Nov 14 2018

Retailers Look to Optimize for Cyber Monday

Mobile shopping, searching appeals to customers, experts say.

Cyber Monday sales are expected to hit a record $7.25 billion in 2018, according to Phil Dengler, retail analyst. That record, if realized, would be about 10 percent above 2017’s $6.59 billion in sales, which Dengler calls a “fairly conservative” year-over- year increase.

“While it is tough to grow at the rate it did last year, there is an outside chance we could see Cyber Monday having upward of $7.60 billion in sales, which would be an increase of 15.3 percent,” Dengler notes in a blog post on The analyst expects nearly 100 million people will shop online on Cyber Monday, up from 81 million last year.

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Purchases Using Smartphones, Tablets on the Rise

Dengler adds that Cyber Monday sales made using either a smartphone or tablet are expected to total $2.5 billion in 2018, a 14.7 percent increase from 2017’s $2.18 billion.

“With smartphones and mobile websites being more advanced than ever, it makes sense that more people are opting for mobile shopping on Cyber Monday,” Dengler says. “Even though we still recommend the traditional desktop experience for purchasing, we do see the appeal that a smartphone offers when making a quick purchase.”

But Dengler adds that many Cyber Monday shoppers “still use their mobile phones to search for deals before going to a traditional desktop or laptop computer to make the final purchase.”

“The ability to quickly scour for reviews and other information is much easier to do on an actual computer, which puts mobile at a disadvantage when the time comes to make the actual purchase,” he says.

Kali Keesee with Gauge Interactive LLC says that retailers should check their historical data — specifically, online traffic and revenue — to identify trends and improve their Cyber Monday sales predictions. She also recommends that retailers test their websites ahead of time to determine whether they can handle expected Cyber Monday traffic, and that they adopt alternative payment methods and gift cards to turn one-off purchasers into long-term customers.

Take Stock of Online Stores

Meanwhile, Tara Storozynsky of Australian online retailer Selz writes that retailers should evaluate their online stores to determine whether updates are needed and should take stock of their inventory ahead of Cyber Monday to prevent fulfillment issues. She also encourages retailers to consider adding more gift products to their online stores, and to decide what their Cyber Monday deals should be.

Shane O’Neill of Nanigans, an in-house marketing expert, citing data from eMarketer, says retailers will invest $23 billion in digital advertising in 2018. A Nanigans survey of 100 digital advertising executives at large U.S. retailers found that about one-fourth of that $23 billion, or roughly $6 billion, would be spent on digital ads during the four-day period that begins on Black Friday and ends on Cyber Monday.

Jackie Vendetti, content marketer for TIBCO Software, blogs that that online shoppers may make their Cyber Monday plans based on email newsletters or ads they’ve received. At the same time, online retailers “can leverage the same technologies driving in-store personalization to send customized deals and ads to consumers based on their shopping habits with the help of products like analytics and integration.”

“Researchers have seen consumers that receive more targeted ads are more than twice as likely to buy the advertised product as consumers that get nontargeted ads,” she says.

Bogdan Vija / EyeEm

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