Cyber Monday is the New Black (Friday)

by Grace Miller |

Cyber Monday is the New Black (Friday)

As you probably have already heard, this year’s Cyber Monday set a record with more than $3 billion in sales for the first time ever. The biggest online selling day of the year beat the forecast of a 12% increase from last year by four percentage points. The biggest online shopping day ever brought an average of 12% growth for large retailers and 6% for small retailers.

Even on Black Friday, total online sales went up by 19% from last year, with mobile sales increasing by a whopping 95%.

Despite this great news, competition gets stiffer year after year. It seems that offering some kind of discount is not enough anymore; brands have to really stand out in a sea of sales. How can one win the cyber battle? Read on and learn what some companies have been doing.

Leveraging Mobile

The world is going mobile (at least the one I live in). 34% of this year’s Cyber Monday sales were generated by mobile (tablets and smartphones) and 22% of these purchases were made through smartphones. All in all, it amounted to about $799 million in sales. It seems like this gives ecommerce retailers no choice but to focus on optimizing user experience on mobile, maximizing their online presence, and getting creative!

In the last few years Sephora has been sending sneak peeks of their deals to their Snapchat followers—genius! That is a win-win situation because it not only helps them attract shoppers in advance but it also helps shoppers find their good deals ahead of time. The best of all: it puts Sephora in its customers’ minds, preventing Sephora’s deals from getting lost among the overload of Cyber Monday sales offers that occur 2 to 3 days prior to Cyber Monday.

This year, Target—one of the biggest players in Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales—went one step further to make sure their customers’ needs were met. The retailer partnered with the app Curbside, allowing customers to make a purchase and pick it up at a Target location of their choice without having to leave their car. Talk about convenience!

Cultivating Loyalty

80% of your company’s future revenue comes from as little as 20% of your existing customers. Returning customers spend an average of 67% more than first-timers. 64% of customers say that receiving rewards impact how much they spend. I could go on and on, but you get the idea right? Nurturing the relationship between your brand and your loyal customers can go a long way.

This year, Nordstrom counted on its already loyal customers to be ahead of competition (and to simply reward them of course) during this Cyber Monday game. The giant retailer did that by offering double loyalty points to some of its loyalty program members, while offering 10 points per dollar spent to others. All that on top of offering 25% and 30% off on its Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack websites. Olympus did something similar, offering 15-20% off its products and double loyalty reward points for purchases made on Cyber Monday. Simple and easy.

While making special offers to your loyal members is very important, pushing enrollment during this period is just as vital. The big discounts around cyber Monday are a great opportunity to attract new customers and get them to join your loyalty program. Urban Outfitters must have gotten a huge influx of new loyalty members on Friday, since they gave an extra 10% off all purchases to their rewards members. Yes, a lot of people may just sign up with the intent to benefit from the sales and percentages off, but getting these shoppers into your loyalty program could be the first step to start a relationship with them.

Nurturing Referrals

Referrals are an efficient and reliable way of building up your customer base. After all, referrals are the most trusted form of marketing, and referred customers are 18% more loyal than others on average. Consider implementing a referral program and marketing it heavily in the month or so leading up to the last week of November. That way, you set your customers up for bigger savings and you can count on an influx of new shoppers.

Strategizing Ratings and Reviews

You know it, we know it, Inc. knows it, and Neil Patel knows it: websites with ratings and reviews do better. If you don’t have them, you’re missing out on a possible 18+% increase in sales. If you implement ratings and reviews on your site by early spring, you’ll be able to build up the amount of user generated content you’ll need for the holiday shopping rush next year. Given that many shoppers research products before Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales go live, it makes even more sense to jump on the bandwagon as soon as possible.

Standing out from competitors during the largest online sales days is not an easy feat, but it surely can be accomplished if one focuses on the right things.

Cyber Monday

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