Cyber Monday raked in an estimated $1.98 billion for online retailers in 2012. Holiday shoppers are a ravenous but picky bunch out for the best products they can get at the best prices. Spending a little time optimizing your website and polishing your terminology can help boost your holiday sales.
1. Brace for impact
Don't be caught with a crashed server. Even major retailers are not immune to overload; in 2010, the unexpected popularity of a fashion line brought Target down. Make sure you have plenty of bandwidth available to handle increased traffic.
2. Prepare your social media approach
Plan out your Facebook posts and Tweets ahead of time. Encourage website visitors to follow you on social media to gain access to exclusive deals. The holidays are also an excellent time for a giveaway-style social media contest to draw in potential customers.
3. Make sure you're visible on mobile
In 2012, about 18% of Cyber Monday traffic and 13% of sales originated on smart phones and tablets. Polish up your mobile presence. Make sure all of your contact information, including e-mail and SMS info, is updated, and double-check that you're displayed correctly on Google Maps, Foursquare and other local-specific apps.
4. Fine-tune your Meta descriptions
Clear; concise Meta descriptions with an emphasis on your holiday specials are more likely to bring in traffic.
5. Highlight the deals
Use attractive terms like "free shipping," "gifts" and "sale" to let customers know there are deals to be had site-wide.
6. Have your sales readily available
Holiday shoppers are bargain hunters. Offering promotions like percentages off, buy-one-get-one and free shipping will draw users to buy directly from your website as opposed to from a physical retailer.
7. Skip the membership push
Minimize the number of clicks it takes for a customer to get from the product screen to the "submit order" button. Requiring customers to log in or pushing a loyalty program isn't effective in the holiday market. Streamlined checkout is the key.
8. E-mail VIP deals
Have a special e-mail promotion for returning customers. Remember that inboxes are flooded with promotional e-mails around the holidays. Use a catchy title line or particularly titillating deal to make yours stand out.
9. Create A Gift Guide
Your customers will be looking to buy the perfect gift for friends, co-workers and family members that they might be at a loss for ideas about. Offering gift guides, especially a special list of "stocking stuffers," is an excellent way to promote a variety of products.
10. Get on the list
There are a handful of websites geared toward highlighting Cyber Monday and holiday sales. Get on their lists to increase your exposure.