by Heather Scurti November 12, 2020

Cyber Monday: The Ultimate eCommerce Guide To Success in 2020

Last Updated: November 12, 2020

Overview

With the 2020 Cyber Monday (Nov. 30) quickly approaching, eCommerce stores nationwide are preparing their teams for a day that’s looking to be bigger and better than years past. With the pandemic still playing an active role in limiting how we live and where we go, eCommerce has been booming — Cyber Monday is looking to follow suit.

What is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday is a 24-hour online shopping event that falls on the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It was originally created by businesses as an extension of Black Friday, in hopes of encouraging people to shop online to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. It is one of the highest, if not the highest, revenue-generating days for eCommerce stores worldwide.

Cyber Monday eCommerce Sales

According to Statista.com, Cyber Monday 2019 was the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history with record eCommerce sales over $9.4 billion USD and over $135 billion USD for the holidays. Despite the impact of COVID-19, projections for the 2020 season remain positive. While retail sales decreased 3.4% during the pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau reported online sales saw a 44.4% increase from Q2 2019 to Q2 2020 — eCommerce sales in Q2 2020 made up 15.1% of total sales.

So, you’ve got your product collection stocked up and your promotions ready to go for the big day, but maybe you’re not quite sure how to execute? We’ve got you covered with the Ultimate Cyber Monday eCommerce Guide to rack in those sales.

With that being said, let’s explore 10 tactics your business can use to crush it this holiday season.

1. Social Media Marketing

In 2019, Statista reported 79% of the U.S. had a social networking profile. These popular social media platforms offer eCommerce merchants another avenue to connect with audiences to build brand awareness, drive website traffic, and increase sales. Merchants can achieve this in several ways — valuable content, engaging conversations, analyzing results, and running ads — and on several platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.

Each platform can serve a different purpose for your eCommerce business and reach various audiences. Whether it be industry-related news (LinkedIn), promotional videos (YouTube), or posts to boost engagement (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) — there’s a channel for every business, demographic, and goal. Shoppers spend 20-40% more with businesses they engage with on social media — each channel can help your brand increase sales.

With that being said, here are a few tactics that can help boost your sales:

  1. Run Holiday Campaigns
  2. Utilize Social eCommerce
  3. Increase Your Organic Presence
  4. Promote Your Content with Paid Ads
Social Media Marketing

Holiday Campaigns

Your eCommerce business has the opportunity to connect with a variety of audiences but it’s imperative to create strategies, schedules and campaigns to execute this. These campaigns are where you can produce creative photos, videos, and graphics to feature products and sales. 

Here Are a Few Tips to Help Establish These Campaigns: 

  • Focus on a specific goal for each campaign
  • Decide how to tailor promotional content on each social channel
  • Build out templates, color palettes, themes, and visuals 
  • Use relevant hashtags, account tags, and post locations
  • Maintain a cohesive voice across platforms 
  • Manage, monitor, and respond consistently throughout the campaign
  • Analyze results and build new campaigns using data
  • Schedule posts in advance using a social management system (Hootsuite, Buffer)

Pro Tip: You don’t have to sell 24/7! Social media is meant to be interactive and create relationships. It’s important your eCommerce business creates specific, targeted campaigns but it’s just as important to be genuine and have fun with it.

Social eCommerce

Social eCommerce has become the newest rage for businesses to implement — it allows for shoppers to purchase directly within social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. All of these channels can be great for advertising your featured holiday products/promotions, engaging with consumers, reaching more audiences, and more. Be sure to read each platform’s commerce policies to make sure your business qualifies for this feature. 

Facebook Marketplace

Organic Social

Organic social media marketing is the use of original content curated by your business without any paid promotion. Organic posts live on your company’s social channels to be seen by all of your followers/subscribers. There are many benefits to organic posts, such as brand awareness, nurturing relationships, customer service, and converting new customers. 

