What is Cyber Monday? + 5 tips to run a successful sales campaign

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

For many people worldwide, the official Holiday Season begins the moment Halloween is finished and continues until New Year’s Day. That period covers holidays celebrated by a variety of cultures and popular shopping days. Cyber Monday is one of the most popular online shopping days, which is why many businesses take the opportunity to run a campaign to gain new customers, make more sales and grow their business.

Get ahead this holiday season by diving into this article about Cyber Monday, ways to prepare and tips on running a successful campaign.

What is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday is the biggest e-commerce shopping day of the year, taking place on the Monday that follows American Thanksgiving, which is on the fourth Thursday of November. There’s no better time to scour the internet and get those clicks on online discounts, deals and offers. How else will we burn those calories after Thanksgiving dinner?

In the United States, Thanksgiving kicks off a series of shopping-related “holidays” in late November: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Although Cyber Monday spawned from American shopping traditions, it’s spread to retailers across the globe over the past two decades.

videogame banner displaying “loading discount” text

The name “Cyber Monday” was coined in 2005 by Shop.org. Since then, the e-commerce shopping day has grown. On average, shoppers spend over $11 billion on Cyber Monday every year, with 88% of the top 50 online retailers offering Cyber Monday discounts. Currently, close to half of Cyber Monday sales are from mobile users. 

When is Cyber Monday 2023?

Cyber Monday 2023 will be Monday, November 27—the Monday following American Thanksgiving, which is celebrated on Thursday, November 23 this year 

slightly blurry image of a man sitting with a laptop with his credit card out

Source: via Unsplash

Cyber Monday vs Black Friday

Cyber Monday and Black Friday are both shopping days famous for big sales, but they take place on different days shortly after Thanksgiving. They also occur in two separate shopping realms: Black Friday is in-store and Cyber Monday is online. Although online Black Friday promotions exist, the holiday is traditionally associated with doorbuster sales at brick-and-mortar retailers and long lines of shoppers arriving in the wee hours of the morning, camping out and waiting to be the first to snatch up those limited deals.

woman holding multiple shopping bags

Cyber Monday, on the other hand, occurs completely online. No camping out in parking lots, no shoving your way through throngs of tenacious shoppers, just scrolling e-commerce sites from the comfort of your own home.

three women sitting at a laptop, pointing at the screen

There are a lot of similarities between Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Take advantage of that and create a unified sales campaign (you’ll thank yourself later).

Preparing your business for Cyber Monday

Run security, speed and other tech audits

As Cyber Monday deals run exclusively online, you have to make sure your tech is running efficiently and smoothly. What if your website is too slow? Or it’s not optimized for mobile? Or your payment gateway is broken?

We could go on and on, but you get the picture. Nothing ruins Cyber Monday faster than technical difficulties. In the weeks leading up to Cyber Monday, do a full tech and security audit to ensure your website runs quickly, properly and optimally for all users.  

Work out the logistics ahead of time and communicate

Ideally, October is the time to work with your shipping and distribution partners to prepare for Cyber Monday. Determine accurate sales projections and coordinate the increased need for warehouse space, space in trucks and delivery frequency with your distributors. And even if you aren’t quite large enough to use third-party warehousing, you still need to consider how much extra inventory you’ll need to buy and store in preparation for Cyber Monday. 

VistaPrint Tip

If this is your first Cyber Monday, plan ahead to be sure you have enough inventory! Alternatively, you can limit the number of orders to ensure you have enough inventory. Tactics like this can even drive demand through exclusivity.

man putting stickers inside a packaging box

Remember—your business is just one of many businesses participating in Cyber Monday. Postal services and couriers have to prepare for a huge volume burst this time of year, so to ensure your products aren’t lost in the fray, communicate early and often with yours. 

Prepare your team

Similar to preparing your shipping partners for Cyber Monday, prepare your in-house team for the anticipated surge in orders. Especially for anyone in charge of customer services, someone needs to be there to support your customers and answer any questions they have.  

