Talk of Cyber Monday started a few weeks ago as online retailers began to prepare for the busy holiday season. As we mentioned in previous years (read past articles here and here), there is a great deal of debate over which day is truly Cyber Monday. Although several sources have disagreed with our Cyber Monday (two Mondays before Christmas—it was December 17 last year and December 18 in 2006), we thought everyone was in agreement that the Monday following Black Friday was not Cyber Monday. This year, some sources (Google included) are holding out on this notion. Maybe it’s to inspire more online sales in this slowed economy or maybe it’s just easier to say that it follows the biggest offline shopping day. Either way, we and many research firms much larger than us have confirmed that that the Monday after Thanksgiving is not and has never been the busiest online shopping day.
While we believe Google has the date wrong (for the record, we’re predicting that Monday, December 15 will be the highest online sale day this year), they do offer some good tips for pay per click management:
- Check budget and think about increasing it. The increased traffic could cause you to cap out early, leaving the playing field open to your competitors. Remember: Customers must first be able to find you before they can buy from you.
- Ease customers’ minds about shipping. Offer guaranteed shipping, mention how long standard shipping takes or let them know about deadlines. I would like to add to, or maybe translate, Google’s tip: create urgency to motivate immediate action. Include phrases such as “only one week left for guaranteed shipping” or “Holidays are only two weeks away.”
- Use ad copy to reach customers and differentiate yourself. Be sure to include holiday promos, free shipping, online coupons or other unique offers directly in your text.
Everyone is worried this holiday season. Customers are checking their lists three, four, even five times to trim spending. Because of this, retailers are afraid holiday sales will be more naughty than nice. It is inevitable that customers will be online regardless, whether they’re shopping or simply researching for the best deal. The key is to make sure they see your ad and that you’re offering something unique, especially on the real Cyber Monday—December 15.