November 26, 2012
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“Bye-bye Black Friday. So long Small Business Saturday. Now, it’s Cyber Monday’s turn.”
However, given recent reports, the future of Cyber Monday could eventually morph into Cyber Week.
According to comScore, 57 million Americans visited online retail sites on Black Friday. Yet “despite the frenzy of media coverage surrounding the importance of Black Friday in the brick-and-mortar world, we continue to see [the Black Friday] shopping day become more and more prominent in the e-commerce channel – particularly among those who prefer to avoid crowds at the stores.”
Cyber Monday — the marketing term associated with the Monday after Black Friday (the Friday following Thanksgiving in the United States) is the day where consumers count on your small business to deliver the digital goods — and deals.
After making its official debut in 2005, according to Shop.org, each year (like clockwork) it’s expected that consumers who haven’t finished all of their shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend will turn to the Internet.
In search for the perfect gifts, “it’s estimated that this year’s Cyber Monday will be the biggest online shopping day of the year for the third year in a row: According to research firm comScore, Americans are expected to spend $1.5 billion, up 20% from last year on Cyber Monday, as retailers have ramped up their deals to get shoppers to click on their websites.”
Forget Cyber Monday, Here’s How to Manage Cyber “Week”
So how can your small business ensure success this “Cyber Week?” Here are 8 quick tips to consider as you close out the day and manage the week ahead.
1. Deploy a flash sale
Move hard-to-sell inventory with deep discounts and announce a flash sale via email. Share the news with a quick email campaign during work hours for maximum impact.
2. Get social with exclusives
Share an exclusive social media discount with your social media fans, using viral graphics and succinct messages that clearly communicate and explain the offer.
“People will be searching for discounts on Facebook and other social media,” according to Get Response. “You can prepare a special discount or coupon for your social fans or even change the offer every hour and announce it on Facebook and Twitter.”
3. Don’t crash and burn
Make sure your website can handle the traffic. “Despite record online sales [last year], many of the 55 top retail websites went down periodically throughout the day and cost many of the companies hundreds of thousands of dollars.” This should be a cautionary tale for small businesses. In other words, keep your tech guy or IT department on call for Cyber Monday.
In a perfect world no stone would be left unturned, but in business reality don’t hesitate to perform a morning load test to find out if your site can hold up under pressure.
4. Incentivize employee productivity
Your employees will most likely contribute to this year’s Cyber Monday sales success. A recent survey found that “overall, 55 percent of businesses of all sizes predict their employees will spend two to four hours a week shopping online during the holiday buying season.” Small businesses can embrace this fact by proactively rewarding teams for staying focused — this is where your company culture will come into play.
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