Are you ready for the two biggest shopping days of the year?
Preparing for Black Friday and its online counterpart Cyber Monday is an incredibly important part of marketing for your brand.
After all, you don’t want to miss out on the potential sales and revenue opportunities that these days can bring to your business.
A digital marketing strategy is essential to both Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing approaches, and understanding the ins and outs of the Cyber Monday landscape will help you to develop a plan that brings in your leads and prospects and converts them into customers.
In this ultimate guide to Cyber Monday, we’ll discuss what this date is and why it matters just as much — if not more — than Black Friday, important predictions to keep top of mind, and the 9 best tips to direct your strategies.
For years this shopping event has seen lines of shoppers camping out in front of retail stores to get the deals before supplies run out. Black Friday brings in-store shoppers every morning after Thanksgiving.
What is Cyber Monday?
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is typically an in-store event where early morning deal busters and the lowest prices of the year draw in huge crowds to business storefronts.
For years this shopping event has seen lines of shoppers camping out in front of retail stores to get the deals before supplies run out, and even though COVID-19 changed that during 2020, the thrill of Black Friday will continue to bring in-store shoppers every morning after Thanksgiving.
But, as the world has transformed and transitioned to a digital environment, so has the yearly shopping tradition.
Cyber Monday was first coined in 2005 to describe the Monday following Black Friday when retailers encouraged shoppers to take their retail experience from the storefront to an online venue.
Cyber Monday now joins the historical Black Friday event to create a weekend full of sales rather than a single day.
Some brands use Cyber Monday as a secondary day to sell merchandise that didn’t make it off the shelves on Black Friday, but most treat the two days as two prongs in a single marketing approach.
By focusing on the in-person retail experience on Friday and then pushing for online purchases on Monday, brands are able to sell more and target two separate audiences on the same weekend.
When is Cyber Monday 2023?
Cyber Monday always falls on the Monday after Black Friday. In 2023 it will be on November 24th.
Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: Which Attracts More Buyers?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are often considered two different days in the same marketing campaign, but there is a difference between the types of products and deals that are offered.
As Black Friday is traditionally an in-person shopping event, retailers tend to focus their marketing campaigns around products that are tangible.
Things like clothing or shoes that can be tried on, candles and lotions that can be smelled, food items that can be sampled, and toys that can be played with are popular selling items among brands.
Black Friday shopping often includes doorbuster prizes or free gifts at checkout that further enhance the in-person experience that is difficult to replicate online.
After all, the satisfaction of seeing a gift dropped into your bag is greater than clicking “add to bag” at the online checkout.
Just as Black Friday has products that are popular for that experience, Cyber Monday also has products that are pushed more by companies.
In particular, technology products have their best deals on Cyber Monday, honing in on the terminology that puts digital experiences at the forefront.
Products like laptops, gaming systems and PCs, televisions, video games, tablets, phones, and even subscription services and SaaS programs are heavily featured in Cyber Monday sales.
If you are a retail brand, this means that you can split your marketing efforts between the two types of product categories for each day without trying to crowd too many deals into one shopping event.
Top Cyber Monday 2023 Predictions
In order for your Cyber Monday 2023 strategy to go off without a hitch, you need to understand the trends that are being made about shopper behavior and competitor markets.
Here are a few major predictions:
Sales should remain high, but maybe not at the record-breaking levels seen in 2022
In 2022, consumers spent more on Cyber Monday, with sales reaching record highs of 11.3 billion dollars. This year, they may not be as enthusiastic. However, brands can expect online shopping to become increasingly relevant, making Cyber Monday one of the year’s biggest shopping days.
A lot has changed since the last Cyber Monday. Although inflation is starting to fall, consumers are dealing with the aftermath of record highs and sticky pricing. That may lead them to limit their holiday spending.
It may also mean that when they shop, they will look for sales like they can get on Cyber Monday. Make the sales enticing to grab their attention.
Focus on Targeted Marketing
Assuming consumers will be more budget-conscious for 2023, it is critical that the brands target their audience with marketing. Use social media and email marketing to publicize mystery deals and targeted promotions to grab their attention. Create a sense of urgency by promoting limited early bird sales.
Plan for Cyber Week
They may call it Cyber Monday, but shoppers look for online deals from Thanksgiving Day to Black Friday to Cyber Monday. The trend for the last few years has been online buying exceeds in-store during this period, according to the National Retail Federation.
On Cyber Monday 2022, online purchasing more than tripled that in the stores. There is no reason to believe that trend won’t continue for 2023. E-commerce brands should market for the entire week and not just focus on Monday.
Smartphones will reign supreme
Along those same lines, more shoppers will buy from their smartphones than any other device. In 2022, smartphones accounted for 43% of all online sales. For Cyber Week, 50% of all sales came from a phone.
Toys were the big winner in 2022
Last year, specific product categories saw a huge sales jump. Toys topped the list with a 684% increase. Next in line was sporting goods, with a sales increase of 466%. Other high-selling categories include:
- Appliances 458%
- Books 439%
- Jewelry 410%
- Electronics 391%
- Computers 372%
Even though toys were the big winner, 43% of consumers bought some kind of electronics.
The 9 Best Tips for Selling More on Cyber Monday 2022
Now that you understand the upcoming trends for Cyber Monday and how it works with and apart from Black Friday, you can build your digital marketing strategy.
Here are a few of the most important tips to get you started:
Tip 1: Update Your Website
Your business website is the foundation that supports your entire Cyber Monday strategy. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to make a single sale.
That’s why it’s key to update your site.
This goes beyond clean graphics and clear copy — your site needs to be able to handle the influx of visitors you expect on Cyber Monday.
