Holiday Ideas & Strategies

Cyber Monday 2020: Here’s How To Conquer the Busiest Day of the Year

Beatriz Estay / 6 min read
Cyber Monday Marketing Ideas

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In 2019, U.S. online holiday sales reached $135.35 billion and average order value reached $152.95.The infamous Cyber Monday continues to play a large role in holiday shopping success.

Mobile shopping has become increasingly important for retailers who want to make a digital splash during the holidays. While some customers still shop brick-and-mortar for the holidays, online stores have seen significant growth over the past few years — and we predict to see this continue in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, holiday shopping won’t be strictly limited to digital. Consider combining online and offline shopping by adding options like BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store).

With a lot of traffic and revenue on the line, it makes sense that retailers start preparing for Cyber Monday during the summer — months before the day takes place. After all, a significant amount of your revenue can be earned in that short 24 hours.

A lot of companies who have yet to fully embrace their online stores use the holidays as an opportunity to make their first entrance into the digital world. And folks that have been selling online for decades also use it as a chance to reinvigorate their branding and capture new clients.

Regardless of your company’s involvement in the digital landscape, Cyber Monday represents one of the single most important days of the year for any marketer who earns revenue during the holiday season.

It’s not just desktop and in-person sales, however. More and more customers are turning to their mobile phones to complete their holiday shopping.

So where did this ever-important holiday get its roots?

The History of Cyber Monday

2020 marks the 15th anniversary of the Cyber Monday holiday.

After seeing that the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2004 was the 12th-biggest online shopping day historically, they realized that the day was perfect for online shopping. Fresh out of the Thanksgiving holiday, shoppers are returning to work (which typically offered faster internet speeds at the time than did at-home connections) and have a bit of spending money in their wallets to prep them for the holidays.

Despite having roots in the United States, companies from across the globe are now creating campaigns around Cyber Monday.

When Is Cyber Monday 2020?

This year, Cyber Monday falls on Monday, November 30, 2020.

But that’s not to say that’s when it shows up every year.

As the Monday following Thanksgiving, this retail holiday can go late – like it did last year in 2019 on December 2.

Next year, in 2021, the holiday kickoff will also finish up at the end of November, with Cyber Monday falling on November 29.

2020 Cyber Monday Predictions and Expectations

This year has been full of unexpected challenges, but what we do know is that ecommerce is here to stay. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan for Cyber Monday 2020.

1. Increase in online traffic and sales.

With most of the world shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, online sales have continued to soar. While we will still see offline sales, particularly with curbside or BOPIS (buy online, pick-up in store) promotions, there’s no doubt that an online holiday strategy is essential.

With more digital sales comes more digital expectations. As you plan for Cyber Monday, be sure to evaluate your current ecommerce store to make sure you have an optimal experience for your customers. Plus, more traffic means more orders, so make sure to have your order fulfillment process set.

2. Reach new customers.

With more consumers shopping online, this year is a great time to tap into new demographics. Particularly, we’ve seen older demographics spending more time online now. As you build out your marketing strategies, don’t just spend money targeting these demographics. Rather, brainstorm ways to engage and tap further into that audience. What do they value? How do they prefer to communicate?

Understanding your target audience will help you win big this holiday season.

3. More competition.

With a majority of sales moving online this year, competition has never been stronger. As you plan for Cyber Monday, think about how you can set yourself a part from competitors. Can you provide a better user experience? Are your products more sustainable? Drive your selling points home in creative ways — like magical holiday messaging and engaging email copy.

4. Engage your customers with storytelling.

The holidays are always a season full of merriment and joy — and it’s exactly what consumers are looking forward to after a tough year. Create holiday magic with engaging storytelling to promote your brand and products. Help your customers envision how your products fit into the season and their everyday lives. Plus, consider adding gift guides to prepare your customers for Cyber Monday deals.

Getting Your Site Ready for Cyber Monday

Think of Cyber Monday as a digital rush to your website: you might not be able to see the traffic coming through your door, but your online shop better be able to handle it.

When Cyber Monday rolls around, you’ll want your site to be responsive, mobile-compatible, and, most importantly, up and running.

Here are some tools to help you prepare:

  • Site speed: Check out Google’s developmental tools to run a speed test and get to the bottom of what might be causing load times to lag.
  • Uptime: Nothing works unless your site does — but you won’t always be there to check. Use a service like Uptime Robot to begin monitoring your site for downtime.
  • Mobile compatibility: With a majority of Cyber Monday purchases potentially coming through mobile channels, it’s never been more important to ensure your site can handle mobile traffic. Run a mobile compatibility test with Google. Even if you’re ready to handle mobile purchases, this site will help you diagnose slow-loading pages.

Cyber Monday Marketing Ideas

There’s no better way to learn how to market your brand during the holidays than to sit down and talk with the experts.

