Cyber Monday was created in 2005 by online retailers who wanted a piece of the massive profits brick-and-mortar stores have always made on Black Friday. No surprise, the ecommerce event falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving (November 28, 2022, this year).
Since its inception, Cyber Monday has grown exponentially to become the biggest online shopping day in the U.S. In 2021 alone, sales were $10.7 billion, surpassing even Black Friday sales.
And Cyber Monday isn’t all for the big guys like Amazon. A survey by Red Egg revealed 8 out of 10 consumers are happy to spend a little more if they’re supporting a local business.
So how can you get shoppers to spend more at your small business this Cyber Monday? We’re letting you in on 11 strategies to help maximize your holiday season profits.
1. Take Part in Small Business Saturday
While many people shop small on Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday — the complementary weekend event to Black Friday and Cyber Monday — experienced an 18% increase in sales in 2021 among independent retailers and restaurants, bringing in a total of $23.3 billion.
Small Business Saturday, which American Express founded, aims to encourage shoppers to buy holiday gifts from local shops instead of Amazon or other large chains.
The Shop Small website offers an interactive map where people can find small businesses to support near them (or online) and get exclusive discounts.
Your task? Get listed in the directory. Spoiler alert: You need to accept American Express cards to get featured.
2. Stock Up on Popular Items
Give yourself plenty of time before Cyber Monday to check what your top-selling items are and ensure you have enough inventory for forecasted sales. This is especially important this year as shipping delays are common.
3. Prepare a Discount Code
The key thing customers expect from you on Cyber Monday is a discount. There are tons of possibilities:
- Fixed dollar amount off coupon
- Percentage off coupon (e.g., 30% off everything)
- Buy-1-Get-1 promotion
- Buy-more-save-more promotion with rising discount tiers the higher the order value
- Discount code for users who sign up for your email list
- Coupon for orders over a certain value (e.g., 20% off orders exceeding $100)
Keep in mind, research from Voucherify found that customers ignore discounts of less than 20% off. So make sure yours is high enough to catch their attention while still being profitable.
4. Plan an Email Marketing and Social Media Campaign
Get the word out and get it out early. Create a content marketing plan for your Cyber Monday sale, including:
- 1-3 teaser emails leading up to Cyber Monday
- At least 1 email on Cyber Monday that includes your offer
- A follow-up email near the end of Cyber Monday (“It’s your last chance to get [amazing deal] while it lasts!”)
Social Media Marketing
- Posts teasing your sale at least 2 weeks before Cyber Monday
- Posts to go live on Cyber Monday with your promo code or offer
- Posts scheduled throughout Cyber Monday highlighting specific product discounts and great deals
- Availability to answer customer questions quickly via your social channels
5. Offer Flexible Pickup Options
If you have physical locations, offer curbside pickup as an option for online orders. Some shoppers don’t want to wait for an order to be shipped, while others don’t want to step into a packed store.
According to a study by Zingle, 78% of consumers say they have used curbside pickup or delivery options, with 25% of those exclusively relying on contactless services.
6. Create an Exclusive Offer
Instead of discounting your prices, what can you add to make your products more valuable?
Create something that will only be available to buy on Cyber Monday and never again, such as the following:
- Bundle of related items (e.g., camera plus lens kit)
- Special edition color of your product
Or you can offer something simple, such as free shipping on all orders. Customers love free shipping. In fact, a study from Clutch found that 77% of shoppers were likely to order an item with free shipping. In addition, about 43% were willing to order the same item with a $2.99 shipping cost.
7. Boost Your Reviews Before the Big Day
Get your website ready for the big day by filling it with customer reviews. A Trustpilot study found 9 out of 10 shoppers read online reviews before buying a product.
Customer reviews also help in other ways:
An easy way to get more of them is to send an automated email after order delivery with a link to post a review for the item purchased.
8. Create Gift Guides
These are perfect for Cyber Monday sales because most people shop for gifts this time of year.
The most popular ways to organize gift guides are by:
You can pick a few or create a mega menu of gift guides for every category.
9. Offer a Gift Card With Purchase
Old Navy runs its Super Cash promotion a few times a year, but you can mimic this strategy for Cyber Monday.
Offer a gift card with all orders on Cyber Monday. The catch? It can only be used after the holiday season. It’s a great way to bring shoppers back in January when sales are low.
10. Introduce Time-Limited Deals
You may think most Cyber Monday sales happen early in the day, but the highest value hours are 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. In 2020, the peak hour was 8 p.m.-9 p.m., when customers spent $12 million per minute.
Take advantage of customers’ fear of missing out by:
- Offering certain deals for only a few hours
- Sending out multiple emails on Cyber Monday conveying a sense of urgency
- Offering different bonuses with purchases throughout the day
11. Give a Free Gift With Purchase
Last but not least, people love free gifts.Plus, free gifts are an effective way to increase order value.
For instance, if a customer has $40 worth of items in their cart but the free gift kicks in at $50, they’re much more likely to hunt around for something extra to buy so they don’t miss out on the freebie.
Free gifts are also a good way for customers to try new products or brands. For example, beauty retailer Sephora offers a free gift with all online orders to encourage this.
Make This Your Best Small Business Cyber Monday Ever
Consumers want to support small businesses, whether a neighborhood store with an online presence or a strictly ecommerce brand.
That said, it can feel like a David-versus-Goliath situation to compete against the world’s biggest brands on Cyber Monday.
However, if you put these 12 Cyber Monday advertising ideas to work this year, you may have your best sales yet.