Americans are returning to work today after the long Thanksgiving weekend just in time for Cyber Monday, the busiest online shopping day of the year.
It has already been a record setting holiday weekend with $59.1 billion spent at U.S. stores and websites. And according to comScore, Cyber Monday sales are projected to exceed $1.5 billion today, up 20 percent from last year.
Here's what both buyers and merchants can expect on Cyber Monday.
The buying frenzy has already begun, so be sure to stay focused throughout the day. However, expect the busiest shopping hours to rest between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., as people get home from work.
Today, of all days, it pays to be active on social media. So if you have a Facebook account, a Twitter handle, etc… it's time to get busy. We suggest you try engaging customers by interacting with them as much as possible. Also, don’t be shy about advertising your store's special Cyber Monday promotions and price discounts. Today's all about generating traffic to your e-commerce website, and social media is a great way to accomplish this.
Expect Increased Customer Complaints
Increased website traffic means you'll likely experience an escalated number of customer complaints. Don’t worry. This is normal on Cyber Monday. The trick is, be ready to handle customer complaints quickly and effectively. Don’t spend too much time on any one issue.
Now's the time to be frugal
E-merchants all across the country are offering special promotions and discounts in an effort to attract your business. This means, finding great deals will be easier than ever. So if you are looking for the perfect gift, don't buy it from the first website you visit. Do some research and make sure you're getting the best deal possible.
Expect longer-than-usual load times
Not every website is equipped to handle the massive spike in traffic Cyber Monday brings. So if your favorite e-commerce store is running a bit slower than usual today, don’t worry. This is normal.
Be a smart shopper
Online merchants are competing for your business, and that's a good thing. This means price discounts and special promotions will be available all over the Internet, and it's your job as a savvy online shopper to seek them out. In other words, be picky about where and how you spend your money. If you find what looks to be a great deal in one online store, you're likely to find an even better deal someplace else. Do your research, be smart and spend wisely.
Success on Cyber Monday will be measured by the ability to both find and offer exactly what's expected. Customers are looking for a complete and error-free shopping experience, and merchants are hoping for record profits. We say… offer one and the other will follow.