As technology advances, shopping online becomes easier and more trusted. With the holiday season upon us, it seems that many consumers favor this method of shopping. In fact, over the years, more shoppers have been opting for shopping online during Cyber Monday to avoid Black Friday’s unpleasant shopping situations, violent crowds, and long lines. It’s so much more convenient and less stressful to sit at home on a computer or smartphone and make purchases!
It appears that many companies had a successful Cyber Monday this year. According to USA Today, there was an 18 percent increase in online Cyber Monday sales compared to last year. Furthermore, according to Adobe data tracking, it was reported that out-of-stock items hit a record high for this Cyber Monday—13 of every 100 products were sold out. That is over two times the normal rate!
Cyber Monday Winners
There were a lot of creative and successful Cyber Monday marketing strategies this year. So, what can we learn from the companies that were successful?
- Have a Cyber Monday Preview plan. Many retailers offered “sneak peeks” for upcoming Cyber Monday deals. Best Buy and Walmart offered customers early sneak peeks if they signed up on the email lists. Email is a very important method for reaching consumers during the holiday season. According to Oracle, 41% of consumers hear about holiday sales from email. In fact, people are excited to hear about the deals, and email is a very convenient way to reach them.
- Leverage social media to reach customers and to encourage product referrals. According to IBM Digital Analytics , customers spent more on orders when referred by social media sights—like Pinterest and Facebook. Also, Facebook referrals generate more product conversations and increase conversion rates.
- Do real-time deals. Amazon is a master at this technique. Every hour they had new deals posted on their website.If done right, this technique can keep customers engaged throughout the whole Cyber Monday.
- Don’t forget to “go mobile.” In fact, mobile is one of the most important platforms driving Cyber Monday. According to Adobe, mobile accounted for 49 percent of shopping visits (38 percent smartphones, 11 percent tablets) and 28 percent of online sales. Overall, over $514 million in sales were attributed to mobile.
To reiterate: Go Mobile!
As you can see from these examples, emerging media is facilitating the rise of Cyber Monday. One of the main emerging media platforms to focus on is mobile communications. With mobile technology, consumers can make any moment of the day a shopping moment. Whether they are at home or out-and-about, people can make purchases almost anywhere at any time on mobile devices.
Therefore, companies and marketers should study mobile shopping trends and make mobile marketing plans for the next Cyber Monday as well as the rest of the Holiday shopping season. Also, they need to make sure that their websites and emails are optimized for mobile viewing and interaction. As mentioned earlier, emails are one of the main ways consumers see deals, and many consumers check their email on their mobile devices.
Additionally, companies and marketers should look into creating mobile shopping apps for their brand. Target, for example, partnered with the app Curbside. This app allows customers to place an order on their mobile device and pick it up at Target without having to leave their car.
Finally, companies should look at making the mobile shopping experience as easy and seamless as possible. For example, companies should work on making check out processes shorter for mobile users by designing an app and storing payment and shipping information. Having multiple steps to log in and enter information is one of the main reasons customers abandon their mobile online shopping carts.
As the 2015 Holiday shopping season takes off, what is your business doing to reach your customers effectively and increase sales? Have you incorporated mobile technology into your marketing and sales plans?