Is your website ready for Cyber Monday? Matthew Rhodus, Director and Industry Principal for Strategic Initiatives at NetSuite, offers tips on how to get on track for big post–Turkey Day sales.
Make a Cyber Monday List (and Check It Twice)
Is your website ready for Nov. 26, 2018? Better known as Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving is also the internet’s biggest shopping day, and you need to be ready, says Matthew Rhodus, director and industry principal for retail at the business software provider Oracle NetSuite.
“The most important thing is to not wait—start now,” Rhodus says. “There is no substitute for preparation. So much is riding on these few days of the year that it’s key to make sure you are prepping for this months ahead of time.”
Here’s a checklist of tasks to get you on track for big post–Turkey Day sales:
1. Identify your target market.
Determine which customer segment you want to target, and construct your marketing campaign around that, Rhodus says. “Bring in elements of past purchase history into that planning,” he adds. “Not everyone will jump at Cyber Monday, and it might not be worth spending effort trying to convert them.”
2. Plan your holiday sales.
Plan and organize the sales and promotions you will be holding. Confirm that you have enough inventory to fulfill orders; nothing is worse than a disappointed customer.
3. Prepare your website.
Touch base with your hosting provider to ensure the company makes appropriate adjustments to accommodate an increase in traffic, says Zavida Mangaru, executive vice president of product strategy and innovation at North American Bancard. “If you host the website on your own server, you can test its load capacity with tools like LoadImpact.com.”
4. Test and test again.
“Make sure that page loads, banner content, hero images, item uploads, and other pieces of your site all work as expected,” Rhodus says. “It’s critical to test many times between now and November.” If your site can’t handle the load, you want to know now.
5. Optimize for mobile.
The number of mobile shoppers has increased dramatically, accounting for 63.5 percent of e-commerce sales, according to market research firm eMarketer. Optimizing your online store for a fluid mobile interaction is critical in today’s high-speed retail environments, Mangaru says.
6. Expand your payment options.
Payment methods for consumers are more abundant and diverse than ever. “The usage of mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Masterpass, Alipay, and more is becoming more frequent,” Mangaru says. “Make sure you are familiar [with] and prepared to accept the evolving payment forms that your target demographic prefers.”
7. Prevent fraud.
The pace of sales on Cyber Monday provides criminals with opportunities to slip through the cracks. But don’t make the mistake of ignoring the customer experience, says Michael Reitblat, cofounder and CEO of Forter, which provides fraud-prevention solutions to the jewelry industry. Consider fraud-prevention software that can identify problems in real time, via means such as behavioral analysis and machine learning. “A technology-driven and scalable solution will ensure that fraudsters are stopped in their tracks and legitimate shoppers receive their goods,” Reitblat says, “even on the busiest shopping day of the year.”
Read Stephanie Vozza's full article Holiday Survival Guide: No-Fail Sales Strategies for more post-Thanksgiving sales tips!