Cyber Monday has officially stolen the spot as the year’s top shopping holiday, and ecommerce businesses need to prepare for another surge of eager online shoppers.
Last year’s Cyber Monday figures clocked in at a record $3.39 billion, which was a 10.2 percent increase from last year. Desktop computers still dominated sales, but mobile drove a majority of site visits (53%). Mobile is slowly securing more online spend, accounting for 35% of sales last year — 25% from smartphones, 10% from tablets.
These figures should influence how eommerce retailers prepare for the holiday rush, accommodating customers across multiple customer touch-points to maximize their sales channels. We’ve gathered tips on what steps you need to take to boost your ecommerce sales this Cyber Monday.
Prepare Earlier for the Holiday Rush
The holiday shopping season starts earlier each year, and retailers should be ready capitalize on shoppers who are eager to begin early. Sprinkle doses of marketing messaging into your loyal customers’ hands a bit earlier in the season to keep your brand top of mind as they start their shopping process. Get ahead of the Cyber Monday crowd by extending your Black Friday sales, or by starting them earlier in the month. Advertising Small Business Saturday sales, for example, can give your business an edge in the crowded ecommerce space.
Invest in Your Mobile Channels
Capturing more Cyber Monday customer spend means having the right mobile technology to engage people with your brand. Retailers must optimize their mobile and online channels to keep customers on their site longer and convert more sales. As the stats above show, consumers are more willing to both browse and shop on mobile than ever before. The key to getting people to purchase on mobile is by offering more payment methods, one-click payment options, and by reducing checkout time. Mobile will continue to capture more attention each year, and retailers must invest in the types of mobile-friendly checkout solutions, APIs and in-app purchasing options that create a smooth customer journey.
Check Your Website for Glitches
Optimizing your digital channels also means proactively preparing your sites for increased traffic and unforeseen glitches. Whether it be mobile, tablet or desktop, you must ensure that each channel is fully optimized to provide a seamless shopping experience. Potential customers who encounter friction along their shopping journey — whether it be on a product page or at checkout, are significantly more likely to abandon their purchase. Retailers can prepare for increased traffic surges across their mobile sites/apps and tablet/desktop sites by pre-testing additional traffic loads, testing checkout options, testing how your site appears across multiple internet browsers and analyzing general site flow (how long it takes a page to load). Retailers have enough to worry about on Cyber Monday; website issues shouldn’t be the reason customers don’t convert.
Respond Quickly When Problems Arise
Issues are bound to happen when an influx of shoppers flock to a website on a single day. Products are likely to fly off the shelves, pages will crash, and glitches can happen, no matter how well you prepare. Anticipating problems can help you serve customers better. One way to overcome this hurdle is to integrate easy-to-access live chat onto your website. Or, offer an email address and phone number that enable easy ways to connect with customer service. Be responsive to your customers when issues arise and work diligently toward finding a solution that keeps the shoppers satisfied with your brand.
Retarget Your Loyal Customer Base
It’s estimated that 1 in 4 shoppers will abandon their cart just because the checkout process is too long or too complicated. Cart abandonment is also anticipated to cost retailers over $4.6 trillion annually. One of the best ways to recapture lost customers (and lost sales) is through retargeting emails and ads that mention your Cyber Monday deals. Engage with your most loyal customer base through targeted email promotions, social media advertising, and other retargeting channels. Retargeting emails are also an excellent method for promoting last-minute sales that encourage impulse buys. It’s easier to sell to a loyal, existing customer than a new one. Understand who your top customers are and send them enticing deals to keep your brand top of mind on Cyber Monday.
Offer Hassle-Free Returns
One of the biggest reasons customers abandon their carts boils down to product cost, and unexpected fees at checkout. Last-minute high shipping charges and confusing return process are two key examples. Customers expect the online return process to replicate the in-store process. Retailers should accept online purchase returns in-store; you should also advertise a free, flexible return option during checkout. Customers want transparency in the buying and returning process; retailers should make this the most straightforward aspect of interacting with their brand — both online or in-store.
Enhance the Customer Experience
To entirely be prepared for the Cyber Monday rush, you must be ready to provide a fantastic customer experience. From browsing to buying and checkout to customer follow-up, people expect the be engaged during each step of the shopper’s journey. This includes knowing how to offer diverse types of payment methods, providing an integrated payment experience, enabling a faster checkout with less friction and being direct and transparent about when customers should expect their orders. People today have more choices than ever before when it comes to shopping online, which includes cross-border ecommerce opportunities and burgeoning online marketplaces with highly-competitive rates. Your business must find a way to stand out, deliver a better customer experience and nurture the shopper’s journey each step of the way. That, along with the tips above, will help your business capture a more significant share of the Cyber Monday holiday shopping pie.
Are you ready to tackle the holiday shopping rush? Rely on the power of digital to enhance your in-store experience, and use that to entice retail shoppers to become online customers. That’s where the real value will be this holiday shopping season. Our online payment solutions will ensure that your business is ready to tackle the Cyber Monday rush!