Tips For Online Retailers Preparing For Cyber Monday

    November 21, 2008

With the official holiday shopping season beginning next week, U.S. retailers expect "Black Friday" (November 28 this year) sales will grow 1.2 percent.

For "Cyber Monday" the first Monday after Thanksgiving, retailers expect to see growth of 2.4 percent, according to a study from BDO Seidman.

Online sales are projected to grow 8 percent and gift card sales are expected to grow 5.1 percent.

The Yahoo Search Marketing Blog has some good tips for retailers looking to attract shoppers this holiday season.

1. Call out any special holiday deals. Users always respond to things like discounts, coupons and sales, but the holidays and the current economic downturn make a good deal look even better.

2. Highlight lower-priced items when possible. If the price is right, things that may have once seemed like impulse purchases may now be irresistible to consumers looking to score a sweet last-minute deal online.

3. If you offer free shipping, be sure to include that in your ad copy. Free shipping is an extremely popular (if not the most popular) incentive for consumers, so if you offer it-even with restrictions-be sure to let your customers know.

4. Stress the ease and convenience that online shopping offers over the traditional mall shopping experience. Be very direct in stating how consumers can save time, money, fuel and hassle by buying online, rather than schlepping to pricey, crowded shopping destinations.

Tips For Online Retailers Preparing For Cyber Monday

Online retailers should also focus on site search to help customers navigate their site more easily.

Other things online retailers can do are take advantage of product video and customer reviews, which can give shoppers more information when making buying decisions.

"As budget-focused consumers begin holiday shopping, many are starting on the web to look for gift ideas and research products," said Helen Malani, Shopzilla’s Online Shopping Expert.

"Whether they make those holiday purchases online or in stores, the Internet will have a tremendous influence on holiday sales this year."