Let’s face it, this Monday you and your website will be facing one of, if not the largest online shopping days all year…. Cyber Monday. Preparing for this day is crucial to your business. So below I have some ecommerce and Zen Cart specific things to help you prepare and succeed this Monday.
Certainly you should be prepared everyday, but this Monday is a very special day, which requires some special planning and preparation to ensure that you succeed.
- Check your site for broken links
- Check your add to cart buttons
- Check your checkout buttons and functions
- Contact info (preferably toll free phone number) displayed prominently
- Shipping fees, schedule and return policy clearly stated in the simplest manner possible
- Special sales, coupons and shipping campaigns clearly posted
- All of your product feeds are up to date with any sale prices
- Verify that your pages load quickly
- Make sure you have enough bandwidth left this month in your hosting plan
- View cart / checkout links are easy to find on all pages
- Specials and holiday promos easily located
- Ample products in stock and ready to ship
- Navigation clear and easy to follow
- Search is working properly
- Most common products and sale items are clearly advertised with direct links for purchase
While free shipping is your best and most effective holiday promo, even flat rate shipping will fare substantially better than standard shipping. Make sure you have the shipping options necessary and working. People will want to be able to know your shipping rates BEFORE, they begin to checkout. Keep them reasonable, upfront and completely transparent.
If you are using a module which calls out to UPS, USPS or FedEx for example, make certain you have a backup shipping policy ready to go. Last year, both USPS and UPS were down on several occasions for long periods of time during the holiday shopping season. If these live webtools fail, people cannot checkout on your cart.
Shop your competition and see what you are going up against. Holiday shoppers are less spontaneous and far more likely to price shop you. The most common way for them to do this is to compare shipping options… flat or free is much more discoverable and thus effective.
- Shipping rates available before shoppers begin checkout
- Short and funneled checkout process, remove distractions and ways to get off track
- Check your site for the secure/non-secure error on SSL pages (even if you have before… do it again)
- Good selection of payment methods available and easily able to be discovered BEFORE checkout
- Coupons and sales tested and working
Email Marketing Tips for Cyber Monday
If you plan to do an email blast…. You better get it out by Saturday night. Many people will shop from work this Cyber Monday. Get them your deals early so they can take the info with them to work.
Use a great subject line to engage the shopper. Most people will read as far as the subject before deleting your email, so your subject alone carries most of the burden in email marketing.
Keep the email, clean, informative and short…. Holiday shoppers are impatient.
Segment your email list to send the best offers to the most related shoppers. If you are using software to segment your list, now is the time to flex your marketing muscles by hitting each of your segments with a planned and targeted email offer. Cyber Monday is not the end of this…. so make certain you also have the ability to measure these results for improvement in the holiday shopping season.
Remember, this is ecommerce… You haven’t the ability to speak with every customer. Make sure your store is putting forth the feeling and impression you want your customers to have. There are no second chances to make a great first impression.
Ready go phones…. Make sure you have ample staff to handle calls and emails this Monday. Tools like live help can help to unclog your phone lines…. But people are going to call. The people answering your phone should be well fed, happy and completely aware of every product and promo. Empower them and unclog your own phone line by creating a coupon for each customer service person to use in handling issues and complaints as they arise… Instead of the customer waiting for you or other management. There is no better customer than that of a recovered sale.
Ready to ship those products? Do not wait, start shipping orders as quickly as you can keep up . Many times a very quick shipping notification will lower canceled orders and actually help promote your store with your shopper’s co-workers.