cyber monday tipsEveryone knows that Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, and e-commerce and retail marketers plan all year long to get ready for the influx of shoppers, hoping to maximize profits. But with all the flurry around Black Friday, Cyber Monday often slips through the cracks. Cyber Monday has become an extremely popular digital alternative for shoppers who are ready to begin their holiday shopping but don’t want to wait in line all night, with online sales growing by 20.6% over 2012 in 2013. Additionally, shoppers with loaded carts online actually bought the items at a 12.6 higher rate on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday (IBM).

And don’t discount the importance of mobile here: last year, consumers buying goods off their mobile phones accounted for $419 million of online sales, tablets accounting for $290.8 million (Adobe). In fact, mobile sales exceeded 17% of total online sales, a huge increase of 55.4% year-over-year (IBM). Taking all of this into account, here are some things e-commerce and retailers need to keep in mind if they hope to make the most of Cyber Monday.

Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment: Help Shoppers Through the Checkout Process

The last thing e-commerce sites want Cyber Monday shoppers to do is load their shopping cart full of products…and then abandon the cart. It happens all the time. In fact, 67.45% of shoppers abandon shopping carts. They do it for various reasons—25% because the website navigation was too complicated. As it turns out, the time when shoppers have the most questions about a purchase is during the checkout process, and most retailers don’t give shoppers a way to contact support for help. Live chat is a great way to keep your customers from abandoning ship if they have a question during checkout, but the urgency of Cyber Monday deals bends in favor of faster communication. A unique trackable phone number placed right there on the checkout page and paired with intelligent call routing can get shoppers in touch with a business immediately – something that’s especially important in mobile commerce. When the sales or support rep gets the call, they are able to see that the customer is calling during checkout, streamlining the support they receive and moving the customer along to purchasing quickly and efficiently.

Simplify the Checkout Process and Be Transparent About Shipping Information

If the path to purchase is too complicated, with too many steps or fields, shoppers will abandon. There are so many deals on Cyber Monday that the likelihood of them turning to a competitor for their merchandise is high. Keep everything as clean and simple as possible—and don’t demand that they register for an account before checkout. Give them the option to complete checkout as a guest, otherwise…they will abandon. Show shipping information up front—don’t hit them with it at the end as an unpleasant surprise. Or they will abandon. Online shoppers are fickle: make it as easy for them as you can and you’ll see the payoff.

Remember That Smartphones Are Actually Phones

Having a responsive site is important in being able to offer an easy shopping experience to mobile shoppers. But layout is only part of the plan you should have in making the mobile experience a good one. According to Google, 70% of mobile users have used the “call” button on their smartphone to connect to a business directly. Remember: smartphones may be digital devices that people use like a computer, but at the end of the day, it’s a phone as well. Enabling your customers to use it as both is important: don’t miss out on Cyber Monday dollars because you don’t know how to treat a smartphone as the single device that it is.

Track Everything for Next Year

The obsession with Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. To optimize for next year, make sure you are able to pull reports based on the requests for support you receive. Sophisticated call tracking reports are able to show you which page of your checkout drove the most calls. If a particular page shows a lot of support activity, then you may want to simplify your checkout process, as mentioned above.