Organic Cyber Monday Ideas: 

  • Cyber Monday Countdown
  • Go Live!
  • Partner With Influencers
Facebook live

Paid Social

Paid social media marketing (advertising) is the use of paid promotions to push content across various social channels to specific audiences. Nowadays, every social channel runs some form of advertisement on its platform. According to Statista, 94% of marketers use Facebook to promote their business and 76% use Instagram. Social media advertising can be extremely helpful for eCommerce businesses trying to reach various targeted audiences.

linkedin sponsored

Paid Social Targeting Strategies:

  • Pull contact/customer lists into ads manager
  • Pull email subscriber lists into ads manager
  • Target potential customers who have not purchased (via email lists)
  • Target existing customers through retargeting ads (via customer lists)
  • Use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn Pixel to retarget by segmenting ads based off specific products/services purchased or viewed (abandoned carts) 
  • Use your current customer and email lists to run ads to potential customers and retargeting ads to past customers
  • Target ads to specific demographics — geolocation, age, race, sex, job title, etc. 

Paid Social Cyber Monday Post Ideas: 

  • Create a carousel ad on Facebook and Instagram showcasing product catalogs
  • Create a 30-second video featuring sales items being used/modeled, etc.
  • Create Instagram story ads with eye-catching graphics promoting your Cyber Monday sales  
  • Promote posts on Twitter and Instagram with detailed captions, tags, and hashtags
  • Schedule day-of sales posts for influencers to post promoting, using, or wearing products 

Online advertisements are crucial for all eCommerce businesses, especially to increase traffic and convert sales for the holiday season. 

Pro Tip: You don’t have to break the bank to advertise — there are several platforms (listed above) where you can advertise for an affordable price.

2. Email Campaigns

The use of email marketing for eCommerce businesses is necessary for online success. This form of marketing allows brands to send targeted and personalized emails, production updates, promotions, and newsletters to subscribers regularly. Each email can serve a different purpose — improving brand awareness, converting sales, providing informative content, retargeting subscribers/customers, or simply building relationships. 

Cyber Monday is a great opportunity for your eCommerce business to build out a detailed email series to highlight sales, featured products, and other related information. 

Here are some ways to produce successful email campaigns:

  1. Segment Your Lists
  2. Use Attention-Grabbing Subjects
  3. Optimize Emails for Mobile
  4. Keep it Short
  5. Run A/B Tests
  6. Retarget Abandoned Carts

Segment Subscribers for Specific Campaigns

By sending subscriber-specific segmented email campaigns, your brand can reach relevant audiences for each business goal and optimize your sending frequency through segmentation. Here are a few metrics you can use to segment your lists;

  1. Brand Engagement Levels
  2. Email Metrics (Open rates, and click rates)
  3. Location (Geotargeting)
  4. Purchase History (Target recent customers)

Use Attention-Grabbing Subject & Headlines

There are several ways to tailor subject lines to increase email open rates. Your eCommerce business can use catchy, creative subject lines depending on your content, audience, and tone. Best practices suggest to keep them short (under 9 words), personalized, descriptive, and limit punctuation or capitalization.

Open Emails

Optimize Email for Mobile Devices

With smartphone devices allowing us to access emails on the go, it’s important your eCommerce business optimizes content for readability on all platforms. Most email marketing systems provide this option to format messages. 

Keep It Short

Email content should not be lengthy — you want to use concise text and graphics to get your message across. Make sure any HTML emails are optimized for smaller screens (mobile devices). Most email platforms used to design campaigns should have settings to tailor content. 

Run A/B (Split) Tests

Email marketing is all about trial and error to meet audiences’ needs. To test components of your email (headlines, format, personalization, call-to-action-buttons, etc.), you can run split tests to see which perform better (i.e. open rates, click rates, conversions). Remember, to use unique CTA buttons and headlines for each email — don’t just recycle through the same ones.

There are also tons of email marketing services you can tap into to market your eCommerce business. Some of our favorites include HubSpot, MailChimp, and ConvertKit

Retarget Abandoned Carts

Retargeting customers who never completed their sales is a great way to bring in more revenue. We’ll cover this more in-depth down later in this guide.

Remarketing Email

3. Google Ads

Digital advertising is a billion-dollar business — online ad revenue in the U.S. alone increased by 15.9% from 2018-2019, reaching $124 billion USD. Online ads can help your eCommerce business inform, persuade, and educate target audiences about your products —  each can be segmented to unique audiences and specific purposes (not just selling). You can monitor and track these campaigns through analytics reports. 

