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Is Your Business Prepared for Cyber Monday 2014?

CyberMonday2014Black Friday has been an American tradition for years. Long lines, great deals, and carried away shoppers have been a staple to see during the start of the shopping season. As the internet has become a bigger part of our lives, Black Friday has been slowly decreasing in priority for marketers. Each year the numbers show Cyber Monday is becoming consumer’s favorite way to start their shopping for the holidays. In 2013 physical traffic to retail stores dropped 11.4% and sales dropped 13.2% over 2012.

This time of year, more than ever, is a huge opportunity for businesses to capitalize on the one day of the year people shop online most. IBM’s Cyber Monday report shows the exponential growth from 2012 to 2013. Online sales for Cyber Monday increased 20.6%, or $2.29 billion. The top sellers include:

  • Apparel (31%)
  • Books/DVDs/Video Games (28%)
  • Consumer electronics (25%)

Cyber Monday should be seen as an opportunity for any online retailer and cannot be overlooked. Just because you are online does not mean you are going to see huge sales. With numbers showing Cyber Monday growing as quickly as it is, a plan for this day needs to be developed well in advance. In regards to being successful in drawing customers to your site, statistics show online retailers need to be prepared in three key areas: website speed, going mobile, and social media.

Website Performance

Website performance is extremely critical to success on a day when tens of millions of people are shopping online at any given moment. Having a mobile optimized, quick website will help to keep you competitive with other online retailers. According to Web Performance Today:

  • 74% of users abandon a site after 5 seconds
  • 46% of users will not return to a website that is performing poorly
  • Optimal site load time Is 2 seconds

These numbers prove how critical every second can be when users are ready to spend money. Does one or two seconds of increased load time really make a big difference? Yes. Numbers again back up how important a finely tuned website is to keeping a customer from leaving and spending money elsewhere. According to Loadstorm ONE extra second of load time can contribute to:

  • 7% decrease in conversions
  • 11% fewer page views
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction

Servers are going to be under extreme stress due to increased traffic and outages may occur. Plan ahead and check with your hosting provider to see what they have in place to make sure your website stays up and running with no delays. Having your website go down on Cyber Monday certainly will be an enormous lost opportunity for sales.

Mobile

An efficient website is not only good for your desktop customers, but your mobile customers in addition. If your site is not mobile optimized you are missing out on an important segment of the market. The last few years have shown a huge increase in mobile traffic on retailer’s websites and mobile sales numbers. IBM reported a boost of 18% in mobile traffic to retailer’s websites over 2012. If that statistic didn’t convince you to make your site mobile, consider:

  • 13% of all online sales were mobile sales,   96% increase over 2012 (Loadstorm)
  • Mobile spending up 55% (IBM)
  • iOS and Android accounted for 93.5% of all mobile sales (IBM)

Responsive website design is now commonplace and is a popular way to make your site mobile. Being user friendly is important to capturing your customer’s attention and hopefully their business.

Social Media

In this day and age social media is a major part of Cyber Monday marketing. Social media statistics show 1.4% of ALL social media that day was about Cyber Monday. Facebook reported a240% increase in referral traffic versus any other Monday. BusinessWire showed social media sites in 2013 drove in $148 million between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. PFS Web states the big three platforms for referrals on Cyber Monday are:

  • Twitter – 24%
  • Pinterest – 17%
  • Facebook – 12%

With how social media is used today, letting people know about your Cyber Monday sale has the potential to reach a lot of people.

Focusing on these three areas will help your business take advantage of the largest online shopping day of the year. It should be interesting to see what kind of numbers 2014 will bring, but if the trend continues more records will be broken. Following these tips can help your business join in on breaking records. .

If you are concerned with your websites uptime during high traffic times, contact RedOrum to learn more about hosting capabilities.

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