8 Ways To Get Ready for Cyber Monday

Ian Lurie

Cyber Monday, if you didn’t know, is the Monday following Thanksgiving. It’s becoming a huge online shopping day. Think of it as Black Friday, only online, and on Monday.

If you have an online store, and you haven’t done anything yet, don’t despair. There are still some things you can do:

  1. Look at last year’s analytics and sales. Did you have a jump in sales on Cyber Monday? If so, what keywords generated the results?
  2. Up your pay-per-click spend for those keywords.
  3. Test your site!!! Make sure your shopping cart is working properly, nothing is lagging, speed-wise, and that all of your product images are there.
  4. Send a note to your customers. E-mail your past customers. Thank them for their business, sincerely, and then remind them that they don’t have to fight the crowds on Friday. Follow these basic deliverability rules.
  5. Put a big badge on every page of your site showing when stuff will be delivered using various shipping options. Remind folks it’s not too late to order and have stuff in time for Christmas.
  6. Don’t forget the other holidays. Some of us (ahem) celebrate other holidays, like Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. Don’t leave us out. We buy stuff for our kids, too, you know.
  7. Have an emergency plan. What are you going to do if your site goes kerplunk? Running around in circles and screaming isn’t a ‘plan’. Make sure you have the phone numbers for your hosting provider, development team, credit card processor and bank. Put them all on notice, beforehand, that you’ll be calling if anything even seems out of place, and ask them to please keep an eye on things.
  8. Don’t make changes. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Don’t push your luck by trying to change things on your site. If nothing’s broken, leave it alone, no matter how tempting. It’s not worth the risk.

Not all of these will apply to everyone, of course. But if you sell anything that could even remotely be considered a gift, you should probably run down this list once or twice, just to be ready.

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Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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  1. I thought Cyber Monday is a myth. It was created an online shopping association about 3 years ago and CNBC and other business publications all loved the term and picked it up. But year after year it has been proven that is not more traffic than the next Monday.
    BTW, Mondays are the “busiest” days for online activity, including Searching and shopping.

  2. Hi Marcelo,
    Cyber Monday is for real, but you are correct. Here’s the key: If you can deliver on that first Monday, you’ll get lots of sales on the next, too.
    If you don’t, though, you’re likely going to miss out for the rest of the season.
    It’s very similar to brick-and-mortar. Stores fight to get your business on Black Friday because they know it means you’ll likely be back. If they don’t do it then, they’re out of luck.

  3. I did a little research on this. Cyber Monday is as real as Black Friday. They are both kick starts to the season, but neither are necessarily the big whopper. Last year, Cyber Monday came in 12th on the busiest online shopping days of the year while Black Friday has averaged a solid 6.5 spot off line.
    The busiest online shopping day last year registered was December 13th. This website: http://www.revenews.com/adamviener/2006/12/what_day_was_the_busiest_onlin.html has dubbed this “whopping Wednesday.”
    Either way it is a significant day. Has there been any research tying in personas to preferred shopping dates? I know that I’d be the guy shopping on the 15th (ranked 8th) hoping that I can still receive those gifts in time for Christmas. It didn’t work out to well last year.

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