In 2019, the Monday after Thanksgiving Day became the biggest day for eCommerce in American history. Cyber Monday allows brands and businesses to share their products and services with an expansive and varied customer base. By offering deals and bundles, this shopping holiday can translate to a highly profitable business day, so long as the eCommerce side of your business is prepared.
A huge opportunity may be lost if your business does not have a system in place to handle high-traffic orders and customer shipping expectations. By implementing procedures to monitor inventory fulfillment properly or to streamline packaging and shipping, you can ensure that your business will reap the benefits of the Cyber Monday extravaganza.
The Monday after Black Friday has been one of the busiest shopping days throughout the last couple of decades as customers check eCommerce stores' websites to catch any deals they might have missed through Thanksgiving weekend. The answer to which a website created Cyber Monday in its official name can be attributed to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
Early in the Monday shopping trend, the NRF titled the day "Cyber Monday" and quickly created CyberMonday.com, a place for shoppers to peruse a compiled list of hundreds of post-Thanksgiving deals. CyberMonday.com was not alone for long as big-name online and physical stores began offering their own Cyber Monday deals, including Cyber Monday boutique sales.
Today, you will find almost any eCommerce business participating in Cyber Monday, and for a good reason. After steady growth in the early 2000s, 2019 Cyber Monday sales came close to $9.5 billion. 2020 and 2021 Cyber Monday sales did not quite reach the height of 2019, largely due to the economic strain put in motion by COVID-19.
However, 2021 eCommerce numbers looked almost normal, giving reason to believe that businesses will be able to take advantage of the most profitable day in eCommerce history on Cyber Monday 2022.
So which online retailers participate in Cyber Monday? The answer should be every eCommerce store website. The major players in Cyber Monday offering the most bought-up deals are generally in technology. It's not surprising then that the companies offering the biggest deals are Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy, with Dell and Apple coming in close behind. Don't count small and growing businesses out, though.
According to a survey conducted by The Patriot Ledger, 58% of shoppers shifted to primarily buying online in 2020 for the entirety of the post-Thanksgiving Day sale period, and these numbers have stayed pretty consistent. This means that any eCommerce business, no matter the size, has an even larger online marketplace from which to attract new customers.
There's even more good news for small businesses: 2020 saw an increase of 501% in online small business sales over the holiday shopping weekend. This relatively new shopping holiday can be a huge win for your business by ending the year with a solid fourth quarter, ready to head into Q1 of 2023.
To take advantage of Cyber Monday, you will want to run a campaign in the days and weeks leading up to the big day. Showcasing your future deals will remind your current customers to stop by your site on the Monday after Thanksgiving and will attract new customers to your eCommerce business.
With planning and a willingness to dip into a variety of marketing techniques, your online store will be sure to make it to the screens of new and returning customers.
The eCommerce industry is relatively new, and the largest online shopping holiday is even newer. With the recent proliferation of social media-based shopping or social commerce, there is bound to be a diverse set of challenges that eCommerce Businesses must overcome.
With a plethora of online shopping options, including online shopping giants like Amazon, customers get the last word in terms of service and retail expectations. Online shoppers have become accustomed to same-day shipping, two-day delivery, protected high-speed shopping websites, 24/7 customer support, and pain-free return and exchange processes.
Though it may seem daunting, it is possible to remain competitive in today's market, whether you're a small business owner or the owner of a brand that is growing exponentially.
The first step to maintaining profitability is understanding the challenges of the unprecedented shopping season ahead, especially on a day like Cyber Monday, and how to prepare for and combat those challenges.
One of the biggest limiting factors to your Cyber Monday success may occur before an order is even placed. A fast and reliable Cyber Monday website is crucial to keeping customers on your page, adding to their carts, and checking out.
Your store website needs to be able to perform with no hiccups during the peak surges that may occur after you publish your hottest holiday deals. You can work with a website builder, specifically a shop builder, for Cyber Monday to ensure that your online shop is intuitive to navigate.
The same performance expectations go for desktop and mobile versions of your website. Assuming you will send out email updates and alerts about your offers and inventory, many customers will move directly from the email inbox of their phone to your online shop.
Some social media platforms, such as Instagram, have publicly announced updates designed to help influencers and businesses secure income through social media. With this in mind, know that some shoppers will be directed to your online shop through social media without even leaving it.
