5 Last-minute Tips to Prepare for Cyber Monday

Nov 29, 2013 5:16 PM  By

cyber-monday

With Adobe projecting Cyber Monday sales to pass the $2 billion dollar mark, this is the busiest and potentially most profitable day of the year for ecommerce merchants. Marketers need to hone their strategy to capitalize on this massive opportunity.

[CLICK HERE for Multichannel Merchant's Cyber Weekend 2013 coverage]

Working with brands like ModCloth and Macy’s, I’ve learned a lot about what brands need to do in order to turn Cyber Monday traffic into transactions. Below are my five actionable tips that marketers can implement to claim their share of the $82 billion that the National Retail Federation estimates will be spent online this holiday shopping season:

Make small but meaningful improvements to your web and mobile sites.
Optimize the user experience on revenue-driving pages and those that will receive traffic. Also, be cognizant of your page load times for both mobile and desktop devices to make sure that they are the fastest possible. While desktop is traditionally the breadwinner, don’t discount mobile! Google research shows that over three-fourths of online shoppers will browse on their mobile devices.

Ensure your site can accommodate increased traffic
Business Insider discovered that downed sites result in significant revenue losses, especially during this time of year. To mitigate traffic flow, make sure to time your promotions well. Instead of emailing everyone at the same time, stagger your communications to avoid overwhelming amounts of traffic. Furthermore, use Google Webmaster Tools to crawl for any 404 errors your customers might see, and regularly evaluate server performance.

Understand search trends
Identify popular queries from last year’s Cyber Monday to see what terms were searched for the most. Among those, identify the terms that will apply again this year. For example, Shop.org data revealed “free shipping” as a popular term from last year, and it will make sense this season as well. After you identify general trends, mine your data to see which queries were the most valuable for your particular brand.

Target keywords that are within striking distance
First, mine your data to understand your company’s current standing in search. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to learn how competitive a given keyword might be, then consider it according to your timeline. Choose keywords that you can make significant gains with, despite a quick turnaround.

Create compelling content
Your goal should always be to make your customers’ shopping experiences the best possible, and content is the most straightforward means to do so. Develop content that fits your audience and their particular needs. Drive traffic to your site by pushing out content via social media channels, being mindful of how behaviors and preferences differ across channels.

Jim Yu is CEO of BrightEdge.