An Online Retailers Preparation Guide for Cyber Monday

Friday, January 3rd, 2014
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Cyber Monday 2013 was bigger than ever, with shoppers spending approximately $2.29 billion online!* Being in the industry, I was very cognizant of what top retail brands were doing to capitalize on the big day. Following is a list of observations and best practices that you should consider as you plan for Cyber Monday in 2014:

    1.  Mention Cyber Monday on Your Homepage – On Cyber Monday people love to shop, but only when they know they are getting a deal. As a consumer, it should be crystal clear to me when I land on your homepage that you are participating.
    2.  Create a Category with Cyber Monday Specific Deals – Many online retailers won’t mark down their entire stores, but will have a subset of products that are on sale. Group those products into their own category,making them easy to find. Also, make sure you are linking to that category from any landing page, and especially from your homepage.
    3.  Schedule an Email to go out First Thing Cyber Monday – When people wake up and check their emails on Monday morning, make sure they have an email from your company. Email competition is ferocious on Cyber Monday, so get one out by 4:00 a.m. Pacific Time to hit inboxes early nationwide.
    4.  Send a Second Reminder Email out Later That Afternoon – Many of my favorite brands also sent me a reminder later that day. Something to the effect of, “Only 6 Hours Left!” caught my attention. This is brilliant, as so many people only act when they are reminded that they have a time constraint.
    5. Test All Promotions and Clickable Links on Mobile Devices – More and more people are reading emails on mobile devices daily throughout the year and as eCommerce analysts anticipated, mobile orders were also record-setting on 2013 Cyber Monday. Check to make sure all of your promotions are working properly on mobile devices before the big day.
    6.  Create Cyber Monday Specific Ads for Google Adwords – Many people start their Cyber Monday shopping searching on Google. Creating one-day ads that mention Cyber Monday deals is a sure fire way to attract Cyber Monday shoppers, and increase click-through rate.
    7.  Have a Plan to Extend Cyber Monday into Tuesday – I was amazed this year at the number of companies that decided to extend their Cyber Monday promotions into Tuesday. It was if many brands planned on this, despite their last-minute emails. Not all of your customers may be able to shop on Cyber Monday so have a plan that you can execute if desired should you want to carry the promotions into Tuesday.

Consumers want to spend a significant amount of money on Cyber Monday, so put your best foot forward to capitalize on it. Were there other best practices that you observed? Be sure to add them to the comments of this blog post.


After receiving a degree in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Alex began his career as a technology consultant with Accenture. In 1999 he left Accenture and founded Nexternal – a cloud-based eCommerce Platform company. Alex is passionate about eCommerce and online marketing. He is now a Senior Vice President of HighJump, managing the Nexternal business unit.