While Monday blues are the norm, there’s one Monday that makes customers and brands happy.
It's Cyber Monday.
A sizable percentage of eCommerce brands are always underprepared for Cyber Monday. To get you up to speed, here’s a list of topics we’ll be exploring today:
- 12 Last-Minute Cyber Monday Hacks to Get More Conversions
- Black Friday vs Cyber Monday: What do the numbers tell?
- Cyber Monday 101
12 Last-Minute Cyber Monday Hacks to Get More Conversions
1. Run last-minute tests for traffic surges
Cyber Monday is a fest for tech geeks and the day isn’t going to be any less than a storm.
With Cyber Monday not far enough, here are the tests you need to be conducting:
a) Load Testing
Your Cyber Monday sale is around two months away, which means you need to get down to business. The size and complexity of the environment are the major factors here.
Dive into marketing analytics data and estimate the anticipated peak traffic. A 20-40% increase in traffic is a realistic expectation.
The purpose of a load test is to determine if your website can handle the heavy influx of traffic.
Ultimately, choosing the right load testing tool is critical. Before choosing the right tool, here’re three things to consider — Availability of the testing environment, the efficiency of the tool, license cost, etc.
b) Spike Tests
The task doesn’t end with load testing because, in reality, Cyber Monday traffic will witness a spike and not be as evenly distributed as spike tests.
Get back to your past data and assess the size of the maximum spike in traffic. Use this to determine if you can handle such a sudden massive spike in traffic.
For instance, you have a Cyber Monday 4-hour flash sale resulting in a massive increase in traffic.
c) Endurance tests
Cyber Monday is the most awaited tech sale event. With this, a Cyber Monday weekend will likely extend to a Cyber Monday week. Cyber Monday falls between November 26 and December 2.
The goal of the endurance tests is to help evaluate if your eCommerce website is capable of handling high traffic over extended periods.
Endurance beats extravagance.
d) Stress Tests
A site crash during Cyber Monday is not a pleasant experience. Subjecting your website to a stress test by intentionally breaking the code can help you see how it fails.
This is an effective exercise to help find the steps to bring back the site up and running.
Site outages lead to greater losses as customers will look for products from competitors.
Office Depot went down for nearly four hours during Cyber Monday, 2021 which led to extending its sale to Tuesday.
Scary, isn't it?
Stress tests can help ensure little downtime as possible in the event of outages.
2. Tie discounts to AOV
While discounts are believed to be bad for increasing AOVs, this is far from the truth.
Blanket discounts are a recipe for losses. Instead, you can offer sitewide discounts plus discounts on a minimum order value.
Sitewide discounts are great for selling your slow-moving inventory on Cyber Monday to avoid losses. This is great for attracting new customers and increasing sales.
While offering discounts on minimum orders influences customers to look at the perceived benefit and saving money. This is great for customer retention without spending too much money.
Here is a Cyber Monday email marketing campaign from Baggu.
If you observe, Baggu offers 15% off site wide, 25% off orders over $50, and 30% off orders over $100.
At first, this might seem like a loss-making proposition, but the discount increases depending on the average order value.
This works great for two reasons — One. It discourages cart abandonment. Two. It makes customers stop and explore products. Nearly 75% of American customers abandon carts because they had problems with the pricing.
In short, Baggu offers something for all.
In fact, 80% of customers feel less apprehensive when offered a discount while making a first-time purchase.
While a sizable percentage of customers believe a first-time customer discount is crucial in earning their loyalty. And why not, because 62% of customers spend an average of 2 hours scouring the internet for promotional offers.
As we conclude, it's important to evenly distribute the discounts and promotional deals because Cyber Monday isn’t limited but extends for a week.
3. Drive urgency with your copy
Last-minute shoppers are every eCommerce brand’s darling. 33% of last-minute shoppers decide where to buy based on how soon they can buy products.
One proven strategy to woo last-minute shoppers is to offer next-day shipping. By rolling out ‘Ready to ship’ and ‘Arrives before Cyber Monday’, you’re giving last-minute shoppers what they want.
