It seems like it’s too early to think about the holidays, but if your small business hasn’t already started planning how to prepare for Monday online, now is the time.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss six Cyber Monday ideas that will help prepare your small business for what’s to come. We’ve also included some Cyber Monday preparation tips from companies that have been successful with their Cyber Monday plans in the past years.
What is Cyber Monday and why is it important?
Cyber Monday is an online shopping day that takes place on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Starting at midnight, many retailers will start hosting deals and offers on their websites to help encourage shoppers to finish their holiday gift list before the big day!
Holiday shoppers spent $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday in 2020, up 15.1% from 2019, a record for the largest online shopping day in the United States. At this point, Cyber Monday is the date that is circled in most consumers’ calendars as the only day they will do their holiday shopping.
While you may be tempted to spend all of your time browsing discounted items, it is also important to spend some time preparing your business for this huge day of online shopping. The following ideas should help you start thinking about how to prepare for Cyber Monday!
Speed up your website
Studies have shown that online shoppers often abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Cyber Monday brings in an influx of web traffic and shoppers, so you need to make sure your site is as fast as possible!
If your current hosting does not meet the demand, consider upgrading or switching providers.
Your host may offer Cyber Monday deals so you can get the best service at a lower price.
Here’s a pro tip from Danielle Gannon, Director of Technical SEO at Markitors:
“Test your website page speed and performance. Nothing is more frustrating for an online buyer than a slow website. Get support from your tech team or host support to make sure you’re covered on top of site speed.”
Get ready for cyber attacks
With the spread of online shopping, cybercriminals are taking notice. Hackers may increase their efforts to infiltrate your site to gain access to customer information or even set up fake deals that look real but have nothing behind them!
Make sure you have a comprehensive cyber-attack defense plan ahead of Cyber Monday. Your business should already be using an SSL certificate and should keep an eye on cybersecurity tools like Malwarebytes.
The more prepared you are at work, the better off you will be.
Here’s what Nick Santora of Curricula Security Awareness said:
“With the increase we’ve seen in cyber attacks over the past year, we can expect to see more hackers targeting small businesses on Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday shopping season. Organizations of any size can be targeted for a phishing attack that leads to a data breach or ransomware. Now is the time to ramp up security awareness training so your employees are on the lookout for scam emails Make sure every employee has two-factor authentication turned on [2FA/MFA], uses a password manager [in a vault like LastPass] And not to reuse passwords across multiple accounts – because if one of their accounts gets hacked, it could affect your entire business.”
Reward loyal customers
Many online shoppers will visit your site on Cyber Monday because you have incentives to get there. Reward your loyal customers by offering them a free gift or a reward for purchasing through your website.
You can offer anything from coupons and promotional codes to early access deals based on customer loyalty points earned throughout the year. It’s all about finding ways to encourage shopping through your site!
One advice? Make sure to announce the rewards you are offering on Cyber Monday.
You want online shoppers who are interested in what you have to offer, not just random online traffic that converts soon after they arrive.
Here’s a tip from internet marketing expert Thorin Yee from BestCompaniesAZ:
“Start your marketing efforts early to let online shoppers know that you’ll be offering special discounts during the holiday season. Plan to reward loyal customers by making extra progress in their customer experience. Offer a sneak peek of the sale to your email list. Be thoughtful of your profile.” Email campaign <https://www.godaddy.com/garage/black-friday-email-campaign-ideas/> And remember to optimize the product pages you want to advertise to increase loading speed.”
Improve your checkout experience
Cyber Monday shoppers are looking for deals, and it’s not a time-consuming checkout process. If they come to your site because you have the best deals this year, be sure to take advantage of it!
Don’t drive them through several steps just to get an extra percentage off their order or to get access to free shipping. They probably wouldn’t bother if they didn’t think it was worth their time.
Cyber Monday shoppers are looking for great deals, but that doesn’t mean you should make them feel like your site is hard to navigate or cause them to leave because of the lengthy checkout process. Keep things simple and streamlined so that online shoppers keep coming back all year long.