Google Ads is a paid advertising platform that markets by pay-per-click (PPC), meaning your company pays an amount per click or impression. There are several options when it comes to Google ads, the most common being:

  1. Search Ads
  2. Display Ads
  3. Video Ads
  4. Shopping Ads

Search Ads

Search ads are the first text link results displayed on Google search pages — they typically work best for intended transactional queries (ex. Blue shoes for sale). Implementing these ads can offer a huge advantage for your eCommerce store by getting your products featured first when potential buyers search for similar products/services — your capturing demand rather than creating it. 

You can implement these ads for individual products/services using targeted keywords to highlight hot ticket items in high demand, sales products or services, and limited-time stock. 

Tips for Crafting Search Ad Ideas:

  1. Always promote your sales (ex. Power Headphones | 50% off Now)
  2. Feature unique brand benefits (ex. Fitness Mecca | The Only Gym With Free Training For All)
  3. Feature Call To Action Extensions (ex. Browse Best-Selling Products, View Limited-Time Sales, Get A Quote, etc.)
  4. Reinforce your reputation with trust symbols (ex. Wooden Pallets for Sale | The Official Supplier for Home Depot)

Pro Tip: Make sure you don’t forget to tailor descriptive text below linked text to drive traffic.

Search Ad Example: 

Search Ad

Display Ads

Display ads are typically images (or graphics) shown on web pages within Google — they typically work best for remarketing and generating demand. Google Display Network hosts a wide variety of websites that allow these ads on their platforms — site owners receive revenue per click and impression. 

Your eCommerce store can display these ads based on similar products searched, websites selling relevant products or services, and sites/forums talking about your products/services (or industry). 

Cyber Monday Display Ad Ideas

  1. Create witty banner ads using bright graphics/backgrounds with sales mentioned
  2. Create high-quality images with text highlighting product and promotion simultaneously
  3. Create a unique landing page to reinforce the messaging used in the ad

Here are a few examples of amazing display ads:

Display ad Display Ad

Video Ads

Video ads are typically between 15-30-second videos that appear on YouTube before, after or in between the content you’re viewing. Your eCommerce business can use targeted keywords to place ads within relevant videos — you can segment these ads for different demographics (location, age, gender, interests, etc.). You will only be charged when someone watches at least 30 seconds, the full length (of shorter ads), or engages with your ad (clicks). These ads can be shown in three locations: in-stream, search or display (top of right sidebar). 

Cyber Monday Video Ad Ideas:

  1. Create a 30-second catalog video showcasing promotional products/services being used/modeled
  2. Create a 15-second video showcasing one to two hot ticket sale items/services and their features 
  3. Create a 60-second video explaining brand, products/services, and top sales benefits for viewers to buy
  4. Create long-form customer testimonial videos to showcase trust

Check out this awesome video made by Slack:

Shopping Ads

Shopping ads are product listings driven by keywords and automatic keyword targeting that generate sponsored products at the top of a Google search query — they typically work best using high-quality product images with the product name, pricing, and your site URL. 

Shopping ads are highly effective because they capture demand based on potential customer searches, rather than trying to create demand. To successfully implement these, your eCommerce site must set up a Google Merchant Center account to create a shopping feed of your products — this allows Google to access the necessary information to display your product ads.

Consider Using These Shopping Ad Ideas:

  1. Optimize shopping feed by including products with competitive pricing 
  2. Make product titles searchable and use relevant keywords in descriptions
  3. Focus targeting on new customers with similar search behaviors as current customers
  4. Highlight promotions — ‘Free Shipping, Special Offer, 50% Off’

Shopping Ad Example:

Shopping Ad

4. Website Optimization: Desktop & Mobile

Website optimization can make or break your eCommerce site — without a physical storefront, your online store is the only impression potential customers have of your brand. If your site is not optimized, it can decrease traffic and sales, and be detrimental to your business. 

