Find the best business loan rates (2021)

12 Easy Small Business Cyber Monday Ideas to Bolster Sales

By Michelle Martin Reviewed By Mike Lucas
By Michelle Martin
By Michelle Martin Reviewed By Mike Lucas

In the words of Michael Scott, “It’s happening!” It’s that time of year: Cyber Monday marketing campaigns.

The screen of a laptop reads “Cyber Monday.”

Experts predict this year is going to be bigger than ever. Why? The global ecommerce market increased by more than 25% from 2019 to 2020, according to social-media marketing platform Hootsuite.

The global ecommerce market increased by more than 25% from 2019 to 2020, according to social-media marketing platform Hootsuite.
Source: Hootsuite

Cyber Monday isn’t all for the big guys like Amazon.com. 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. While many people also shop small on Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday started in 2010 and has since become a vital part of the big sale weekend. Sales during Small Business Saturday — the complementary holiday to Black Friday and Cyber Monday — were up 30.2% in 2020, bringing in $4.7 billion.

Maximize your holiday season profits with these 12 small business Cyber Monday ideas to bolster sales that you can start right now.

What Is Cyber Monday?

If you’ve been living under a rock, Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving (November 29, 2021, this year). It’s grown exponentially to become the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S.

Kicking off the holiday shopping season, we have:

  • Black Friday: The day after Thanksgiving and formerly the biggest shopping day of the year.
  • Small Business Saturday: A day to promote and shop local, small businesses.
  • Cyber Monday: Created in 2005 by online retailers who wanted a piece of the massive profits brick-and-mortar stores have always made on Black Friday.
  • Giving Tuesday: Encouraging people to donate to charities.

In 2005, Cyber Monday sales were $3.45 billion. In 2020, sales climbed to a record-breaking $10.8 billion, according to Statista.

In 2005, Cyber Monday sales were $3.45 billion. In 2020, sales climbed to a record-breaking $10.8 billion, according to Statista.
Source: Statista

Here are 12 strategies to make the most of Cyber Monday for your small business:

1. Take Part in Small Business Saturday

As a small business, the obvious answer here is to take part in the newest addition to the holiday shopping weekend: Small Business Saturday.

Founded by American Express, the goal is 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.

The Shop Small website offers an interactive map where people can find small businesses to support near them, or online, and get exclusive discounts.
Source: American Express

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 now as the pandemic has caused shipping delays that aren’t going to get faster anytime soon.

3. Prepare a Discount Code

The key thing customers expect from you on Cyber Monday is a discount.

There are tons of possibilities:

  • A fixed dollar amount off coupon.
  • A percentage off coupon (e.g., 30% off everything).
  • A Buy-One-Get-One (BOGO) promotion.
  • A buy-more-save-more promotion with rising discount tiers the higher the order value.
  • Revealing the discount code only if users sign up for your email list.
  • A coupon that applies to orders over a certain value (e.g., 20% off orders exceeding $100).

Research from Voucherify found that customers don’t pay attention to discounts less than 20% off. 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:

Email Marketing

  • 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.
  • Scheduling posts throughout Cyber Monday highlighting specific product discounts and great deals.
  • Be available 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, but they also don’t want to step into a packed store as the pandemic continues on.

According to a study by Zingle, 78% of consumers say they have used curbside pickup or delivery options, with 25% of those now exclusively relying on contactless services.

According to a study by Zingle, 78% of consumers say they have used curbside pickup or delivery options, with 25% of those now exclusively relying on contactless services.
Source: Zingle

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:

  • A bundle of related items (e.g. a camera + lens kit).
  • A 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 77% of shoppers were likely to order an item with free shipping. 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.

A Trustpilot study found 9 out of 10 shoppers read online reviews before buying a product.
Source: Oberlo

Customer reviews also help in other ways:

An easy way to get more of them is to send out an automated email after order delivery with a link to post a review for the item they bought.

8. Create Gift Guides

These are perfect for Cyber Monday because most people are shopping for gifts this time of year.

The most popular ways to organize gift guides are by:

  • Recipient
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interest

You don’t have to do all of them, or you can create a mega menu of gift guides for every category.

9. Partner With Other Small Businesses

Marketing yourself on Cyber Monday as a small business is difficult. You have to compete with big brands and big advertising budgets.

Or, you can take a collaborative approach, such as a small town in Ontario, Canada, where independent stores are careful to not compete with each other. They don’t overlap in what they sell. Multiple shops pitch in for the cost of ads to market their street as a shopping destination, instead of taking out individual ads.

This keeps advertising costs affordable by splitting the total.

You could run joint ads, create a product bundle together or cross-promote each other on social media.

A computer screen is filled with shopping bags.

10. Gift Card With Purchase

Old Navy runs a SuperCash promotion a few times a year, but you can steal 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.

Old Navy runs a SuperCash promotion a few times a year, but you can steal this strategy for Cyber Monday.
Source: Facebook

11. Time-Limited Deals

You may think the majority of Cyber Monday sales happen early in the day, but the highest value hours are 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Pacific time. In 2020, the peak hour was 8 p.m.-9 p.m. where customers spent $12 million per minute.

Take advantage of customers’ fear of missing out by:

  • Offering certain deals for only a few hours each.
  • Sending out multiple emails on Cyber Monday conveying a sense of urgency.
  • Offering different bonuses with purchases throughout the day.

12. Free Gift With Purchase

Last but not least, people love free gifts.

90% of shoppers are likely to buy from a brand again after receiving a free gift, according to a study by Harris.

It’s also an effective way to increase order value. 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.

It’s also a good way to get customers to try new products or brands. Beauty retailer Sephora offers a free gift with all online orders to encourage this.

Beauty retailer Sephora offers a free gift with all online orders to encourage customers to try new products.
Source: Sephora

Make This Your Best Small Business Cyber Monday Ever

It can feel like a David-versus-Goliath situation to compete against the world’s biggest brands on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

But consumers want to support local (and online) small businesses. A survey by Mint found 70% of Americans are already supporting local businesses and plan to continue.

Put these 12 Cyber Monday advertising ideas to work this year and you’re on your way to having your best Cyber Monday sales ever.

 

Michelle Martin Contributing Writer, Fast Capital 360
Michelle Martin is a freelance copywriter for business-to-business, software-as-a-service companies looking to stand out and scale up. She is an ex-agency producer and marketing strategist known for quickly understanding and distilling complicated technical topics into conversational copy that gets results.
Back to Top