It’s fair to say that we all appreciate a good bargain. Whether it’s picking up a new laptop for work, a video games console for fun, or a cloud PBX system for the business, it’s good to keep a watchful eye out for any opportunities to make a saving.

For consumers, though, there’s one day of the year that perhaps stands out from the rest. This is, of course, Cyber Monday. In recent years, this has become a huge online shopping event, where retailers slash prices and offer huge discounts on a range of different items. It provides shoppers with a good opportunity to stock up on cut-price goodies in the run-up to Christmas.

Let’s take a closer look at Cyber Monday and why it’s such a big deal.

What is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday is a major online shopping event which takes place on the first Monday after Thanksgiving in the United States (so late November or early December). 

It’s become a key landmark of the Christmas retail season, when consumers are looking to make savings on purchases both for friends and family, as well as themselves. Retailers offer big discounts to account for that consumer demand, and many also offer free shipping to entice buyers.

The first Cyber Monday debuted in 2005, launched with the intention of promoting online retail (which at that time was still relatively niche). Since then, online shopping has grown at a rapid rate, and Cyber Monday has grown with it. Whereas Cyber Monday sales revenues totalled a relatively modest $484 million in 2005, by 2019 they’d grown to a record $9.4 billion

This indicates just how rapidly Cyber Monday has established itself as one of the most important days of the retail year, and it looks set for further growth in the years ahead.

Cyber Monday and Black Friday

Despite the event’s growing importance, however, there are still some consumers who get confused between Cyber Monday and Black Friday. This is because the two are so close together. Cyber Monday takes place on the nearest Monday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday takes place on the nearest Friday.

In fact, Cyber Monday came about when observers noticed that many online shoppers were continuing to buy items in the aftermath of Black Friday. It was then that retailers realized they could turn the following Monday into an event in its own right, and in doing so boost sales even further. For online retailers, Cyber Monday is now the bigger event of the two.

The two events, being so close to one another, are a crucial double whammy for retailers. As we’ve discussed, they’re now a central pillar of the Christmas shopping season. Many consumers wait to see what Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are on offer before buying those big-ticket items in time for the holidays.

How Can Retailers Prepare for Cyber Monday?

Given the importance of Cyber Monday to the retail calendar, and its close proximity to another big event in the form of Black Friday, it requires a lot of preparation from businesses selling online. Those outlets that don’t adequately prepare themselves for Cyber Monday are likely to find that their competitors gain a crucial competitive advantage over them. 

So what can retailers do? 

1. Get the logistics right.

For a start, they need to ensure that they can handle the demand they’re likely to encounter. This means choosing the right ecommerce software, as well as having enough staff on hand to dispatch orders and making sure arrangements are in place to get them to consumers in a timely manner.

2. Build a buzz.

In addition, retailers should build a buzz around their Cyber Monday offerings in the weeks preceding the big day. Think about email marketing campaigns, paid search advertising, and social media promotion. Organise a web meeting with key staff to get their ideas; you can find the best messaging app for Android online and use it to keep in touch.

3. Make your website mobile friendly.

Mobile shopping grows in importance all the time. If your website isn’t optimised for smartphone shopping, the chances are that consumers will simply take their custom elsewhere. You must make sure your website works well on mobile ahead of Cyber Monday, if it doesn’t already.

Conclusion

Cyber Monday is one of the most important days of the year for online retailers, and for consumers as well. It’s essential that retailers are properly prepared for the surge in demand. If they’re going to benefit fully from the event, they need to provide both excellent offers on products and other extras like free shipping.

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