Since Cyber Monday is the busiest day of the year for most eCommerce merchants, it’s imperative your business is prepared for high traffic and volume. Your business can also utilize optimization tools like Google PSI, Yoast, and more, to check your desktop and mobile websites.

Mobile-Friendly eCommerce Optimization

According to Statista, mobile devices used for shopping increased by 15% since 2016 and will account for 73% of all eCommerce sales by 2021 — meaning there’s no better time to optimize your site to be mobile-friendly than right now. Mobile optimization for mobile devices (especially touchscreen) can be huge for your business to see sales for the upcoming Cyber Monday. 

Here are some basics for mobile-friendly optimization:

  1. Downsize Images & Videos
  2. User-Friendly Checkouts
  3. Optimize Meta Titles & Descriptions
  4. Content Optimization – Short Form for Mobile
  5. Remove Popups

Downsize Images & Videos

Image and video optimization can accelerate your site load time and prevent potential customers from leaving. Your eCommerce site can compress images and videos through sites like YouCompress, FreeConvert, and Media.io

media.io

Incorporate User-Friendly Navigation & Checkout

Simplifying your eCommerce site’s navigation and checkout process can be a deciding factor in converting a sale or losing it. Your navigation toolbar should highlight core functions (i.e. product categories, view cart, checkout, account) — we recommend keeping navigation tabs to eight items max and including a ‘Cyber Monday Sales’ tab. To ensure this, you can use tools like WPtouch and Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

For mobile checkout, don’t force customers to create an account to complete their purchase — include a guest checkout feature. Also, implementing a checkout toolbar allows customers to see their progress in real-time (ex. basic info, shipping, billing, payment). Make sure all CTA buttons use bold colors, so they’re distinguishable. Use secure checkout (with a lock icon) to increase trust.

Optimize Meta Titles and Descriptions 

Meta title tags and descriptions are essential for successful SEO — these elements can influence whether a potential customer visits your site or not. Title tags serve as a preview of your eCommerce business which is why it’s important to describe your brand accurately and concisely. Best practices recommend using keywords at the front of these tags and keeping the text descriptive, informative, and short. 

Content Optimization — Short-Form for Mobile

With decreased screen space, eCommerce businesses can implement strategies to deliver content more concisely. Some of these techniques include shorter paragraphs (2-3 sentences), prioritizing important content first (above the fold), eliminating excess tabs/pages, increasing text size, and narrowing down product text (name, price, a short description, and CTA button).

Remove Pop-Up Advertisements

For optimal Cyber Monday conversions, we recommend removing pop-up ads from your eCommerce site to improve page speeds and eliminate distractions. Mobile pop-ups are typically hard to close and can overlap important information for shoppers — you can implement other tactics to promote advertisements to target audiences.

Desktop-Friendly eCommerce Optimization

Making your site visually appealing is half the battle — eCommerce companies can benefit greatly from taking steps to ensure their websites are fully optimized in time for Cyber Monday.

Here are some basics for desktop-friendly optimization:

  1. Check Web Performance
  2. Clean Up Design
  3. Promote Trust
  4. Funnel Analysis

Check web performance

To enhance your overall web performance, it’s important your eCommerce business improves site speed, search rankings, and conversion rates. To do this, we recommend implementing a simplified checkout (one page), easy-to-use navigation, high-quality images/videos, SEO-friendly content, etc. Site developers should also reference this checklist to improve overall performance on the backend. 

Google Lighthouse, GTmetrix, and Uptrends are great tools that can help your business improve your site.

gtmetrix

Conduct a Funnel Analysis

To improve the customer experience you have to know your customers’ experience — your business can conduct a funnel analysis to take a virtual tour of your eCommerce site from a shopper’s perspective to evaluate this.

You can conduct this analysis using tools like Hotjar, Amplitude, and many others

Clean Up Design

Site design is key to capturing revenue in your eCommerce store. To improve this, we recommend using a minimalistic approach — ample white space, colorful CTA buttons, high-quality images/videos, and an organized grid layout of products. Your eCommerce business can also run split tests to internally evaluate design metrics for optimal conversions.

Click here for more tips to improve your website design.