Schedule proper testing of all platforms, including desktop, mobile, and all applicable social media platforms, before the holiday season to make sure that your online infrastructure is prepared. Some important factors to examine are:
Your customers mean everything to your business. Not only are they the consumers of your goods and services, but they are also potential advertisers. A happy customer will likely refer a brand or product they love to their friends, family, and maybe even their entire social media community.
Because customer service is something consumers care about, almost as much as the products themselves, it is important to take care of customer support tickets as soon and as satisfactorily as possible.
In the middle of the biggest eCommerce holiday of the year, you'll want to work proactively to take care of issues that would lead to customer support tickets before they even happen. Improved order accuracy means increased customer satisfaction and repeat customers.
A couple of ways to work proactively in customer support are to:
Following the deals that you offer on Cyber Monday, it's likely that your online shop will see some new faces. You will potentially have new customers that have never even heard of your brand before the holiday.
The Cyber Monday shopping holiday can be leveraged to welcome new customers who will become returning or even frequent shoppers. Your eCommerce business must be prepared to handle any issue that may arise to secure customer loyalty. One thing you can do to create happy customers is to have a streamlined and reliable system for returns.
Though returns are never desirable by a business, they are bound to occur, especially after a hectic shopping day like Cyber Monday. Returns are especially common in apparel, where even with the best size charts, sometimes customers need to wear an article of clothing to know if they want it. A return can benefit you as a business owner in the return process.
If you can provide an easy and fast return process for your customer, you will be able to build brand loyalty even through a less than desirable outcome. Some ways to improve your returns process include:
In addition to customer service requests, shipping options are important to customers when choosing a brand or business to buy from. With standards set by larger companies like Amazon and Walmart, customers expect free shipping options as well as next-day or even same-day shipping. This can be difficult to manage if a component of your supply chain is outside the U.S. and you do not have a comprehensive supply chain network to monitor your inventory and keep your goods incoming freely.
It also may not be feasible to fulfill next-day shipping and delivery if your fulfillment center is too far from the delivery location.
As a business owner, it's important to find the balance between delivering on customer expectations and cost-effectiveness. Many customers won't select two-day shipping if the price exceeds the worth of a quick turnaround, and definitely of the product itself, and may end up using a different retailer entirely. Consider the following guidelines to alleviate your shipping challenges:
Many brands and businesses sell bundles or kits on Cyber Monday. These offers are a great way to move inventory and can upsell a purchase when suggesting items that pair well together. However, selling multiple items as a bundle does present a couple of challenges. The fulfillment cost can be expensive compared to the order price as multiple inventory items are needed to fulfill one technical item.
The logistics of ensuring all parts of a kit or bundle arrive together can also be challenging and take away from the value of a "bundle" when items reach the consumer separately. In addition, the more moving components there are to an order, the more room there is for human error.
Cyber Monday is also a great opportunity to share any subscription boxes or similar offers with your customers. For example, you could pair a deal with the first month of a monthly subscription to secure more recurring sales. This strategy creates reliable profits. Subscription boxes pose similar challenges as do bundles and kits, but we have some tips to keep these high-value offerings profitable:
As an eCommerce business, keeping up with your inventory can be challenging. To have a well-rounded understanding of your inventory, you have to constantly update inventory data, run analytics to pick up on patterns of fast-moving items or items that should be discontinued, and coordinate restocks on time so as not to run out of top-selling items that are vital to your business.
Cyber Monday sales can be unpredictable, but you don't want to miss a huge opportunity by running out of your most popular items on the day of. When a customer finds an "Out of Stock" notice on your online shop, they will have to move on to other shops and offers.
To keep your shop stocked and prepared for Cyber Monday, partner with a 3PL like ShipNetwork who can offer these services:
eCommerce businesses come with their unique benefits and challenges. Those challenges are amplified on shopping holidays like Cyber Monday. It is imperative for the success of your business, whether small or large, to prepare for Cyber Monday 2022, potentially the largest online shopping day in history.
ShipNetwork can help you alleviate fulfillment challenges by offering streamlined processes that maximize profitability. We can help you process returns and guarantee 100% order accuracy & a 1-2 day ground delivery network.
They can also evaluate and analyze inventory levels, turn individual items into kits and bundles, and ship your products fast using the most cost-effective shipping carriers for your order.