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6 effective Cyber Monday tips for retailers

6 effective Cyber Monday tips for retailers

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The holiday spirit remains strong year after year despite the global hardships experienced in 2020. During times of great stress and uncertainty, familiar traditions are a comforting refuge. Shopkick’s 2020 holiday shopping survey—conducted at a time when many states were shutting down for the second time to combat the surge in COVID-19 cases—reveals that American consumers plan to celebrate the holidays as usual with family gatherings and a busy shopping season. However, there are a few subtle changes that will inform retailers on how to proceed with their Cyber Monday campaigns.

  • The majority of consumers (54%) say that free shipping is the most important incentive this holiday season.
  • From last year, there is a 16% increase in consumers who plan to do their holiday shopping online. 

Cyber Monday has usurped Black Friday as the most dominant online shopping holiday. Last year, Black Friday sales hit $7.43 billion in eCommerce revenue, up 19.5% from the previous year, but Cyber Monday hauled in $9.42 billion in sales. Most significantly, mobile transactions were up 46% year-over-year, accounting for a third of digital sales. Predictions for 2020 Cyber Monday spending estimate $10 billion in eCommerce, particularly as big box retailers announce store closures for the Thanksgiving holiday and consumers look to digital channels to fulfill their needs. 

To maximize your revenue potential this year, Shopkick presents six key Cyber Monday tips for retailers to follow: 

Start Early and Extend Offers.

The potential for supply chain disruptions and shipping delays is well-known to consumers by now, and they are planning their holiday shopping accordingly. 

Shopkick’s survey found 34% of shoppers plan to finish a majority of their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving. Another 27% plan to shop between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Like years past, retailers like Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Amazon, and Best Buy are planning to appeal to shoppers early and extend “Cyber Monday” deals through the week.

Fearing the shipping crunch, retailers are adjusting their plans accordingly to meet consumer demands:

  • Target, Best Buy, and Kohl’s will begin marketing holiday deals in October, before Halloween.
  • “Comfortable apparel” is leading the category list for the first time as more people adapt to working from home.
  • Same-day delivery using gig economy providers like Shipt, DoorDash, and Postmates will increase this year.
  • Many retailers are expected to shift online and close down physical stores for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
  • eCommerce is expected to reach a new high this year, totaling 15% of all U.S. sales in 2020.

Focus on Digital Efforts.

The notion of jamming into packed stores and fighting for the last big screen television set is less appealing in 2020 than in years past, with a new layer of concern regarding virus exposure added. 

Our survey found 67% of shoppers plan to make their holiday purchases online, up significantly from 51% last year. 

Amazon continues to lead the eCommerce pack this holiday season, with 65% of online shoppers saying they’ll make purchases through them. The remaining online shoppers surveyed said they’d choose big box retail sites, including Target.com and Walmart.com (18%), as well as department store sites like Macys.com and Kohls.com (6%). Consumers looking to shop with online-only retailers are also primarily looking to Amazon for their gifts (72%), but others are looking for unique gifts on Etsy (56%), eBay (43%), Wayfair (39%), and Overstock (32%).

To boost your digital efforts further, consider incorporating these three critical techniques into your 2020 holiday retail strategy: 

Offer BOPIS & Shipping Assurances

Low prices were the most important incentive for 2019 shoppers, but free shipping tops the chart for 54% of 2020 consumers. Only 24% of surveyed shoppers believe low prices are the most important consideration this year. 

To alleviate the stress of shopping in-store, many retailers will offer Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS). Our survey found that 44% of consumers plan to take advantage of BOPIS for the holiday season. 

When implemented, you will find that this added convenience feature pays off. Last year, Cyber Monday conversion rates were 45% higher for merchants with BOPIS options than non-BOPIS retailers.

In addition to offering BOPIS, retailers should:

  • Boast on-time shipping guarantees. (if possible!)
  • Expand selection of items eligible for same-day shipping.
  • Offer free shipping for large orders.
  • Market “hassle-free” returns.