Promote Trust 

Your eCommerce business can not succeed without the trust of its customers. To build brand trust, we recommend including thorough company and team background information, proper security features (secure lock icons), and customer reviews. 

According to Status Labs, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Incorporating customer reviews (with photos), social proofs, and user-generated content (via social media) on your site, can improve engagement, convert traffic, provide transparency, and improve overall trust. You can also promote incentives for customers to win items in exchange for posting reviews.

Depending on your industry, you can integrate sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, G2, and Google reviews into your site to post reviews. 

g2 site

5. Abandoned Carts: Everything You Need to Know

Abandoned carts are one of the most common, yet avoidable actions that can hinder sales for your eCommerce business. According to Statista, roughly 88% of online shopping orders were abandoned in March 2020. While U.S. abandoned cart rates tend to decrease on Cyber Monday to rates around 60.78%, businesses can still improve this to increase profit.

Top Reasons for Cart Abandonment:

  • High Shipping Costs
  • Faulty Discount Codes
  • Long Delivery Times
  • Re-Entering Credit Card & Shipping Information
Re enter info

Despite these issues, there are several ways to decrease and eliminate card abandonment for Cyber Monday and the holiday season.

How To Combat Cart Abandonment:

  1. Free Shipping
  2. Transparency
  3. Shipment Calendar
  4. Automate & Test Promotional Codes
  5. Auto Fill For Checkout
  6. Limit Declined Transactions
  7. Retargeting Efforts

Free Shipping 

Free shipping on Cyber Monday can be very beneficial but it’s not always feasible for every eCommerce store. Your brand can offer free shipping by increasing product prices to balance costs. You can also tailor free shipping for top-trending items, bundled products, limited-time promotions, and customers who spend a certain amount.

free shipping

Transparency

Your eCommerce business can publish a price catalog or guide to all channels, so customers are aware of all costs. Shoppers want to be able to trust your brand — it’s your job to ensure they do. Be honest and upfront about all additional charges and fees. 

Shipment Calendar

Most Cyber Monday shoppers are looking to save money on holiday gifts, so they want to be sure they’ll get their orders on time. Providing a calendar with clear deadlines of expected ship dates (based on order dates), can help your eCommerce store build trust and create a sense of urgency for customers to purchase.

Automate & Test Promotion Codes

If your eCommerce business is running promotion codes on Cyber Monday, make sure to test them and double-check run-times. Automating these fields once the promotion or spending threshold is met, can also cut down on human error and ensure the code is working properly.

Autofill For Checkout 

By offering autofill options, your site can speed up the checkout process and reduce errors that force customers to re-enter information. Since shipping and billing information are usually the same, you can auto populate these fields or prompt customers to click a box to autofill the provided information. Streamlining this process by reducing the steps to checkout, along with other methods, can greatly reduce abandoned carts on Cyber Monday.  

Limit Declined Transactions

By integrating a high-quality credit card processing system into your eCommerce store, you can target fraud and greatly reduce declined transactions that force customers to re-enter information. 

EBizCharge is a PCI compliant payment software that offers advanced payment security for eCommerce businesses to accept credit and debit card payments with ease. This integration tool connects to eCommerce platforms like Magento, BigCommerce, 3dcart and many more.

Retargeting Efforts

Regardless of why a shopper abandoned his/or her cart, it’s crucial for eCommerce businesses to build out campaigns to retarget them. Some ways to retarget a potential customer include push notifications, cross-platform ads, and email campaigns. You can also implement cart savers into your store to save customer information and trigger notifications.

6. Optimize Your Checkout Page

We made the checkout page its own category because it’s that important. An eCommerce checkout page is one of the biggest driving forces in whether a potential customer completes a purchase or abandons their cart. 

According to the Baymard Institute, one out of five eCommerce shoppers abandon their cart due to a lengthy or complicated checkout process — $260 billion worth of lost orders are recoverable solely depending on a better checkout flow and design.

By optimizing your store’s checkout page, your company can improve trust, reduce abandoned carts, and increase overall revenue for Cyber Monday (and beyond). 

