Are you ready to crush your Cyber Monday sales this year?

Cyber Monday 2016 was the biggest day in ecommerce history. Shoppers spent $3.45 billion online, blowing past analyst estimates. Amazon stated at the time that it was on track to have its biggest day ever.

Cyber Monday 2017 is expected to be even bigger.

Analysts are forecasting a 47% increase in consumer spending. Shoppers are gearing up for this year's holiday season, so it's time ecommerce sellers do the same.  Below are three proven Cyber Monday tips you can use to maximize your sales this year.

Tip #1: Create a promotions plan

Cyber Monday shoppers are focused on one thing and one thing only. Deals.

You'd be surprised how many ecommerce businesses don't have a promotion in mind!

Your plan doesn't have to be complicated, but it should give your customers the deals they want.

Here's what the pros ask themselves when setting up their plan:

>What type of deals are you running?

"Buy one, get one" discounts, general discounts, targeted discounts (e.g. Prime Members get an extra 25 percent off), free overnight shipping, and bonus items all work well. If you're selling on Amazon, be sure to set your promotions up ahead of time.

>Which products are you featuring?

You'll need to identify the products you'll push heavily for your online sales. These products could be best sellers, loss leaders, clearance items or exclusives. Or all of the above.

>What are your customer's next steps?

Each product should have an appropriate up-sell, cross-sell or down-sell. Let's say you're offering a DSLR camera at a steep discount. You also sell the camera case, extra batteries, wide angle lens, cables and tripod. Each one of these could be presented as an up-sell, cross-sell, or down-sell. Take this as far as you'd like using testing platforms to optimize your conversion rate.

>What are the timing and sales cycles?

Which products will go on sale first? Will you offer Cyber Monday incentives ahead of time to attract customers early? Post-Cyber Monday sales to attract latecomers? You'll want to establish the rhythm, timing and approach for each of your products ahead of time.

>Are your inventory and logistics systems ready?

If you're getting a lot of traffic or selling on a platform that does (e.g. Amazon) you'll want to make sure you're ready. Do you have enough inventory on hand? Do you enough staff on hand to handle any complaints or issues that crop up? Are your shipping, order fulfillment and customer service systems ready for a dramatic increase in activity?

Your plan doesn't have to be large or complex. It should give you clear direction though.


Tip #2: Promote your amazing deals

New Cyber Monday shoppers may be unfamiliar with your product lines. They may not know what you're offering, so it's important to let them know!

How do you do that? With advertising.

Use the demographics and psychographics of your existing customers to target new ones. The more you know about your target audience the easier it is for you to create an irresistible offer. Lead with your irresistible offer to maximize the amount of attention you receive.

>A great offer includes:

  • An irresistible deal
  • Urgency cues (only 500 left, first 100 customers get this free bonus, countdown timers)
  • Your ad maintains ad scent (the ad and landing page look the same)
  • Strong call to action (e.g. get yours now)

You aren't limited to advertising either. With the right ingredients, you can promote a great offer with:

  • Joint venture partners
  • Strategic alliances
  • Influencers
  • Lateral sources
  • Product directories and deal of the day sites (e.g.

Even better—you can promote this with each of these sources, all at the same time. It's a simple and efficient way to 2x, 5x or even 10x your Cyber Monday traffic.


Tip #3: Make sure your website is ready

If there are any tweaks you need to make to your website now's the time. Swap out any unavailable products. Update your product page content, optimize your images and media.

When shoppers arrive they're immediately looking to answer three specific questions:

  1. Where am I?
  2. What can I do here?
  3. Why should I do it?

Each page should answer that question simply. Shoppers won't take the time to try and figure out whether you're a safe bet. They'll simply shop somewhere else.

>Double check your website and marketing

  • Use a CDN to load your images/media faster
  • Simplify your site with design that's easy and directs the eyes
  • All of your ads, promotions and links point to the right landing page
  • No ad, promo or link throws a 404 error
  • Your about page has the information shoppers need (e.g. staff, contact, warranty, history, etc.)
  • Contact forms and chat apps work
  • Web pages load within 3 seconds with no errors
  • Your website works seamlessly with desktop, smartphone and mobile devices
  • SSL is current and works as intended
  • Your shopping cart works well with zero errors

These seem like pretty standard details. And they are. Still, many ecommerce retailers either forget about or choose to ignore these sales tips.

Some brands prepare and still go down. Shoppers can't buy if they can't view your product.

If you've done the upfront work of creating and promoting an irresistible offer the difficult work is done. At this point, it's just about driving as much qualified traffic to your site as possible. Do everything you can to keep your site up and running smoothly.


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