Cyber Monday encourages Thanksgiving holiday shopping on the internet and even the recent reports stated that this big day has surpassed the sales of Black Friday and retail giant Amazon’s 2-day special sales events in the last few years. The shoppers bought US$7.9 and US$9.4 billion worth of products in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
But did all the web stores profit and had a booming sales day? No! Many of them faced the following challenges:
- Online searches failed to satisfy close to 40% of the customers.
- Technical glitches prevented 13.4% of consumers from placing an order.
- More than 38% did not receive their orders on time.
- And 48% of buyers were not satisfied with the fulfillment options.
But these challenges should not deter the upcoming retail web stores. They can still carve out a niche by understanding these contemporary promises and challenges:
Even large businesses with a big market presence failed to capitalize on Cyber Monday. The lack of online visibility hindered them. These companies had multiple physical stores in various locations. But they did not have a proper and functioning web store or E-commerce site.
Even small companies did not rise to the occasion. They lacked the resolve to start a competent digital marketplace. Yes, some businesses tried to set up a makeshift retail store for online shoppers. But they lacked scalability options to handle the peak hour sales volumes.
Thankfully, there are viable, low-cost solutions to tackle these obstacles:
- Start a full-fledged retail store with product catalogs and shopping carts.
- Facilitate easy payments, convenient browsing, and user-friendly features. Also, personalization, customization, and cloud-based storage and processing can help the business to flourish.
- Modern, tech-savvy customers seek an efficient website to do their shopping. The store has to provide product data and descriptions.
- Product information management (PIM) software can enhance content discovery, item searches, order placements, and post-sale chats.
You can create a website with sophisticated SaaS and EDI technologies. You can also deliver superior services and fast delivery times. But these investments do not bear fruit unless the store creates a buzz on the internet. And it would help if you had effective digital marketing and sales strategies to succeed:
- Upgrade and fine-tune the store for a superior look, feel, and functionality. Deliver a memorable customer experience with a captivating site design.
- Improve the number of organic searches through SEO and SEM. Achieve higher profits through backlinks, sales funnels, blogging, embedded links, and site maps.
- Design and deploy a smartphone-friendly website with flexible features. It should have responsive design features with an optimized screen resolution, menu, navigation, and more.
- Use banners to highlight special offers, discount alerts, and new product arrivals. Segment the products and set-up category pages with inbound links to engage the paying customers.
- Rely on prompt email communications to create a loyal customer base. Offer discount coupons or send a reminder mail to those who abandon shopping carts.
Retail store’s reputation depends on fast and accurate deliveries. But manual order processing and inventory management is a big drawback. The challenge gets exacerbated by an inability to handle large sales volumes. Also, shipping and packing delays can result from labor shortages in the store.
These obstacles can be overcome by automating the fulfillment process. Supply chain and shipping software can help reduce redundancy and human errors. Besides, the retailers can always partner with reputed wholesalers and distributors. They can also provide options for last-mile deliveries, curbside collection, and physical store pick-ups.
Finally, analytics and artificial intelligence are at the next level. Cyber Monday sellers can capitalize on these technologies in diverse ways. They can set-up multiple channels to manage online sales, marketing, and management issues. More efficient customer services are possible by thoroughly analyzing their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Customer data can get processed to deliver real-time product messages (ads).
- Relevant communications via email, social media, web site, etc.
- It is essential to offer secure payment options to ensure the buyer’s privacy.
- Easy returns policy can get implemented by integrating physical and online stores.
- Business can be expanded by partnering with like-minded retailers.
- Innovative retail models help to keep the overall overheads low.
- A comprehensive platform with predictive analytics can increase sales by 35% to 40%.
It is imperative to pick the right set of solutions and strategies to suit your target audience, mission, and budget.