Steps to Optimizing Your Checkout Page: 

  1. Simplify & Accelerate
  2. Provide Secure Checkout
  3. Offer Multiple Payment & Shipment Options
  4. Include Guest Checkout
  5. Show Savings in Cart
  6. Improve Design to Increase Sales
  7. Make it Mobile-Friendly
  8. Don’t Hide Additional Costs

Simplify & Accelerate The Process

Simplifying checkout to one page to lowering click rates and incorporating autofill forms can make a huge difference in sales conversions. 

Provide Secure Checkout

According to Econsultancy, 76% of consumers said security seals affected their trust in a website and 61% didn’t purchase when there were no visible trust badges. Securing your eCommerce store by becoming SSL Certified and showcasing security seals on your site, can greatly strengthen brand trust. You can ensure your site is certified by checking for the lock icon next to your URL — HTTPS indicates a secure site and HTTP indicates an unsecured site. Not all seals are created equal, read which ones are the best here.

Site not secure? Check out this article to get secure.

SSL

Offer Multiple Payment & Shipment Options

When eCommerce stores offer more payment options to customers, it closes the gap for abandoned carts. We highly recommend accepting all major credit and debit card networks (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Amex), online payment systems, digital wallets (Apple Pay), and financing or split payment options (SplitIt, Afterpay) for high-end products/brands.

Finding a trustworthy payment gateway is important too — EBizCharge can integrate into many eCommerce stores to speed up credit card processing and batch invoices. The EBizCharge integration improves your brand’s efficiency by automating what was once a long, manual process.

Your eCommerce business can also improve conversation rates by providing various shipping options — overnight, 2-day, priority mail, expedited, international, etc.

Include Guest Checkout

Many potential customers get turned off by eCommerce sites prompting them to create an account before buying. On a day like Cyber Monday where first-time shoppers scour the Internet looking for the best deals, it’s important to tailor your checkout process to give them the easiest buying experience. Incorporating a ‘Guest Checkout’ feature can help your business accomplish this — only present the ‘Create an Account’ button once a purchase is completed.

Guest Checkout

Show Savings in Cart

Cyber Monday is all about saving money which is why it can be very beneficial for eCommerce stores to show their customers how much money they’re saving. This can encourage more confidence in shoppers to purchase and incite more urgency to buy an item at its sale price. 

Improve Design to Increase Sales

In addition to formatting your site, simplifying your checkout design can help drive sales as well. Transitioning your checkout form to fit on one page instead of multiple is best. Remove distractions like headers, footers, and sidebars. Add key features like ‘Checkout’ and ‘Continue Shopping’ CTA buttons (in bold colors on the top and bottom of the form), in-cart product images, and links to policies, Live Support Chat, and FAQ.

Cross-selling on checkout and cart tabs can also increase sales — showing recommended products with attached photos and ‘Add to Cart’ buttons can be highly beneficial for your eCommerce business on Cyber Monday. 

Make it Mobile-Friendly

Since mobile device users largely contribute to eCommerce sales, your checkout form should be mobile-friendly to prevent abandoned carts and increase sales for Cyber Monday.

Don’t Hide Additional Costs

Do not hide fees (i.e. shipping, tax) until the final stages of checkout. This can hurt customers’ trust in your brand and cause them to leave your eCommerce store. Cyber Monday shoppers are in it for the deals and prices — be sure to be transparent with all your promotions right away.

7. Logistics

It’s no secret that the holidays are a huge time for supply chains and warehouses — to retain loyal customers it’s critical to ensure your eCommerce business is fully stocked, organized, and ready to ship. 

Steps to Prepare Your Warehouse for Cyber Monday:

  1. Warehouse Workflow Planning
  2. Sufficient Inventory
  3. Team Prep & Care
  4. Holiday Sales Extensions
  5. Prepare for Returns
Shipping box

Warehouse Workflow Planning

ECommerce businesses can evaluate, manage, and improve warehouse operations to create a plan for Cyber Monday. To do this, you should evaluate:

  • Item picking times, routes and batch sizes
  • New order inquiries and processing times
  • Order packing process
  • Estimated labor hours and cost
  • Floor plan optimization for efficiency
  • Return item processing

Inventory: Stocked and Loaded

For many eCommerce businesses, Cyber Monday is one of the busiest and highest revenue-grossing days which is why having plenty of inventory is crucial. Reviewing past seasons, current eCommerce data, and shopping trends can be highly valuable for your brand. 