Humans fear failure and when they see there’s a way to solve their problem, they opt for it.
Terra Origin uses a creative pop-up to compel last-minute shoppers to buy. You can certainly use this template for your Cyber Monday campaign.
Here’s why this pop-up is wicked genius.
The countdown timer evokes a sense of urgency to purchase. Since last-minute shoppers have already missed the bus, this is an opportunity for them to get their hands on the product they want.
The copy complements the visual. The size of the dominant text is 2x bigger than the secondary text which is used to emphasize the key messaging. Legibility is an iron-cast rule when it comes to conversions.
This is a sure shot way to catch the user’s attention. It uses the savings nudge to persuade users to hit the CTA button.
Don't forget to check out 18 ways to make Shopify popups less annoying (+ examples)
4. Get creative with social proof
Not all shoppers know what they are looking for when they land on a website. That’s going to be the case on Cyber Monday as well.
Here’s where recent sale notifications come in handy.
Recent sale notifications evoke curiosity and prompt a sense of urgency driving customers to action.
Since 98% of site visitors leave without taking any action…….
Wait a minute!
“Did you just say 98%?”
Yup, 98% of site visitors leave without making a purchase.
Recent sale notifications convince users to explore and not leave just yet.
Here’s how Floliving uses recent sale notifications on its homepage to attract the user’s attention. It uses social proof and FOMO to goad users to take action.
So, this is a quickfire strategy for your Cyber Monday campaign.
Alternatively, you can also add it to your product pages like NewAir.
This works as a social proof nudge helping build customer trust. 70% of customers will trust a recommendation from people whom they don’t know.
Since 10 people bought the product in the last 30 days, it conveys that this is a good product and hence has a high demand.
So include the recent sale notification to your Cyber Monday campaign.
Learn more about eCommerce social proof: What, why & how (with proven examples)
5. Make it convenient - easy shipping timelines and returns
Offering the right product isn’t enough because last-minute shoppers want the product at the earliest and more importantly, easy returns.
It’s not surprising that 73% of customers will buy a product only if free shipping is offered.
Free shipping reduces cart abandonment rates, and increases order volume and conversion rates.
While free shipping is not always feasible, you can instead offer next-day shipping or two-day shipping.
Bose offers free 2-day shipping with a minimum order of $50 and free return shipping.
This is great in persuading first-time customers to make a purchase. More than 90% of customers want 2 or 3-day delivery.
It also offers a 90-day risk-free trial which means a 90-day return window. This encourages new product trials. It assures the customer that they can fail and return the product without incurring a financial loss.
Customers view companies with no return policy as shady and not trustworthy.
An easy returns process is a pivotal part of the customer experience. 92% of customers will make a second purchase only if the returns process is easy.
Providing international shipping is another way of convenience. Global shipping can help you tap into user bases in other countries without starting operations.
40% of customers buy international products due to better availability while 22% of customers couldn’t buy an overseas product because international shipping wasn’t available.
Speaking of shopping, providing options for an in-store or curbside pickup reduces product return rates significantly. While the return rate for online orders stands at 30%, the percentage is shockingly lower at 8.89%.
From a UX standpoint, providing the options for curbside and store pickup is a major win.
Here’s an example from Best Buy including in-store pickup driving urgency with 1 left at your store
Decathlon offers a curbside pickup on its website.
6. Keep your live chat team on their toes
Cyber Monday is going to be a massive rush hour. Customers won’t have the time. With the clock ticking, you can simulate the traditional buying experience in chat.
Chat has mutual benefits for you and your customers.
a) Time saver: Saves time for both you and your customers
Customers value their time and so should you. Live chat can help customers find what they are looking for and keep them engaged on the site.
79% of customers prefer live chat due to its instant response time.
Remember, customers show their loyalty to eCommerce brands that value their time.
b) Answers objections before they become a strong hindrance
Customers will have their apprehensions. When they can’t find an FAQ, they may simply drop off. With live chat, all the questions are answered.