They’re the ones who have been through this year after year. They’ve seen brands fail and win during the holidays simply due to their strategy around Cyber Monday.

We sat down with seven experts and got the details: What are some of the best Cyber Monday marketing ideas for 2020?

1. Create a dedicated landing page.

Make your customers’ journey easier by making a dedicated landing page for your Cyber Monday promotions. The holidays can be very stressful, especially for consumers who are looking for many gifts to give. By having a dedicated page, you create an easier and stress-free experience for them to find just what they’re looking for. Plus, a dedicated URL can have great SEO benefits.

2. Create gift guides by price-point.

Holiday shoppers are trained to hunt for the best deals, and they also have a rough estimate of the amount they want to spend on gifts.

Make it easy for them to discover options within their price-point with a gift guide that segments gifts per price range.

“Providing consumers with a quick list of gifts for under $50, under $75 and so forth. These quick price point lists can help retain a digital visitor longer on the site and stimulate ideas for consideration.” — Ron Smith, The Digital Outdoorsman

3. Increase ad spend.

With more online sales comes added online competition. Consider increasing your ad spend this year to capitalize on your digital strategy. Take it a step further by personalizing your customer segments and targeting new customer segments to expand your reach — and sales.

4. Offer something very exclusive.

In 2018, popular shoe brand Allbirds released a limited-edition sneaker for Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday example

Source: Allbirds

The result? They sold out — fast.

In fact, Allbirds decided not to offer discounts whatsoever during the holidays — a move that we often see with modern direct-to-consumer brands.

“The reason that Cyber Monday or any of the other big sales days garner so many sales is that they have offers and deals that you don’t normally get, So, the best thing to do is create a one-day-only deal or offer that is simply too good to refuse. A limited-time offer creates a sense of urgency, while the discount itself is motivation enough for people to buy. If you do this, there’s actually not much else that you need to do for Cyber Monday or Black Friday or any other sales day.” — Tessa Wuertz, Director of Marketing, Efelle Creative

5. Consider partnering with another brand.

Brand partnerships make a splash during the holidays every year. Just look at 2018, where sustainable sock brand Bombas partnered up with Sesame Street to create a run of themed socks.

Bombas cyber monday example

Source: MentalFloss

6. Think about bundling products together.

“Take the opportunity to introduce your customers to products they wouldn’t have otherwise wanted to purchase. Bundles are great examples because it allows you to market it and generate lasting interest in your product lineup long after Cyber Monday is over.” — David Feng, Co-Founder at Re:amaze.

Consider offering a set of sample products on Cyber Monday. It will give new customers a chance to check out your products, and returning customers a chance to stock up on their favorites.

7. Run a social media campaign.

While this year is a great year to tap into new segments, it’s also important to cultivate your current customer community. Not only will you delight your existing customer base, but you’ll likely attract new visitors as well. Engage your audience by encouraging them to use a brand hashtag or launch giveaways. Better yet, encourage your customers to share your content or promotions with their friends and family.

And, of course, have fun with it! Social media is a great way to tap into your brand’s creativity and share your mission. Give customers a reason to join your community this holiday.

8. Send emails before, during, and after.

Email marketing is essential to any holiday campaign. But, a mistake that’s often made is only sending emails during Cyber Monday. It’s important to engage your audience before the big day, during, and after. Get customers excited by releasing deals early — and perhaps delight and surprise them with a small promotion after the event if they didn’t convert.

Executive Summary

So is your business ready for Cyber Monday?

Let’s run through the checklist:

  • Understand the potential of Cyber Monday. This is the day when mobile and desktop users are at maximum alert while searching for deals on new purchases. You need to be in a place where you can win those orders
  • Prepare your site technically. Your website is the jumping off point for all Cyber Monday sales. Run a few tests and prepare your site for an increase of traffic — even if you don’t expect it.
  • Market your business and create incentives for Cyber Monday with creative holiday marketing. It’s not enough to show up for Cyber Monday — you need to participate. Create the deals and incentives that will drive customers to checkout.

Once Cyber Monday ends, the holiday shopping season is still in full swing — but the choicest opportunities for online shops have ended.

Don’t let 2020’s Cyber Monday pass without a few extra sales coming your way.

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    Beatriz Estay

    Beatriz Estay

    Beatriz is a Small Business Content Marketing Specialist at BigCommerce and the fashion and lifestyle influencer behind The Letter Bea, an Austin, Texas based blog. She holds a B.A. in Communication and Sociology/Anthropology from Lake Forest College and specializes in ecommerce, marketing and merchandising strategies, influencer and branding work, and social media. When she's not curating content, Beatriz loves to travel the world, share her journey with Type 1 Diabetes, and find Austin's most Instagram friendly spots.

    View all posts by Beatriz Estay
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