Here are some tips to set you up for success:

  • Reserve sufficient stock of inventory based on data analysis to meet the high demand
  • Calculate sales projections based on current inventory 
  • Avoid overstocking to prevent profit loss, unnecessary labor and processing costs

You can also incorporate cross-docking into your warehouse for the holidays — it can speed up product movement between suppliers and retailers while keeping inventory costs low.

Team Prep & Care

Whether it be cross-training employees to meet warehouse demands or incentivizing holiday perks, maintaining an efficient and upbeat warehouse team is the foundation for a successful holiday season for your eCommerce business. 

It’s also very important for your eCommerce store to maintain good relations and constant communication with vendors and third-party logistics providers. 

Holiday Sales Extensions

Navigating through COVID-19 during the holidays may present a difficult feat for eCommerce businesses due to larger sales volumes. To avoid shipping “bottlenecks” (delays), it may be wise to extend sales promotions across the span of a week or several days. This can alleviate shipping setbacks, and save companies from angry customer inquiries or order cancellations.

Prepare for Returns

According to the National Retail Federation, 55% of shoppers say they’ll return or exchange items within the first month of receiving them. Cyber Monday will inevitably yield returns for all eCommerce stores, so it’s a smart idea to have a plan of action. Here are some tips to help:

  • Extend seasonal staff past the holidays 
  • Have a clear return policy/program outlined for customers and staff
  • Develop a detailed process for damaging out or restocking returned items

8. Customer Support

According to Shopify, 74.5% of large eCommerce merchants are concerned about customer service needs during the holiday season. Customer service can make or break a business, but businesses can take several steps to prepare and improve their team. 

Ways to Improve Your eCommerce Support: 

  1. Consistent Multichannel Training
  2. Incorporate Live Chat
  3. Use Support Tools

Consistent Multichannel Training 

It’s imperative all departments deliver the same high-quality service throughout the season which requires proper training — knowledge of company terminology, products, professionalism, holiday promotions/sales, policies, overall operations processes, etc. Creating a holiday employee guide for all departments to reference could be highly beneficial. 

Maintaining a cohesive voice across all departments can eliminate customer confusion, frustration, and loss of sales. Customers expect consistency — it’s your job to provide it.

Incorporate Live Chat 

More and more eCommerce stores are integrating Live Chat into their site to speed up customer service and provide 24/7 support. This is a great tool to utilize for the holidays if used correctly. To execute this properly, make sure you have automated responses cued, chat support trained, and scripts readily available to teams. It may be helpful to hire more members for this function (and your service team) to meet holiday demand. 

Some popular Live Chat platforms include Tawk, LiveChat, and more.

Live chat

Use Support Tools

Implementing the proper call center tools and management software can lower service requests and provide enhanced customer support. Social media is also a great tool to use for this — eCommerce marketing teams can use social platforms to link to your FAQ, policy pages, and conduct live streams to answer customer questions.

Pro Tip: Businesses can also create online ads to direct audiences to customer support pages.

9. Policy Transparency

Communicating clear policies not only builds brand trust but can also increase sales and return customers. Your eCommerce store should be well-versed in eCommerce Law before creating or adjusting these policies.

For Cyber Monday and the holiday season, it can be beneficial to include any seasonal changes or holiday-specific rules to your policies — returns or exchanges of sale items, return extensions, reduced shipping, free returns, etc.

The following policies should be posted on your site for all to read:

  1. Returns & Exchanges
  2. Shipping & Handling
  3. Privacy Policy
  4. Terms and Conditions

Returns & Exchanges Policy 

Defining clear return and exchange guidelines is pertinent to maintaining successful transactions and satisfied customers. We recommend updating your policies with details concerning holiday promotions, final Cyber Monday sale items, even exchanges, etc.

