7 Tactics to Help Physical Retailers Compete on Cyber Monday

7 Tactics to Help Physical Retailers Compete on Cyber Monday

Black Friday Cyber Monday 2017 | Shopify Retail blogIn 2005, Shop.org first announced Cyber Monday. At first, it was a way for online retailers to compete with the Black Friday sales in brick-and-mortar stores. But the online shopping holiday quickly grew in popularity.

In spite of its popularity (and ability to shop sales in your pajamas), Cyber Monday hasn’t made brick-and-mortar stores obsolete. In fact, many physical stores capitalize on the online-shopping day. About a third (30%) of consumers bought products online that they then picked up in-store last year, and 80% of spending was done in-store.

And while Cyber Monday sales increased 12% last year, in-store spending is also steadily rising. The key for brick-and-mortar retailers is to adapt to meet the needs of online shoppers and maintain a competitive edge so they can compete during the crucial Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend.

How can retailers accomplish this? Here are seven tactics to help physical stores get the most from Black Friday Cyber Monday and successfully compete with online-only stores.

Marry the Real-Life and Digital Experiences

Consumers are conditioned to search for online deals on Cyber Monday, whereas Black Friday has a closer tie to brick-and-mortar stores. Flocks of people herd to storefronts on the Friday, and to their computer chairs on Monday.

Even customers who shop online also head in-store. In fact, 80% of shoppers last year browsed on a mobile device while shopping.

That gives brick-and-mortar retailers the opportunity to make their digital and in-person brand experience seamless — and work together to promote the event.

Shoppers should be able to check their phones to find mobile content connected to in-store promotions to find great deals,” Gil Don, CEO of Splitit, says.

Consider adding exclusive coupon codes to your site, or creating a whole section of Cyber Monday deals that are available to in-store shoppers. You can also use proximity marketing and beacon technology to transmit special promotions to nearby shoppers.

FURTHER READING: Want to know how to use proximity marketing in your storefront? Learn more about using beacon technology to attract shoppers into your store.

You can also bring the cyber to your store, even if just for the day. “I’ve seen retailers equip salespeople with tablets or mobile technology that enable them to better serve customers,” says Don.

Know What Consumers Want

Black Friday Cyber Monday, shirts on rack | Shopify Retail blogCyber Monday shoppers aren’t the same as Black Friday shoppers. “While there’s a lot of hype around Cyber Monday as a critical day for retail, much of the traffic is attached to the sale of electronics,” says Don. “So, if you’re an electronics store, how do you move those online shoppers to buy in-store?”

Don suggests retailers anticipate shoppers’ needs, promoting the in-store deals early on instead of waiting until the holiday-shopping weekend to announce your sales.

BFCM WIN: Want to learn more tips on how to sell more this year during Black Friday Cyber Monday? Use our BFCM Toolbox to get set, get seen, and get selling this holiday season.

“Consumers begin to anticipate the day by looking for deals as early as pre-Black Friday,” Don says. “It’s about staying on the consumer online in order to drive sales in-store.”

Michael Osborne, CEO and president of multi-channel behavioral marketing platform SmarterHQ, echoes that sentiment, stressing the importance of knowing who your customers are. “It’s about offering them the right promotions,” he says. “Retailers must make sure that their offers aren’t generic and boring, and that they’re tailored to each type of customer.”

Target Your Efforts

Not everyone is the right customer for Cyber Monday. Depending on their shopping habits and your deals, they might not find products that are relevant to them during your promotion. That’s why it’s important to understand not only what your offers are, but who they appeal to, and then focus your marketing efforts there.

“Target potential high-value customers who haven’t converted yet,” Osborne says.

Know who buys only when something’s on sale, and offer them the clearance and deepest discounts you’re planning.

He says retailers will also benefit from understanding who your holiday shoppers are.

“Show them what they want, but don’t offer too much to entice them,” he says. Their historic shopping behaviors will indicate that it won’t take much to get them to shop in-store.