Here are some ideas on how to implement this tip from Raul Porto of Porto’s Bakery & Cafe:
“One of our biggest concerns is optimizing the checkout process for the fastest and smoothest experience possible. We know that consumers are very upset during Cyber Monday and that not having a seamless user experience can make or break a purchase. That’s why we spent time this summer. In improving our payment experience, which will help us a lot in the long run as well. Planning ahead is key; we started our plans for Cyber Monday in June!”
Consider the long-term impact of your discounts
When shoppers head to your site on Cyber Monday, they want a deal. They may be tempted by the biggest discounts you have this year. But remember that attracting shoppers to your website this Cyber Monday can lead to long-term loyalty and repeat business for your small business – so don’t give away all your secrets with one great sale!
A few percentage points off an entire order or a small freebie with your purchase can go a long way.
You don’t have to offer the best Cyber Monday deals if you want shoppers to come back for more throughout the year.
Here’s what online shopping expert Ona Doyle of Creative Flow had to say about this tip:
“Many business owners don’t realize that when they offer discounts, it comes directly from their profits and that they need to sell more to make up for those losses. When properly planned, this may not be a problem and can boost your profits. However, you should avoid training clients On waiting to sell, breaking up your existing customer base, and losing more than you make in additional sales.Where should you start?First, buy a different specialty inventory or offer a different service [package it differently]. Negotiate lower rates from your suppliers for quick payment and conduct customer research [surveys, polls, check reviews] To make sure your bids sell.”
Find current trends and perform competitor analysis
While Cyber Monday shopping trends may change from year to year, online shoppers are always looking for ways to get the best deal.
If you’re going to keep up with your competitors on Cyber Monday, you’ll need an insight into what they have in store. Spend some time researching the e-deals and discounts that other small online businesses will offer and how shoppers will respond.
Your competitors may be offering great deals you didn’t even know about – which Cyber Monday will likely destroy your small business!
Monitor the online deals offered by other companies this year to make sure your deals are as up-to-date and competitive as possible.
Here’s what AssemblyAI’s Dylan Fox had to add about this tip:
“As Cyber Monday starts to quickly approach, certain products and services will start trending everywhere under the sun. So, to make sure you stay ahead of the competition, review ads, social posts, and newsletters regularly, so you can do a full competitor analysis. With that, you can learn what consumers expect from their responses to current ads, and you can also better set up your own offers. Consider checking your page and keyword rankings as well, if you really want to be prepared!”
Now you know how to prepare for Cyber Monday
With online shopping trends constantly evolving, it is important to stay current with what online shoppers are looking for.
This quick checklist outlines the steps you can take to prepare your small business for the biggest online shopping day of the year:
- Speed up your website: Shoppers expect Cyber Monday deals and discounts to be quick and easy, so make sure your website runs as fast as possible.
- Prepare for cyber attacks: Cyber attacks are more common in the big days of online shopping, so consider taking additional cybersecurity precautions such as making sure your website has an SSL certificate installed.
- Reward Loyal Customers: Everyone is looking for online deals and discounts, but don’t forget your loyal customers. Consider giving them a sneak peek at the Cyber Monday sales you’ll be showing off.
- Improve Your Payment Experience: Transfers from Cyber Monday deals and discounts are more likely if the checkout process is quick, simple, and straightforward.
- Consider the long-term impact of your discounts: If you give a discount too big to get sales on Cyber Monday, shoppers will expect those prices all year round.
- Find Current Trends and Analyze Your Competitors: Cyber Monday shopping trends change from year to year, so take time to research the deals and discounts your competitors have to offer.
There is a lot of preparation and strategies that need to be done well in advance to really take advantage of this epic online shopping day. Use these tips on how to prepare for Cyber Monday to start positioning your small business to generate holiday revenue and fourth-quarter earnings on the biggest shopping day of the year.