Shipping & Handling Policy

Shipping is always a big topic of discussion for eCommerce during Cyber Monday and the holiday season. We recommend clearly outlining information on time frames, pricing, shipping services, international details, tracking methods, and damaged items. 

Privacy Policy

Your privacy policy details what personal information your eCommerce site collects from web visitors and why, who you share this with, and how you store/use this information. It’s important that you notify visitors of any third-party use, cookies/weblogs, and laws that support these guidelines. We recommend analyzing competitors’ policies and using a policy generator to create or adjust yours.

Terms And Conditions

Your terms and conditions policy serves as a legal agreement for your eCommerce business — listing the rules of use and property rights can protect your site by potentially preventing or resolving future legal issues. This policy can also prevent site abuse, limit liabilities, and nurture trust with your customers. 

10. Customer Loyalty

Your eCommerce business is nothing without loyal customers. Although it’s normal for many online stores to attract first-time customers on Cyber Monday, implementing the different strategies and tools provided within this guide can help you build long-lasting relationships. 

Tips for eCommerce businesses to maximize loyalty beyond the holidays:

  1. Holiday Rewards Program
  2. Email VIP Special Offers
  3. Social Giveaways

Holiday Rewards Program

Holiday rewards are a great way for your eCommerce business to encourage new account registrations, promote rewards/services and exclusive savings, and build a sense of community. You can implement Cyber Monday points where every purchase is worth a certain amount that goes toward a free product, service, or special discount. You could even build a reward calendar.

Email VIP Special Offers

Email campaigns are huge for maintaining customers and retargeting, so why not reward those subscribers who have engaged with you over a certain length of time? Your eCommerce site can segment these subscribers and run unique campaigns to send out new sales updates, special promotions, relevant products based on recent purchases, specific giveaways, etc.

Email Offer

Social Giveaways

Social media is a great tool to advertise giveaways — you can use multiple platforms to cross-promote giveaways that encourage audiences to follow your page to win a free gift or store credit. Using these giveaways, you can get rid of left-over holiday stock to help you increase your ROI and following simultaneously. You can also collaborate with similar brands to reach more audiences!

Additional Cyber Monday Tips for 2020 eCommerce Merchants:

Content

  • Design site around sales (central focus — banners, header, welcome pop-ups)
  • Create product comparison guides between your products and other brands
  • Create gift guides and bestseller lists
  • Make sure all promotional material is prepared (blog posts, infographics, sales graphics)
  • Run mobile ads on social media, messengers, and Google 
  • Have a solid promotional content calendar in place
  • Get listed — contact bloggers, news editors, and journalists to get products featured 

Email Marketing

  • Set up welcome email automation (include new customer gift promotions)
  • Set up cart abandonment emails to win back customers 
  • Segment email lists to make more personable and present deals to relevant audiences
  • Send post-order ‘Thank You’ and ‘Confirmation’ emails to ask for referrals, surveys, or offer incentives for recommending to others
  • Send a follow-up email after customers’ orders ship — include gift cards or discounts for their next order 

Products/Sales Offers

  • Make sure offers are relevant to target audiences and follow current trends
  • Display stock count, discount figures, and sales timers on items 
  • Start running early promotions/previews
  • Add valued promotions with material rewards — free gifts, gift certificates, store credit
  • List sales products on Google and Bing shopping for increased brand awareness
  • Maximize order value — free shipping or gift at threshold amount, additional savings for bundled items (I.e. order a sweater and get $5 off a scarf of your choice)
  • Feature exclusive limited-time or limited-quantity item(s)
  • Include interactive, high-quality images/videos and thorough descriptions for all items

Website Optimization

  • Continuously test your site on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices
  • Analyze site, navigation, and checkout process for optimal speed and efficiency
  • Check with the hosting company to ensure your site has proper bandwidth for high traffic
  • Plan for audits and cycle counting after holidays
  • Offer multiple language abilities and currency displays based on IP address locations

Customer Service

  • Have a clear line of communication about stock availability and timing of delivery
  • Ensure live chat and support are running smoothly and prepared for fast responses

Logistics

  • Have safety stock just in case (in an easily accessible place)
  • Make sure all warehouse equipment is working properly
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