Your website needs to be responsive and fast as well as easy to navigate.
With so many time-sensitive deals, if your customers can’t find your offers quickly, they’ll leave to go to your competition.
Invest in tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights or your other website development reports to test the loading speed of your website and find areas of improvement.
After all, the last thing you want on Cyber Monday is your site crashing during the middle of a sale.
Tip 2: Test, Test, and Test Your E-Commerce Experience
Creating a great online experience goes beyond updating your website.
You also need to ensure that your shopping experience from the first moment a customer visits your e-commerce store to their final checkout is flawless.
Run as many tests as you can to make sure that the experience for your Cyber Monday web visitor is easy and clear.
Double-check that all the steps flow into each other so that a customer isn’t waiting for a confirmation email that their purchase went through or trying to find items that have specialized names in your virtual store.
Tip 3: Design Dedicated Landing Pages
Landing pages work as gateways to your deals and sales, and help to funnel your web visitors to the right places to buy when coming in from clicking on links in ads or emails.
Your landing pages should deliver the product information your customers want and give a clear CTA to purchase.
Optimizing your landing pages to convert your leads is essential. Try these tips to improve your landing page performance:
- Keep your design clean and simple.
- Cut out content that isn’t related to the product offer.
- Add your CTA multiple times throughout the page.
- Remove sections that slow down loading times.
- Include helpful images and product descriptions.
Tip 4: Don’t Be Afraid to Spend on Ads
Oftentimes, a brand’s ad budget is a point of contention among teams.
Brands and companies working with limited marketing funds will often find themselves struggling to find the capital to purchase high-performing search keywords or outbid the competition for the top result of search engine results pages, or SERPs.
If there ever was a time to take a no-holds-barred approach to your ad spending strategy, Cyber Monday is it.
With so much competition over consumers’ attention, you need your ads to appear first for searches and more often in social timelines.
Successful ads will depend on more than just additional funds — you also need to budget the time and effort into creating a strategy that works.
Focus on personalization in your messaging and targeting to reach your key audience segments.
Tip 5: Offer Something New
Cyber Monday is a great time to showcase a new product or limited offer item that won’t be available after the sale ends.
Not only does this help to create urgency and push customers to make impulse buys, but it also gives you a competitive edge over other brands in your space.
As an additional benefit to new products during Cyber Monday, you can also try and sell these limited edition items without the price reductions that the rest of your products will showcase.
Because the urgency is created by the limited number of products available and not the price, you can still sell out without special deals.
Tip 6: Create Urgency with Timers
Creating urgency is the name of the game on Cyber Monday.
Without urgency, customers have no incentive to purchase during the event day and will instead wait until another time of the year to make their decision.
While the urgency created by limited stock is a great way to encourage early sales, you can also use timers and countdown clocks to create that important sense of urgency in your leads.
You can do this by sending out daily emails counting down to the day, posting social media updates, or by adding a literal clock to your website or online store through a countdown clock plug-in.
Tip 7: Prepare the Customer Service Team
Sometimes, brands become so focused on developing their online stores and creating marketing strategies that they forget about an important side of the business — the customer service team.
The holiday season is a stressful time for employees and customers alike, so your customer service team needs to be prepared for the questions that come in.
Consumers are going to want quick answers to their concerns and don’t want to wait in long hold lines to reach a representative, so prep your team for the increase in questions.
Tip 8: Optimize for Mobile
Online shopping doesn’t just happen on the computer. In fact, many customers will use their phones to find the best deals.
Therefore, it’s important that you update your store to work just as well on mobile as it does on a desktop.
You also need to check the mobile responsiveness of your website.
Your site should automatically adjust to the size of a mobile device screen, and if it doesn’t, you need to fix that immediately to bring in the most sales.
Tip 9: Get Started for Next Year
Cyber Monday will give you incredible data to use for next year’s campaign.
Use reporting tools to track the behavior of your audiences and get started on the next Cyber Monday plan immediately.
Your Business Needs a Cyber Monday Plan
The weekend following Thanksgiving Thursday is the most important weekend of the year for retail brands.
Plan your promotions
In order to succeed in your marketing efforts for Cyber Monday, you need to plan in advance and know what trends to keep an eye on. Planning can’t happen soon enough, but it’s never too late to get started, no matter the size of your brand.
Plan out what products you want to promote. This way, you can update their information early. That might mean giving their description and images a makeover, improving SEO, and creating some blog content related to those items.
You can break down promotions into categories and deal with them one at a time. For example, what popular items do you want to discount? What about product bundles? How will you package and display them?
Test technology early
You already know many shoppers go online during Cyber Week, so do any upgrades and technology testing early. If you plan to make changes, don’t wait until the month before your sales start. Do it early in the year so you understand the tech and know it works how you want.
Make sure to address any potential bandwidth issues, too. Test website page speeds and eyeball all your pages and promotions on multiple devices.
Make several checklists
Creating a checklist is a practical way to ensure everyone is on the same page and you accomplish your goals. You might make one by categories such as marketing, tech, and emails.
You could also make time-sensitive checklists. For example, everything you want to accomplish for each month leading up to Cyber Week.
You need to create a digital strategy that includes multi-touch and multi-channel approaches to reach the widest possible audience before the big day arrives.
Through a variety of campaigns and advertisements, you can attract customers, keep them interested in your offers, and bring them in to buy during the Cyber Monday sale.
If you want to get the most out of your ad performance, it’s important to know the right metrics to track and understand what a successful ad looks like.
Check out our resource on ad performance to see where your ads stand and improve your results today!