Invest in Paid Search and Local SEO

People will be shopping online this year, no doubt, but where are retailers’ dollars best spent? Advertising with Google and capturing organic search traffic will continue to be a priority. 

Omnichannel advertising will need to occur on all fronts to keep retailers top-of-mind. Last year, paid search accounted for 24.4% of all sales, followed by direct traffic (21.2%), natural search (18.8%), email (16.8%), and social (2.6%). 

To boost web presence:

  • Launch local offers at scale.
  • Use local inventory in messages.
  • Ensure search listing accuracy.
  • Update holiday store hours.
  • Manage Google reviews.
  • Focus on site speed and UX.
  • Recognize repeat visitors.
  • Offer personal recommendations.
  • Publish helpful, inspiring blog posts.
  • Assist with comparison shopping.
  • Provide inspiration via video and email.

Don’t Forget to Optimize for Mobile

Mobile plays a key role in the buyer’s journey: 54% of Cyber Monday web traffic and 33% of purchases derived from mobile devices in 2019.

This year, Shopkick found that 82% of in-store shoppers plan to use mobile devices to research their holiday purchases, compare prices, and read reviews. 

Shoppers on-the-go are often using their mobile devices for more information on whichever retail location they’re visiting. Google has noted 3x the engagement from shoppers interacting with mobile ads. Furthermore, 88% of local business searches on mobile result in a phone call or visit to the physical store within 24 hours.

Retailers can optimize for mobile by:

  • Speeding up pages.
  • Reducing checkout steps.
  • Delivering personal texts.
  • Targeting precise segments.
  • Automating activity-triggered texts.
  • Using apps to expand their audience.
  • Encouraging UPC scanning.
  • Automating customer service.

Gain Exposure With a Partnership.

Shoppers are becoming increasingly savvy to shopping rewards apps, which serve as a new form of currency. Consumers can earn rewards this holiday season whether they’re shopping at-home or online through the Shopkick mobile app

“Kicks” (Shopkick’s rewards points) are a form of virtual currency that can be redeemed for gift cards of the recipient’s choosing. Earning kicks is easy, as Shopkick offers a number of ways to do so. While scanning a purchase receipt offers the highest reward, Shopkick also offers shoppers rewards for actions that aren’t tied to purchasing, building long-term loyalty rather than one-off sales for our brand and retail partners.

Shoppers are rewarded for watching branded videos, flipping through curated lookbooks, scanning the barcodes of select merchandise in-store, and making purchases with a linked card either in-store or online. Whether shopping from home or at a physical location, Shopkick always provides opportunities for users to earn kicks all along the path to purchase. 

At some stores, shoppers can even earn kicks simply by walking in the door, driving foot traffic and giving participating retailers a competitive edge over other local businesses not offering kicks. 

In other words—when using Shopkick’s unique platform—holiday shoppers are rewarded for activities they would normally do, giving users an extra incentive to choose Shopkick’s partnering retailers and brands over others.

Omnichannel Capabilities: The Overarching Theme in Our Cyber Monday Tips for Retailers

The year’s most important retail season is right around the corner. COVID-19 crisis or not, shoppers have many of the same desires and needs. Holiday gatherings may not be as big and the purchases may skew toward practical clothing rather than expensive electronics this year, but prepared retailers have every opportunity to recoup some of their 2020 losses through a bustling (and extended) holiday season that kicks off with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The 2020 holiday shopping season will be less about bustling in-store events, free samples, and decorated window displays, and more about paid search ads, mobile optimization, and new partnerships. Retailers should begin ramping up their omnichannel capabilities now to ensure success through the end of the year and into 2021.

A partnership with Shopkick this holiday season will provide you with the opportunity to engage with a  large audience of loyal shoppers in a number of fun, unique ways. Our retail partners use the Shopkick mobile app to drive sales, increase foot traffic, and bridge the gap between online and offline channels. To learn more about our effective Cyber Monday tips for retailers and how you can implement them this holiday season, contact us today!