Close to 50% of customers opine that having a support person answering the question in the middle of a purchase decision is a strong brand quality.
Interestingly, 73% of customers prefer live chat because of the customer satisfaction it offers.
c) Reduces cart abandonment rates
While email and phone support are good, the wait time is usually high compared to live chat.
It also adds a humane touch which helps address customer queries. With a conversion rate of 40%, it's high time you incorporate live chat on your website.
Winding up, live chat is a great sales enabler since customers who interact with live chat are 2.8x more likely to convert than those who don't.
This helps in reducing cart abandonment rates since most problems are resolved within 42 seconds.
Pro Tip — Assist the users through the checkout process or better yet, use WhatsApp
7. Make your cart abandonment emails stand out from the crowd
Cart abandonment is a Goliath of a problem for eCommerce brands with the average cart abandonment rate across all industries nearing 70%.
And, it’s only going to increase as Cyber Monday 2021 saw the average cart abandonment reach 80.25%.
One sure-shot way to convert cart abandonment visitors is to send retargeted cart abandonment emails. Interestingly, cart abandonment emails have an 18% conversion rate.
Here’s a cart abandonment email from Withings for its Cyber Monday campaign from 2018.
Here’s why it works
- Drives urgency: Take note, it starts with emphasizing the urgency of taking an action with Tomorrow is too late. Since the font size and color are bigger than Cyber Monday 2018, this ensures high visibility.
- Reinforce purchase: By mentioning the deadline of 24 hours, Withings is reinforcing customers to take action. This is where customers have to make split-second decisions.
Surprisingly, every cart abandonment email sent earns $8.21 in added revenue
- Reciprocity: We kept them for you indicates reciprocity. According to this principle, customers are more likely to repay the favor when they receive it. This makes them feel special and can result in conversions.
- Strikethrough Pricing: Strikethrough pricing evokes a subconscious reaction from a customer and leads to a purchase. It also induces a gratified feeling of savings.
- Addresses perceived risk: Perceived risk is the uncertainty of a bad experience with the product.
– What if I can’t return it?
– Shipping costs are too high
– What's the warranty?
This Cyber Monday email addresses all the customer objections by paying the shipping fees, no- questions asked 30-day returns and a 1-year warranty with dedicated support.
As high as 60% of cart recovery emails lead to recovery sales within 24 hours. Even low stock alerts are equally effective.
Fix cart abandonment rates with these 17 Unconventional Ways To Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment
8. Offer Members-only discounts to boost loyalty programs
Your loyalty/reward program is an economical way to build a community of loyal customers to pay for the acquisition costs of new customers.
Offering member-only discounts as a part of your Cyber Monday can increase signups to your loyalty programs.
Loyal customers spend 67% more compared to new ones with recurring purchases, larger cart sizes, and increased upsell.
Loyalty programs should be a part of your Cyber Monday campaigns because —
a) Builds a 1:1 relationship with your customers
Your loyal customers are the best judge as to what they prefer. Loyalty programs offer personalized offers drawing the ones who want to show their loyalty to you.
It’s easier to learn insights about behavior, habits, preferences, and needs which can help you become a better marketer.
Remember, once a loyal customer, always a loyal customer. 59% of Americans say that once they become loyal to a brand it stays the same throughout their lifetime.
b) Encourage recommendations
Loyal customers make more recommendations and that’s the eternal truth. With positive word-of-mouth recommendations, you’re 2x likely to acquire new customers at one-fourth of the acquisition costs.
Shoppers have unlimited options for purchase and if your loyal customers are satisfied they can drive traffic and conversions for your Cyber Monday campaigns.
Take note, loyalty programs can drive nearly 20% of profits if implemented well.
9. Play curiosity games
Curiosity is an underutilized emotion in marketing.
Humans are wired to like suspense and thriller which is why TV shows in this genre are a massive hit.
Evoking curiosity in your customers is a proven way to get responses from your customers.
Design Within Reach sends a mystery gift email in one of its Cyber Monday email marketing campaigns.
