Cyber Monday usually shadows Black Friday, but that is set to change this year. A recent survey ahead of the 2020 holiday season confirms that 30% of consumers plan to shop on Cyber Monday, versus the 24% planning to shop on Black Friday. Historically, Black Friday has been driven by brick-and-mortar stores with supplemental online deals. As a result, consumers tend to perceive Black Friday as an in-store experience, whereas Cyber Monday has always been an online event, making it a better fit for the 2020 shopping environment.
As this year’s extended holiday shopping season kicks off, it would be wise to start thinking about next year’s digital advertising trends based on the monumental changes that took place in 2020. A recent report shared that 70% of B2B marketers expect their company to invest more in content creation in 2021, while 66% think that their company will invest more in website enhancements. These marketers have a point. Consumer habits have shifted this year, with more people reading thought leadership articles from companies, and more people shopping online than ever before. Creating relevant content for your customers and ensuring a streamlined shopping experience on your website are no longer nice-to-haves – they are essentials for any online business.
As we mentioned in our Black Friday post, it is helpful for brands to create a landing page to showcase all of their Black Friday sales in one place, or in this case, all of their Cyber Monday deals. Coupled with ads that direct consumers to these pages, this integrated approach allows shoppers to easily locate and peruse Cyber Monday deals, which could keep them on your page longer.
Once your landing page and ad creative are in place, check out these three strategies to pique consumer interest and make more sales this Cyber Monday.
Tip 1: Break Through the Noise
E-commerce companies face stiff competition on Cyber Monday, making it difficult to stand out. Brands should recognize that discounts such as 10% off or free shipping will probably not cut it, as those deals will be offered by almost every retailer on Cyber Monday. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a higher discount does not always equal higher customer demand, as these high discounts can signal higher risk for some shoppers. This means a moderate discount of 30% might have a more positive impact on customer perception, than larger discounts.
Companies can also elevate their product offering, for both first-time and returning customers. For first-time customers, complimentary gifts or additional coupons to use in the future can help give your company a leg up among the competition. For returning customers, this provides an opportunity to receive a limited-edition product.
Tip 2: Consider the Customer Journey
To rise above the competition, it is essential to make the shopping experience as seamless and efficient as possible. Before making a purchase, consumers interact with countless brand touchpoints, so finding ways to keep them engaged and ultimately compel them to buy from your brand is the top priority. One way to do this in the online landscape of Cyber Monday is to make the checkout process as easy as possible.
With a whole slew of companies offering similar deals, customers have options. If it appears the checkout process will be even a slight inconvenience, they will be more likely to abandon their cart without completing their purchase. In fact, 69% of online shopping carts are abandoned, and each abandoned cart is a missed opportunity for e-commerce companies. Offering one-click or guest checkout is a way to reduce friction at checkout since many users dislike spending the time to create an account. Allowing them to login with one of their social media accounts is another proven strategy to speed up the checkout process and boost conversions across the board.
You may feel like this will cause you to miss out on lead gen opportunities, but it’s important to remember that customers will still have to provide their email and shipping information, which can be utilized for post-purchase follow-ups and continued marketing in the future.
Tip 3: Set Sales up for Success
During large sales events like Cyber Monday, e-commerce companies need to make sure product descriptions and images are accurate in order to limit returns. Customers can’t touch or try on a product before making a purchase, so you should make up for this with high-quality product images that show the product from various angles, in all available colors, sizes and styles. If you’re selling clothing, we recommend showing the pieces being worn by individuals of varying body types, as this can be helpful for shoppers to determine the look and fit of the product. Additionally, customers should be able to zoom in on the images, clearly understand any customization options and receive all relevant product specifications in the product copy.
By providing this information upfront, companies empower their customers to make informed purchasing decisions, therefore decreasing the need for returns. However, since returns are unavoidable for most retailers, sellers should make it clear what return options are available, so that the buying experience appears low risk. A generous return policy can play an important role in the purchase decision, as 56% of consumers report that a strict e-commerce return policy discouraged them from making a purchase. Further, 95% of consumers say the way in which a retailer handles returns impacts their decision to make another purchase. Losing future sales due to a negative returns experience is a costly mistake for companies, as retaining existing customers is 5x cheaper than acquiring new ones.
Conversely, a positive returns experience encourages future purchases, therefore boosting overall sales. Nordstrom demonstrates this through its well-known, flexible return policy. As pictured below, this policy is intentionally vague, not hindered by rules but rather motivated by a desire to make their customers happy. Adopting an approach like this communicates clearly to the customer that they will be taken care of, and their best interests are being kept in mind. This type of flexibility helps drive sales in the long-run by fostering customer loyalty with friendly attitudes and customer-centric practices.
Despite the shifting e-commerce trends this year, Cyber Monday offers an opportunity for e-commerce companies to level up their shopping experience for consumers by providing product value, descriptive product information and streamlined online checkout. Leverage the tips above to have your most successful Cyber Monday yet.