Cyber Monday 2018 was the biggest day of online sales in U.S. history, and 2019 promises to make a run for a new record. Known as Cyber Week, the stretch from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday is the most lucrative week of the year for online merchants like you.
Here are five key ways to position yourself for success during this all-important eCommerce season.
1. Offer strategic discounts that increase AOV
A blanket discount of 25% off across your entire site may attract customers, but the very best discounts are those that also work to increase your average order value. Think strategically about the discounts you’ll run during Cyber Week and how they contribute to your overall sales figures.
Some examples of promotions that entice customers while also boosting AOV are free shipping over a certain dollar amount, a free gift on orders of $100 or more, discounts when you buy two or more items, and bundle discounts on purchases of multiple products within a collection.
To help execute your promotions seamlessly, use Shopify apps that are made for discounts and bundling. A few of our favorites are Bold Discounts and Bold Bundles for regular Shopify merchants and Flow and Launchpad for Shopify Plus customers.
2. Optimize your online store for one thing: shopping
This might sound obvious, since your online store is clearly meant for shopping. But if you examine your website with a critical eye, you’ll likely find a lot that distracts from the holiday season’s top priority: converting the visitor into a customer.
As soon as a visitor hits your site, it should be easy and fast to find the gift or deal they’re looking for. Use your home page to spotlight your bestselling products and direct the customer to convenient gifting options. Add helpful menu items to your navigation, with products categorized by recipient (gifts for her, gifts for him, etc.) and by price.
Follow best practices to ensure your online store delivers an excellent experience not just on desktop, but mobile and tablet, as mobile browsing recently surpassed desktop traffic for the first time.
3. Use paid search to capture bottom-of-the-funnel buyers
Supplementing your traffic with paid search is essential to build brand awareness in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Customers start early when strategizing their Black Friday/Cyber Monday purchases, which means you must start early, too.
Do a deep dive on keywords to strategize top-of-funnel search phrases to target early on (‘best area rugs for dogs’) and bottom-of-funnel phrases to target during Cyber Week (area rugs + Black Friday deals). The earlier you can begin running your paid search campaigns, the better, since costs spike sharply as Thanksgiving approaches. Plan for CPCs that are anywhere from 20% to 100% higher than the rest of the year.
4. Engage shoppers with holiday-specific social campaigns
While shoppers may be using Google to search for deals during the busy holiday season, they’re relying on social media to stay connected with friends and family. Meet them there and create an additional brand touchpoint with holiday-centric social media campaigns.
In the weeks before Thanksgiving, update your profile pictures with holiday-themed images and add copy to your bio about your upcoming sales. Use festive, high-quality lifestyle images to promote your top sellers, inspire gift-giving ideas and tease your upcoming promotions.
Create platform-specific content, especially video, to deliver a unique experience from platform to platform. Engage your followers by reposting user generated holiday content and running contests with an interactive element.
As Cyber Week gets underway, use your social media channels not just to promote your products, but to act as a resource for your customers. Share updates as each promotion goes live and send reminders when time is running out or stock is running low. Set expectations on the best ways to reach your customer support staff (phone, email, live chat, etc.), especially if you have a smaller team that doesn’t monitor social inboxes around the clock.
5. Use automation to send targeted emails
If there’s one week of the year where you want to be on top of your email marketing game, Cyber Week is it. Use email to begin teasing your best deals throughout the week leading up to Thanksgiving, then send your followers an alert as each promotion goes live. Entice your subscribers with fresh deals each day between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in addition to any store-wide discounts you’re running for the duration of the week.
Take advantage of automation to send targeted emails to important revenue-boosting audience segments, like shoppers with abandoned carts, high lifetime value customers and customers who shopped with you last year during Cyber Week. Using email to target these groups costs next to nothing but can contribute to a dramatic bump in revenue.
Map Out Your Black Friday + Cyber Monday Strategy With The Parkfield Holiday Marketing Guide
The tactics we’ve covered here are a great starting point, but there’s much more you can do to make the 2019 holiday season your most profitable one yet. Take the next step in building your Black Friday-Cyber Monday marketing strategy by downloading Parkfield’s Holiday Marketing Survival Guide.
In this expansive free guide, you’ll learn specific ways to optimize your online store for more conversions during Cyber Week and create product pages that increase your average order value. We’ll show you how to strengthen your paid search campaigns with holiday-centric copy and reveal which discounts make shoppers the most likely to click. Plus, you’ll learn about shoppable social media posts and the app that helped our client increase email marketing revenue by 1500%.