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Does My Online Business Need to Participate In Cyber Monday?

cyber monday

 

If you run a small business, then you know there can be some benefits to running the occasional promotion to boost sales. It can be a quick way to make some cash when you need it, which is why so many businesses partake in this marketing strategy.

Perhaps the most popular – albeit still relatively new – online shopping day of the year is Cyber Monday. In 2014, digital retail sales on Cyber Monday reached the $2 billion benchmark for the first time. The online sales rose 8.5 percent from the year before and the average order value was $121.24 from a desktop and $99.61 from a mobile device.

In other words, there is a lot of potential money to be made on Cyber Monday. However, this does not mean that every online business should participate, or that it even makes sense for every business. Use our guidelines to help you determine whether or not running a Cyber Monday promotion works for your business.

What Industry are You In?

According to research conducted by PFSWeb, an agency dedicated to helping businesses with their ecommerce solutions, there are some industries that stand out above the rest when it comes to Cyber Monday sales.

Department stores obviously saw the highest sales that day, but when it came to the hottest selling items it came down to home goods, apparel, health and beauty. Tech retailers also see huge numbers on Cyber Monday. The travel industry also saw a boost in sales as they marketed reduced deals. For example, airlines may significantly reduce ticket prices for certain destinations.

If your business falls into any of these categories, then you may want to partake in some of the Cyber Monday action. It’s already been proven that businesses in these industries see high sales on that day, so why not try it?

Do You Sell Products or Services?

One thing that all of the aforementioned industries have in common is that, with the exception of travel, they are retail product-based businesses. If your online business is service based – for example, a consulting firm – it may not make a whole lot of sense to have a Cyber Monday promotion. This is obviously a day when customers have their eyes on products they want, not necessarily services.

You may be thinking this is a bit of a stretch since airlines make a lot of money on Cyber Monday. However, when it comes to airlines you need to keep in mind that people plan for trips far in advance. Additionally, people may be looking for lower fares so they can travel the rest of the Holiday season. This actually segues into the next point.

Do Customers Come to You for Something Holiday-Specific?

If your business provides something that people come looking for during the holiday season, then it may be wise to try and boost your sales by running a Cyber Monday promotion.

For example, let’s say you own an online flower shop and the holidays are exceptionally busy because people need arrangements for their holiday parties. You can use this time to run a promotion on your website and have customers order online.

Is Your Website Currently Mobile-Friendly?

If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website up and running yet, then you may want to pass on Cyber Monday this year. The past couple of years have seen a significant increase in mobile ecommerce and if you don’t have your site ready, you may just give users a poor experience.

Rather than risking losing customers on Cyber Monday due to poor functionality, spend the time figuring out what you need to do to get your website up and ensure it is mobile friendly.

The only exception here would be if you don’t have your own ecommerce site yet, but perhaps you’re using a third-party website like Etsy to sell your goods. Marketplaces like Etsy are already mobile friendly, so feel free to send your customers an email letting them know where they can purchase from you.

Can You Afford to Do It?

According to a Business News Daily report, while large retail stores can offer sweeping discounts storewide, that approach may actually hurt some small businesses.

Your business may be at a stage where offering discounts would actually hurt profits. If that’s the case, instead of offering discounts across the board, you may want to consider giving discounts on certain items. Small businesses don’t have the revenue or clientele that a large department store does, so it’s important to sort through the finances to figure out what you realistically can and cannot do for Cyber Monday.

Final Thoughts

While Cyber Monday can be an opportunity for many businesses to take a piece of the pie, other businesses may be better off sitting this one out. Regardless of where you stand on the subject, make sure to sit with your financial team to decide which strategy is best for you.

Are you going to participate in Cyber Monday this year? Tell us in the comment section below.

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Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at content@kabbage.com.