Cyber Monday is almost upon us, that epic shopping day when eager consumers flood the Internet looking for deals and discounts.
It’s a lucrative date for businesses, but also a daunting one. The burst of traffic on Cyber Monday is short, but to capitalize on it properly you need to plan long in advance.
So, how should you be getting ready for Cyber Monday this year? What are the most important things to look out for?
There are countless little evolutions to watch—from emerging social channels to new ad units—but we believe the three key trends below are the essential ones for every marketer to keep in mind while prepping for Cyber Monday 2015:
1. Cyber Monday 2015 is Going to Be Very, Very Big
Last year Cyber Monday was huge.
How huge? According to comScore, it was the highest-volume online shopping day in U.S. history. It’s estimated that 32% of all adult Americans in the United States bought something on the date last year.
Moreover, not only was Cyber Monday 2014 bigger than any other online shopping date of the year, it was also significantly bigger compared with Cyber Monday 2013. According to Custora, revenue for e-commerce sites was up 15.4% last year on average on Cyber Monday.
Here’s the important thing for marketers to keep in mind this year: Cyber Monday 2015 will be bigger than Cyber Monday 2014.
How do we know? Because e-commerce spending by consumers is trending up across the board, and even faster than expected. Here’s what real annual e-commerce spend looks like (blue line) over the past few years compared with earlier spend projections (red line):
In other words, even if Cyber Monday doesn’t grow faster compared with other dates this year, it should still bring significantly more volume compared with 2014.
What does that mean for marketers? Simply put: be prepared. Be generous with your traffic predictions to ensure that you have enough bandwidth allocated—for inventory, backend systems, service representatives, etc.—to handle a significant spike in volume.
2. Cyber Monday Has Become “Mobile Monday”
In its roundup of last year’s Cyber Monday retailer data, IBM dubbed the date “Mobile Monday.”
The nickname is very fitting. In 2014, 40% of all e-commerce traffic on Cyber Monday came from phones and tablets, up 30% compared with 2013.
This trend toward mobile shopping on Cyber Monday is set to accelerate this year, with an even higher percentage of traffic and sales expected to come from phones and tablets.
Does that mean you should abandon your desktop site and focus on mobile-only offers this year? Absolutely not. Desktops remain a huge source of traffic and, most importantly, of sales. Although consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable ordering products directly from their phones, both computers and tablets remain the platforms of choice for many purchasers.
What this data does mean is that it’s essential that all your offerings—Web pages, emails, checkout processes, etc.—are optimized for all devices. The “platform agnostic” days are finally upon us; it’s highly likely that your audience will be browsing for deals on one device and then switching to another to buy. If you want to make the most of your Cyber Monday visitors, ensure that they have a high-quality experience throughout the process.
3. It’s Not Over Until It’s Over (And Even Then It’s Not Over)
Finally, here’s something we marketers often forget: many people have to work on Cyber Monday.
Why does that matter? Because the deals you publicize in the morning often can’t be acted upon until consumers get home in the evening. Specifically, as this IBM data shows, the biggest spike in Cyber Monday online traffic hits between 8 PM and 10:30 PM PST.
The learnings here, as with the device data, are nuanced. You shouldn’t abandon your morning marketing push on Cyber Monday—most consumers want to know about deals many hours, or even days, ahead of time. So keep sending those early emails and posting offers on social media.
However, you should keep in mind that a large segment of your customers will actually purchase later in the day, so ensure that you have enough inventory and customer support coverage to keep them happy.
On top of that, keep this in mind: “Cyber Tuesday” saw a 13.7% jump in e-commerce revenue last year. In other words, for many consumers, the deal seeking continues well past midnight, so keep the deals coming for as long as you can.
MDG Advertising, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Boca Raton and New York, NY, is one of Florida’s top branding firms. MDG’s capabilities include print advertising, direct mail marketing, branding, logo design, creative, digital marketing, media buying and planning, radio and TV advertising, Web design and development, online video advertising, infographic development, email marketing, content marketing, lead generation, social media marketing, and SEO. For the latest trends in advertising and branding, contact MDG Advertising today at 561338-7797 or visit mdgadvertising.com.