Prepare Your Small Business for Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday will be here before you know it! This year, Cyber Monday falls on Monday, November 27, 2023 (it’s always the Monday after Thanksgiving!), and now is the time to start preparing.
And remember — it’s not just retail stores that see business booming over the holiday weekend! Service businesses such as beauty salons and barber shops or restaurants that can reap the benefits of this shopping season (think of gift cards and discounts on services!).
Tips for a Successful Cyber Monday
With the right preparation, your business can make this holiday season the most successful one yet. Here are some handy tips to get you started on the right track!
Throughout the next few weeks, prepare your…
- Take time to review your business policies. Think of ways to make your customers’ shopping experience feel as easy and secure as possible, such as your return policy.
- Determine what you want to promote, and plan your sales well in advance. What products or services do you want to feature? Meet with your staff and decide what product, prices and offers you want to give to customers. Promote items other retailers may ignore, and play on your business’ strengths in products and service.2
- Once you decide what you will be offering, make sure you can support the offer. Holiday sales can deplete your supplies quickly, so it’s important to track sales and inventory to have enough product on hand.3 Not sure where to start? Look at the previous year’s sales to provide a yardstick for the upcoming season.
- Make sure your staff knows about your sales and promotions, and train them in their role for Cyber Monday. Develop a checklist and meet with your employees before and during to prevent any potential problems.
- Prepare your website. Design an easy-to-use website with a simple and fast navigation system with easy customer support access. Enlist the help of an IT specialist to structure your website so it has the ability to grow and accommodate traffic and online transaction capacities.
- Photos are a necessity. Showcase the items or services you are selling, as well as photos of your business.
- Ensure mobile-friendliness. Try Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, which shows your mobile store’s performance and indicates areas for improvement.4
- Make sure your website can handle increased traffic. Increase your bandwidth to allow for greater data flow between your website and your customers. This also enhances site speed and improves user experience.5
- Check your online store’s speed and performance earlier rather than right before or during Cyber Monday.6 Avoid site enhancements, as they may slow down or cause problems in your performance or delivery times.
- Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights lets you test your site’s server capacity, speed, and homepage performance.
- Promote Cyber Monday deals on social media.
- Develop a list of what you want to post to Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites you use.
- Plan your content in advance. Set aside some time to create your social media campaign and schedule your posts.7
- Schedule posts on a weekly basis.8 Look at trending hashtags, but come up with a unique way of using them in your posts.9
- Include high-quality pictures of your products. Media posts (with photos or videos!) get more engagement than text-only posts do!10
Have a Plan B for all situations.
While you’ve reviewed your website and sales outlook, don’t forget about worst case scenarios. Plan ahead to easily make a change of course in the case that such a scenario pops up. Review questions such as, “How reliable is my shipping company?” and “What if my website crashes?”11
After Cyber Monday
After Cyber Monday is over, meet with your staff to discuss both the successes and anything you would do differently next year.
Continue to monitor your website and social media accounts for orders and to offer special online deals throughout the holiday shopping season.
This blog was adapted from an earlier version, which was originally published on October 5, 2021. It was last updated on October 9, 2023.