Make sure everyone on your team knows the specific products and discounts you’ll be offering for Cyber Monday. Go over common customer issues and how to resolve them. Quick problem resolution is key to a great Cyber Monday, but it goes beyond that—a positive experience leaves a lasting impression on customers, who will return to your website and recommend you to their friends and loved ones. 

5 tips to run a successful Cyber Monday sales campaign

Start planning early

Of course, an adept e-commerce shop can put something together in just a few days and reap the benefits of a wildly successful sales campaign. But when you’ve got time to plan ahead, it’s always good to take that route. It can save you from a ton of headaches later. 

Make sure you’re up to date with all the latest developments or trends in marketing. Understand how you can make them work (or not) for your brand. Then, with this info, start planning your Cyber Monday campaign around the end of summer to ensure you’ve got your promos and products ready to go once it’s crunch time. That way, your promotion is as streamlined as possible, freeing up your time to spend with loved ones. 

Build hype

Cyber Monday has existed long enough that most shoppers know when that is. It’s embedded into our concept of “the holiday season,” that string of gatherings, rituals and traditions across cultures largely defining the last quarter of the year. 

Use this to your advantage. Find creative ways to add hype-building as one of your marketing goals in the weeks leading up to Cyber Monday, such as: 

  • Weekly discounts and exclusive product reveals
  • Raffles and giveaways
  • User-generated content like haul videos 
  • Influencer marketing

Promote it across platforms

Create a unified sales campaign across your social media platforms and, if applicable, your brick-and-mortar locations. Yes, Black Friday is for brick-and-mortar—but the people shopping in your stores are largely the same people shopping on your website. Make sure they know about your Cyber Monday sales with in-store advertisements, Cyber Monday signage and exclusive discount codes for in-store shoppers. 

VistaPrint Tip

On social media, opt for a two-pronged promo approach: paid ads and organic posts. Not only does this make your brand more visible, but it also provides a greater range of traffic and conversion stats to study when you create future promotions.

Get your SEO on point

Search engine optimization, aka SEO, has multiple components:

  • Strategic keyword usage
  • Valuable content delivery
  • Optimized metadata
  • Promotion of the products people are searching for

As part of your pre-Cyber Monday preparations, review your SEO to find any spots in your website that can make it appear more frequently in searches and, most importantly, to the people who are likely to make purchases. 

VistaPrint Tip

If your pages aren’t optimized for SEO, now is the time to do that. SEO isn’t as complex as it might initially seem—a lot of SEO strategy is common sense and good design, like ensuring keywords are featured prominently in your text and organizing your content in clear, logical hierarchies. Other strategies include featuring your products in Cyber Monday listicles and adding internal links to your pages. To ensure you get the most out of your SEO, consult with an SEO expert. 

Offer a personalized shopping experience

Just like in-person shopping has some benefits over online shopping, such as buyers’ ability to try on clothing, the option to use sound and scent marketing in-store and engaging displays, e-commerce has a few benefits over brick-and-mortar. Perhaps the biggest benefit is shopper data and your ability to leverage it. 

Earrings and other goods inside a brand new box

Ahead of Cyber Monday, develop strategies for harnessing data to upsell orders, recommend products and offer product bundles based on items that are frequently bought together. These strategies use in-cart data, users’ browsing and purchase histories to deliver personalized recommendations. If you aren’t already using plugins to personalize shoppers’ experiences on your website, make that a priority ahead of Cyber Monday. 

There’s only one Cyber Monday…make it count!

Cyber Monday is the biggest e-commerce shopping day of the year, but it’s more than that. It’s an opportunity for your brand to connect with new customers and solidify your spot in their minds as an amazing business they’ll buy from again and again. It starts with a well-placed ad, builds with each social post and message you send, and finally delivers satisfaction when the package arrives at your customer’s doorstep. 

Deliver that satisfaction with branded Cyber Monday signage, flyers and everything else you might need to run your Cyber Monday sale.

We know you’ll need these ahead of time, so we’re offering Cyber Monday discounts to small businesses now. Check them out and get your hands on everything you need to get ready for Cyber Monday 2023!