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How Best to Prepare Your Online Store for Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is in nineteen days! Are you and your online store ready for busiest e-commerce shopping day of the year?

Many online retailers have already started to prepare for the 2012 holiday season. They have contacted their product suppliers, negotiated shipping costs, prepared special promotions, launched marketing campaigns and even revamped their store to take on a more festive theme.

In order to maximize profits this holiday season, your store needs to be ready, and Cyber Monday is the biggest day to prepare for.

Did you know that the Cyber Monday sales brought in more than $1.25 billion last year in the U.S. alone? That’s serious money, and if you want to put some of that coin into your pocket, perk up and pay attention.

First thing’s first

Contact your product supplier(s) immediately. It is important to make sure that all of your hot-ticket holiday items are in stock. One of the worst things that can happen to an online merchant on Cyber Monday is to run out best selling items before the day is through. It’s also a good idea to order what you’ll need for the Christmas Holiday now, too.

Negotiate Shipping

Many online merchants like to offer free two-day shipping on all orders processed on Cyber Monday. This is a fantastic way to drive traffic to your store, increase your conversion rates and sell more items. Depending on which company you’ve chose to be your shipping provider, you will likely need to contact them directly to negotiate this deal. As you know, shipping isn’t free, so if you offer it for free, you will need to work out the details with your provider.

Offer special prices and discounts

Now is the time to start marketing special Cyber Monday deals.  In order to successfully accomplish this task, you will need to work with your team in an effort to decide which promotions are best for you and your customers. Once the decision has been made, it’s time to create marketing campaigns designed to promote these deals.

Many online store owners like to save time and money by launching marketing campaigns across social media websites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Fancy, etc… This is always a smart, economical way of reaching your loyal customers and their friends. And when your campaigns are ready to launch, feel free to pull the trigger anytime. The sooner you promote your Cyber Monday specials, the better.

Prepare your store

If you’re looking to maximize your profits on Cyber Monday, you would be well served to adopt a holiday theme in the Front Office of your store(s). PrestaShop offers a slew of choices to help you achieve this goal, including several holiday templates and modules that house essential features aimed at helping e-merchants maximize Cyber Monday profits.

Get ready for increased customer service requests

Cyber Monday is the most profitable day of the year for online retailers. It is also the busiest. Increased traffic and escalated sales also means an increase in customer service requests. With that in mind, it may be a good idea to work with your customer service team in an effort to formulate an action plan for Cyber Monday.  For example, if you typically employ two customer service representatives, then you may want to hire a few more for Cyber Monday.

E-reputations are built on customer service, and Cyber Monday is the worst day of the year to drop the ball. Therefore, make sure you and your team are ready.

Use the tools at hand

If you generate newsletters, then use those newsletters to promote your Cyber Monday specials. Also, if you post a blog on your website, then make sure you generate posts dedicated to Cyber Monday and the 2012 holiday season.

The truth of the matter is this. Now is not the time to step out of your comfort zone. Use the tools at hand to prepare the best you can.  Just remember, increased sales means increased traffic, and increased traffic means more work for you, the e-merchant. Whatever you can do to help maximize profits and help make the holiday season flow smoothly, do it.

Download PrestaShop’s Holiday Guide

A month or so ago, PrestaShop’s experts generated a five-step guide to help online merchants prepare for the Holiday season. This guide has been designed to not only teach you how to best prepare for Cyber Monday, it will also provide in-depth analysis on how to get ready for the Christmas Holiday. Download the Holiday Guide now!

A parting fact

According to Internet Retailer, “Online Shoppers in the United States will spend $54.47 billion this holiday season, up 16.8% from $46.63 billion last year.”  This projection yields 24% of the $226 in total e-commerce sales expected in 2012.

Conclusion

Make no mistake about it. The holiday season is crucial to the overall success of an online store. It can be the most profitable time of year for e-merchants or the most miserable.

Success during the months of November and December unquestionably depends on the amount of time and effort merchants are willing to dedicate to holiday preparation.  So if you’re looking to maximize your profits and get the most out of your e-commerce experience, then start preparing for the holidays now before it’s too late.

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