Last Minute Holiday E-commerce Checklist: Is Your Online Store Prepared for Cyber Monday?

Nov 21, 2014 by Jesse Ness, Ecwid Team
Posted Nov 21, 2014 by Jesse Ness, Ecwid Team

In 2013, Cyber Monday e-commerce sales grew between 16 to 20 percent to nearly $2.3 billion, with this year’s Cyber Monday sales predicted to exceed those of last year. IBM reports Cyber Monday to be the biggest day for online shopping, so your website and marketing plans need to be able to accommodate the influx in sales and meet customer expectations. With only a few days to go, here is your last minute checklist!

Check Your Email Blast
Cyber Monday is such a big deal because people expect a big deal. Your competitors will likely be giving the biggest discounts of the year and, if you want to stand out, you should too. Write your email blast early, offer up a big discount coupon and focus on the subject line to stand out in crowded inboxes.

Check Your Ads
You aren’t the only one looking for customers, so you should increase bids in your PPC accounts as well as marketplaces and comparison shopping engines. Sales and conversion rates are much higher these next several weeks, so you can go over your normal bids. If you don’t have any ads currently and are looking for a silver bullet, try Facebook ads using your previous customers as a Custom Audience and create a Lookalike audience to expand your reach. Your ads will show up in your customers’ news feeds and people who “look like” your customers.

Check Your Bandwidth
Cyber Monday is certain to vastly increase the traffic to your website; therefore, your bandwidth needs to be able to support the increase in traffic. Ecwid gives your store unlimited bandwidth, but your website needs to be ready. You’ll lose customers if your website is unable to handle the increase of requests, so it’s critical that your server host is able to accommodate the expected traffic increase, even if it’s just for the day.

Check Your Inventory
Store inventory needs to meet customer demands for Cyber Monday. It’s easy, so now is the time to guarantee that your virtual shelves remain fully stocked for customer satisfaction. If you run out of an item that your customers want, they are going to turn elsewhere to find what they are looking for.

Check Your Store’s Latest Updates
Ecwid has streamed numerous updates to your store, most importantly an adaptive product browser to look great on mobile devices. To ensure we don’t break your store, new features need to be enabled by you. Several updates will help your store be more mobile-friendly as sales via mobile devices increased 80 percent in 2013 on Cyber Monday. Although desktop purchases are still the largest driver for sales, your website needs to be able to fully accommodate both desktop and mobile users. To enable new features, go to System Settings —> General —> Migrations and see what new features you can add for free.

Check Your Social Media Accounts
Ensure that your social media accounts are working correctly and have some recent posts so it doesn’t look like you just logged in. As Cyber Monday kicks off, there will be an increase in the need for customer service should customers have questions or problems while shopping. I’m sure by now you have added a free store to your Facebook page, but if not, it will only take a few minutes. Of course, you need to have a catchy Facebook post and Tweet ready for the big day with your coupon code included. Then there are Pinterest, G+, Instagram, Vine…

As the big day approaches, make sure that your e-commerce site is well staffed and well stocked to handle any issue that may arise to ensure customer satisfaction. Your live chat, emails, and social media accounts need to be constantly monitored. If you have any crazy marketing plans or ideas you’ve been thinking of launching — now is the time. Then sit, back, relax and watch the sales roll in!

Merry Cyber Monday!

About The Author
Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.

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