Score! It’s Cyber Monday: Mystery deal revealed!
It invokes curiosity with the above email subject line.
The role of curiosity in conversions is better explained by the Curiosity Gap principle. As per this principle, people become aware of one’s knowledge gap which triggers a stage of deprivation resulting in the intense desire to know.
The reward for uncovering the curiosity is $1000 worth of savings with big discounts and shipping.
You can also reveal the promo code at the checkout which reduces cart abandonment effectively.
Thank us later: 14 eCommerce Loyalty Programs Backed By Science (Examples)
10. Target hashtags - Cyber Monday haul
Hashtags are to social media what product category is to an eCommerce site. Both help in content discovery.
One way to encourage users to use branded hashtags for your Cyber Monday social media campaign is to encourage sharing by giving rewards.
A Cyber Monday Gift Card is an incentive to drive social media traffic to your eCommerce site and isn’t a loss-making proposition by any measure. Studies have proven that customers pay an average of $59 more than the original price of the gift card.
Either way, it's a win-win situation for you and your customers.
Another strategy is to share images of customers using products giving them social recognition and the benefits of becoming loyal customers.
Featuring actual images and testimonials sends greater signals than fashion models.
11. Jazz up your email opt-in popups
There’s no other channel like email opt-in popups that are less intrusive and more effective. Period
By offering email opt-in popups, you’re grabbing the user’s attention within the first few seconds of a user’s time on site.
It’s an opportunity to get emails as leads for your Cyber Monday campaign. In fact, the average conversion rate for seasonal popups stands at 11.88%.
Email opt-in pops help in building an email list and later nurturing those leads into conversions. It helps take the conversation outside the website with their consent to receive emails. No wonder, email marketing has an ROI of 4200%.
Here’s an example of what an engaging email opt-in popup looks like. It offers new users 20$ off on any orders worth $150+.
The number $20 is the hero of the popup. Highlighting the number communicates the value. It ensures cognitive ease — the fluency of the brain to process information easily.
Ideally, you can also offer additional purchase discounts or BOGO offers to compel users to think before exiting. Additional purchase discounts give the feeling of ‘so many products at such low prices’.
This is enough to increase AOV without hurting your profit margins.
You don’t always have to limit email pops to discounts but offering a valuable resource such as an ebook or PDF is just as effective. Popups offering subscriptions have a conversion rate of 7.49%.
12. Create a last-minute advertising campaign
If you’re late to the party, you can still salvage a win. Emails constitute a diminutive 25% of all Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns where the good news lies.
You can come up with something creative that isn’t difficult to create, just a few hours before the sale begins.
Take a look at this Tanner Goods email as a part of its Cyber Monday campaign. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, it keeps the point simple and makes the discount the hero of the campaign.
It offers a promo code for free domestic shipping and the offers are valid in its brick-and-mortar and online stores. Free shipping is a great persuasive tactic as 93% of customers feel encouraged to buy products when offered free shipping.
More importantly, 53% of customers purchase more products to qualify for free shipping.
This appears to be a drag-and-drop template that can be created within minutes with a tool like Engage.
Finally, offering other incentives such as free returns, price match guarantees, next-day shipping, and BNPL options can increase the odds of conversions.
Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: What do the numbers tell?
Black Friday is an in-store and online shopping event popular in the retail space. Cyber Monday on the other hand is an online-only event where tech gadgets sell like hotcakes.
Black Friday is a major draw for big retailers since they can afford fewer margins. However, Amazon is an exception since it offers better deals to its Prime members on Cyber Monday.
Here’s a list of FAQs asked by eCommerce brands who’re just starting:
1. Is Cyber Monday better than Black Friday?
While Black Friday has always been the clear winner, the gap between Black Friday and Cyber Monday has decreased exponentially.
According to an NRF survey, Black Friday outperformed Cyber Monday in 2021 when it comes to shopping activity by day.
While Black Friday saw an in-store turnout of 66.5 million customers and 88 million shopped online( convenience is still the crucial factor), Cyber Monday painted a different story.