More Than Just a Shop

If you want to compete with online retailers this Cyber Monday, one way is to turn your store into more than “just” a shop. Don has some interesting advice: “Think of your store as a fulfillment center, rather than a traditional storefront. By adapting this mindset, retailers can focus more sharply on advanced order fulfillment, stocking and back-of-office efficiencies.”

Research shows that advice holds merit: 64% of consumers who go to a store to pick up an online order also end up making an additional in-store purchase.

If you want to bridge the gap between online sales and in-store shopping, you could run a Cyber Monday promotion. For example, if you sell pet supplies, you could offer all customers who purchase catnip online a free bag of cat food if they come in-store.

In-Store Personalization

Breaking through the noise is the big one — especially for the digitally connected millennial shopper. A recent survey SmarterHQ conducted found that millennials are incredibly distracted, with 95% doing other things while shopping, including working, watching TV, or talking to friends.

With this in mind, messaging through any channel has to be personalized, on point, relevant, and what people want to hear in order to truly break through those distractions. If the right promotions are delivered to the right potential shoppers, they’ll convert to buyers and that retailer will have a much better turnout from all their hard work and marketing efforts.

Highlight the Benefits of Shopping In-Store

Black Friday Cyber Monday, bags in store | Shopify Retail blogBrick-and-mortar retailers have the experiential advantage: when shoppers want to touch, feel, or try a product, they have a physical place to go to.

If you know who your best shoppers are in-store versus online, you can tailor your offers directly to those consumers to get them to convert in the store, if that’s your desired strategy, according to Osborne.

Have Enticing Offers

Anytime you’re running a sale or promotion, it’s imperative that the offers are compelling enough to drive foot traffic. Cyber Monday is one of the biggest days for deals — if you’re not offering great deals, it’s likely your competition is.

Here are some ideas on what to do to compete for customers for Cyber Monday:

Have a Black Friday Cyber Monday Weekend Sale

Instead of limiting the deals and promotions to specific days, make it a weekend-long event. Start with the buzz of Black Friday, and carry it through Cyber Monday. Consider rolling out new deals each day, offer incentives for customers who shop multiple times during the weekend, and strategically cross-sell. Consumers who are used to seeking in-store deals on Friday will learn that they can score big all weekend long.

Buy Local Campaign

Small Business Saturday (the Saturday before Christmas) started in 2010, and it’s ignited a movement to support local businesses. You can benefit from the trend and stress the importance of supporting local. Tie your promotions and deals to the movement to encourage shoppers to visit your store.

Have Exclusive In-Store Offerings

If you sell online and in your store, sales that are exclusive to the in-store shopping experience can help you attract more foot traffic. Promote the sales on your website, so online shoppers will feel compelled to come in-store to see what other deals they can score.

Support a Cause

The holidays are about receiving, but they’re also about giving. With Giving Tuesday a growing trend, businesses are seeing the value in going philanthropic.

Beauty retailer Follain is a prime example. Last year, they hosted a holiday pop-up shop. They had custom wrapping paper that benefited a local charity. When consumers feel as though their transaction is making a difference, it’s a more compelling purchase.

Cyber Monday Post-Mortem

The biggest lessons retailers can learn are through experience. That’s why it’s important to clearly identify your Cyber Monday goals and strategies, so you can take a look after the fact and analyze your success.

There will be tons of traffic and data to analyze,” Osborne says.

“The resulting shifts in behavior and insights into what your customers did will help predict what they will do over the few weeks after the holiday season is over.”

Take some time after the busy holiday shopping season to study your sales. Which promotions were effective in driving foot traffic? Which sales were most successful online? And what feedback did you receive from customers?

Sifting through all this data can help you make next year’s Black Friday Cyber Monday events even better.

How Will You Promote Your Black Friday Cyber Monday Sales?

What Cyber Monday tactics do you plan to use? Share your thoughts and advice in the comments below.

Photo of Alexandra Sheehan

About the Author

Alexandra Sheehan is a freelance writer/editor and content specialist. She’s worked with retailers ranging from Fortune 100 companies to Etsy shop owners, and is always looking for innovative ways to help her clients.

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