The online shopping tsunami is coming. Cyber Monday 2015 was the largest online sales day, ever (Adobe). Sales peaked at $3.07 billion—16 percent more than Cyber Monday 2014.
Adobe tells us that an astounding $11.1 billion was spent online last year between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday—a 17 percent increase year-over-year (YoY). The three largest online shopping days of the year, Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday are consistently demonstrating significant YoY growth. Are you prepared?
Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.Abraham Lincoln
Six Ways to Prepare…
The 2015 retail frenzy created an all-time high in out-of-stock rates, with 14 out of 100 product views showing an out-of-stock message—over twice the normal rate. Check out Adobe for the most wanted items last year.
On Cyber Monday 2015, 44 percent of shopping visits were made from smartphones or tablets, accounting for 26 percent of online sales—$799 million. Across platforms, the average Cyber Monday order value was $129, slightly less than the $137 people spent on Black Friday and the $162 they spent on Thanksgiving (Adobe).
Is your site mobile optimized? Confirm your website’s mobility with Google’s Mobile Friendly Tool.
Is your program equipped to track across multiple platforms (i.e., mobile devices and various browsers)? Ask your LinkConnector Representative how your program can become Cross Platform Tracking certified.
Seize Opportunity Beyond the Day
Beyond one single day or week, Black Friday is an opportunity to create an ongoing customer experience increasing loyalty and sales (Tech Radar). Make the experience seamless for your audience so they remember and return to shop. This includes tools to combat shopping cart abandonment – UpSellit is an example of a strategic partner proven to be successful with a number of LinkConnector merchants.
- Is the shopping experience cohesive across channels, affiliates and devices?
- Is the site equipped to handle increased traffic?
- Have we tested the conversion funnel?
- Are we prepared for shopping cart abandonment?
Optimize Your Affiliate Portfolio
Take advantage of different types of affiliate promotional methods. If you are not currently working with Coupon Affiliates, Q4 is prime time to begin leveraging this essential affiliate segment, as it is a reliable source for new customer acquisition and is highly trafficked by consumers ready to make a purchase—i.e., the holiday shopper.
Also, consider empowering your top performing affiliate partners with a promotional payout increase for a porition or all of Q4 (before your competitors do the same). And, make sure you are touting your Affiliate Program on your website to capture attention from new affiliates.
Take advantage of LC’s top affiliates.
Ensure Competitive Promotions
Be sure you are running competitive, attractive promotions with compelling and keyword rich descriptions. Customers will leave your site in a hurry for a better deal from your competition.
If you are an LC merchant running a holiday promotion, LC will feature your offer in a seasonal newsletter. Keep your merchant representative informed regarding campaign updates throughout Q4—they will help you achieve maximum affiliate exposure through the upcoming holiday season.
Affiliates, be on the lookout for our top seasonal merchants document. Take your commissions to a new level in Q4 2016.
Holiday Calendar Sharing, Creatives and More
Geno Prussakov, Founder and CEO of AM Navigator, put together an excellent list of preparation strategies to make the most of Q4. From developing holiday creatives to sharing your marketing calendar in order to ensure maximum alignment of everyone’s goals and efforts, these are straightforward and effective ways to fully take advantage of the buying season. This is a great read for further Q4 planning.
I don’t believe in luck. I believe in preparation.Bobby Knight