Three e-tailer tips for Cyber Monday success

If you’re a Canadian e-commerce retailer and you’re not holding a Cyber Monday sale next week, you’re losing money.

That’s according to Geoff Henshaw, Canada country manager for Based in Vancouver, the company sells eyewear products online and will hold its fourth Cyber Monday sale this year (lasting all week, in fact). The phenomenon originated in the U.S., with Black Friday (coming after their Thanksgiving holiday) emerging as a day of major sales for retailers and discounts for shoppers, signaling the unofficial launch of the Christmas buying season. Cyber Monday has emerged as the online shopping counterpart to Black Friday.

Cyber Monday probably came to Canada because, as Henshaw notes, e-commerce is obviously a borderless industry. People will go where the sales are, which is one reason why the company launched its first Cyber Monday sale four years ago.

“Initially, when we took part I wouldn’t say a lot of e-commerce retailers were participating, but now participation is pretty well mandatory,” said Henshaw. “If a retailer is not participating they can expect to lose sales. There is definitely an expectation now from our Canadian customers.” initially dipped its toe gingerly into the Cyber Monday pool, not sure what the response would be from Canadian consumers. It initially ran a one day promotion, and saw solid sales. Now it has evolved into a week-long promotion and one of their strongest sales seasons of the year. He’s expecting a 50 per cent increase in web site traffic over an average Monday, and sustained traffic volume throughout the week.

Hopefully Fab & Fru will have a Cyber Monday sale on their Cyber Monday shirt.

“It’s a different kind of customer behavior. They’re adding incremental spend, versus the typical day to day shopping,” said Henshaw. “People are out shopping specifically for deals.”

As a veteran of the Cyber Monday e-tail wars, Henshaw said can offer three pieces of advice for fellow Canadian e-tailers:

Know your competitors: Know what your competitors may be planning for the week, as you don’t want to get scooped.

Manage expectations: Know what your customers are looking for from the sale, so you can make sure that you give it to them.

Be ready: Make sure you have your technical systems lined-up and ready to go with sufficient capacity to handle an influx of customers, from your servers to your call centre.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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