to mind? The usual holiday approach seems to involve steep discounts, massive ad spends and an over-reliance on email.

With avoiding that usual approach in mind, ClickZ’s Evan Magliocca details some smaller-scale, under-utilized strategies that can help to drive the holiday growth everyone seeks.

These are easy to implement, easy to scale across sites and countries, and involve minimal effort aside from a little messaging execution and savvy marketing.


Shipping Deadlines

It’s essential to let the customer know by what date he or she would need to place an order to receive the package prior to the holiday time-period.

As December progresses towards Christmas Day, shipping messaging gains in urgency and prominence, providing the impetus for customers to buy if they’d like to receive their order before the cutoff.

The benefit is that the brand immediately places purchasing in the mind of the consumer, even before they’ve seen a product. They know they’ll need to make a purchase soon, providing urgency to complement the product or promotion.


Gift Card Redemption

Gift cards usually see a heavy push in the weeks leading up to holiday with large marketing efforts for e-gift cards after the shipping deadline has passed. Once the holidays have passed, very few retailers market redemptions.

Redemption marketing is a very effective tactic to drive sales once the major shopping period (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) has trailed off.

Gift card redemption marketing is an effective supplement to product marketing; consider email footers, homepage banners and in-line marketing content on browse-based pages.


Upgraded Shipping

Sometimes it pays to procrastinate for consumers. In this instance, it’s flat-rate shipping upgrades to get their order by Christmas. Last-minute holiday shoppers are desperate to purchase, needing the product as soon as possible, but that causes many consumers to see e-commerce as an unfeasible option because of shipping timelines.

Providing a flat-rate shipping upgrade to next-day, or two-day shipping with promised delivery by Christmas Eve places ecommerce platforms back into the consideration set for last-minute shoppers, increasing traffic and conversion rates with the right marketing strategy.

That being said, consumers have high expectations for shipping. They’ve grown accustomed to ecommerce platforms, providing free shipping, or at least a threshold for free shipping on a regular basis.

Simply put, the incentive and expectation of free shipping increases orders and conversion enough to offset those costs and provide an incremental boost to sales.

If a brand doesn’t offer shipping incentives in retail, it’s not competitive in the market – especially during the holiday season. Those brands may consider analyzing abandoned cart rates–they’re most likely well-above industry standards.


Account Creation

Account and loyalty acquisition are perhaps the most straightforward strategies to increase engagement. The philosophy is simple, consumers that create an account are more engaged and they are retargetable based on their data.

Therefore, during the holiday push, retailers are more likely to activate an account or loyalty cohort than non-members. Even better, the strategy is financially neutral with no inherent overhead or costs.

Execution is also simple. Ecommerce headers and email footers can be highly effective when targeted to a likely segment and paired with great messaging and creative. There’s the option to add an incentive, as well. Promotional offers range, but usually are steep discounts on a single product to protect the overall product offering.

Craft a short-range plan for account holders and members. Focus on the acquisition flow including incentives, messaging and channel. Specifically indicate how each of those integrate with each other to drive sign-ups.

Remember, each person is your most valuable customer. Make sure they’re engaged and receiving messaging since they’ll be the foundation of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday sales.

A well-planned approach to the holiday season doesn’t always mean throwing dollars at every channel and promotion possible. Strategic brands utilize their promotions in a well-timed, targeted approach with mature incentives and experiences.

They also provide peripheral strategies and incentives such as gift card redemption, the all-important shipping strategies and account member engagement to build on their holiday gains.

Cheers to a prosperous holiday season!