Make Cyber Monday successful, not scary

For the consumer, shopping is all about deals. Every year leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, brands and retailers push deals to capitalize on the shopping season and gain traffic and buyers to their websites. On average, traffic surges 43% on that Monday. One hundred million people shopped online on Cyber Monday in 2009 – a number that will most likely increase to 120 million this year. For some sites, traffic even spikes to five times pre-holiday traffic levels during the thick of holiday season.

What’s an online retailer to do with the massive spike in traffic? What’s the best way to optimize all those visits? Conversion is the typical answer, but what about all of those impressions that don’t end up in a sale or what happens when the retailer runs out of inventory on a featured deal? Ensuring retailers have a solid plan to monetize the virtual shelf space is critical to having a successful Cyber Monday.

The majority of shoppers flock to retailer websites between 9:00am – 10:00am PT, so e-tailers, and their brands, need to get the right deals to the right people instantly. The most successful e-tailers are the ones that can dynamically generate new deals and featured products on-the-fly, as well as monetize the traffic that doesn’t convert. Just as a physical shelf at a brick and mortar store wouldn’t stay empty, virtual shelf space needs to be pre-planned for restocking and monetized in terms of its location in the store. Every minute can cost millions in revenues, especially during a high traffic time such as Cyber Monday.

So, how do e-tailers guarantee the highest optimization of their virtual shelf space? In addition to pre-planning deals that that will span the day of Cyber Monday and promote product sell through, e-tailers need to monetize the 95-97% of shoppers that don’t convert. One of the best ways is to deploy a shopper marketing program where brands apply co-op dollars to premiere shelf space in order to promote deals. Partnering upfront with brands can not only capitalize on the shopper traffic, but generate new revenue for e-tailers with the correct placement at the point-of-purchase.

Looking ahead as mobile commerce grows and Cyber Monday traffic continues to surge, e-tailers will have an even bigger gamble in monetizing each and every visit. E-tailers need to start looking ahead before scary Monday turns into a real nightmare.

Ji Kim is CEO at DiJiPop, a Rhode Island-based vendor that supplies e-commerce companies with an on-demand platform that allows them to create “digital shelf space.”

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