With 20.3 million people shopping in-store and 77 million people shopping online , it's safe to conclude that Cyber Monday is still an online event.
Summing up, Cyber Monday is better for tech products. Even customers looking to buy from resellers find great deals on eBay. eCommerce brands sell the remaining inventory of Black Friday on Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday is highly likely to extend and become Cyber Week.
2. Is Cyber Monday a holiday in the USA?
Cyber Monday is not a public holiday in the US. It’s just like any other day but the only difference is that the majority of sales happen online.
Businesses are open and sales happen as usual. It’s the busiest online shopping sales event with its inception on November 28, 2005.
Interestingly, 77% of online retailers opined that their sales increased significantly on the Monday after Thanksgiving, a trend enabling massive online discounts and promotions on Cyber Monday 2005.
Don't forget to check out eCommerce Marketing Strategies (and Brilliant Examples) for Thanksgiving
3. Is Cyber Monday bigger than Black Friday?
As mentioned earlier, the margin of difference between Cyber Monday and Black Friday has narrowed substantially over the years.
Cyber Monday trumps Black Friday due to the highest discounts offered online. The discounts are evenly distributed during the entire Cyber 5 — the 5 days starting from Thanksgiving till Cyber Monday.
In 2020, the median discount rate on Cyber Monday was 29%.
While Cyber Monday offers the convenience of shopping online, Black Friday has the holiday advantage. People with day jobs can buy on holiday whereas people can’t take time off to shop on Cyber Monday which isn’t a public holiday.
However, Cyber Monday emerged the clear winner, with $10.7 billion in sales against $8.9 billion in Black Friday sales.
The case was no different in 2019, with Cyber Monday grossing $9.4 billion in sales against $7.4 billion on Black Friday.
To conclude, Cyber Monday is slightly higher in terms of revenue but it isn’t colossal by any standards.
5. Are prices cheaper on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
There’s no right answer to this question as the discounts vary by product category.
Black Friday seems to focus on consumer electronics such as TV, laptops, and smartphones, the discounts on these are the highest. In short, it's great for big-ticket items.
Cyber Monday, in contrast, offers special discounts on home appliances such as coffee makers, toasters, crockpots, stand mixers, and sandwich makers.
As per data, the average discount rate on Black Friday deals was 22% while it was 23% for Cyber Monday.
6. How much do prices go down on Black Friday?
You will find a price drop on Black Friday for all big retailer products such as Apple Watch, iPad, and AirPods Pro. Even TVs become less expensive with retailers like Walmart and Best Buy, quoting their lowest price of the year on most of their top-selling models.
Laptops, desktop computers, and gaming PCs will hit the floors on Black Friday. Not to forget, you will find steal deals for graphic cards.
Finally, you will also have price cuts on video games that are a rage with gamers on Black Friday.
This is what you can expect on Black Friday.
Are you Black Friday ready? Check out 25 Creative Examples of Black Friday Deals
Cyber Monday 101
1. How does Cyber Monday work?
Cyber Monday is predominantly an online sale on the Monday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday. It’s a 24-hour sale where there’s high demand for tech products from small to medium-sized online retailers.
Unlike Black Friday, Cyber Monday is not a federal holiday. In recent years, Cyber Monday has extended to become Cyber Week going on till the first week of December.
2. Is Cyber Monday only online?
Cyber Monday is an online-only event that began as a respite to customers to avoid the long queues and unpleasant experiences faced on Black Friday since it is an in-store event.
3. What do people buy on Cyber Monday?
As an Adobe survey, the product categories by maximum sales during Cyber Monday 2021 were —
- Toys saw an 11x increase from Sept 2021
- Gift cards saw a 7x increase
- Video games were up 6x
- Baby and toddler products shot up by 6x
- With the home appliances category registering a 5.6x increase, microwave ovens and small kitchen appliances were the highest earners with 9.6x and 7.1x
The final prices on Cyber Monday marked an increase of 13.9% with 19% being the overall season price hike.