Annual shopping day Cyber Monday consistently outperforms the more talked-about Black Friday, and is an increasingly competitive battlefield for brands. Amazon expert Jérôme de Guigné reveals ways that brands can come out on top.
What is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is the price-slashing annual shopping day that occurs on the Monday immediately after Thanksgiving, so will therefore be on 2 December this year.
It is the last shopping day of the annual Cyber Week, which encompasses the sales events that take place on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the Saturday and Sunday of that weekend and Cyber Monday.
While Black Friday – which we gave readers top tips for in our recent article – is both an online and offline shopping day, Cyber Monday takes place purely online.
It started in 2005 as a means of promoting online shopping and helping support small online retailers.
$7.9 billion online sales – and rising
With ever-greater numbers of people online shopping and global eRetail sales reaching $2.8 trillion in 2018 (and projections of up to $4.8 trillion by 2021) , Cyber Monday has likewise become increasingly popular, smashing all previous records in 2018.
Cyber Monday 2018 was a sales sensation in the US, generating $7.9 billion in consumer sales in just one day – up a massive 19.7 per cent on 2017’s $6.6 billion (which itself had set new records). 
Fashion, jewellery, games and toys (all of which traditionally sell well as gift items in the lead-up to Christmas) are the categories that performed best on Cyber Monday last year.
There were also significant improvements for food & beverage (with shipping of these products having improved) and home & garden categories. 
According to a new study by Deloitte, Cyber Monday has surpassed Black Friday as the preferred day for deals during Cyber Week. 53 per cent of people will shop for discounts on Cyber Monday 2019 (2 December), in comparison with the 44 per cent of shoppers that say they will do their shopping on Black Friday (29 November).
Mobile sales increasing
Mobile orders (including tablet) accounted for 53 per cent of all orders during Cyber Week, outperforming desktop.
Interestingly, Cyber Monday mobile transactions dropped to around 43 per cent of all (still a notably high figure!) of sales transactions, which some commentators put down to Americans being back at work on the Monday after Thanksgiving, and therefore likely to be using work desktops for shopping.
Amazon is a big winner on Cyber Monday
Amazon enjoyed the biggest shopping day in history on Cyber Monday 2018, with more products ordered worldwide than on any other day ever.
Amazon customers ordered more than 18 million toys and 13 million fashion items on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. 
Walmart, Target and Best Buy also performed extremely well.
With Amazon being so popular on Cyber Monday, how can my brand stand out?
The best way to make the most of Cyber Monday (and indeed other shopping days like Black Friday or Singles Day) is to focus on promoting products with good reviews and great Product eContent (content that brings your product to life online).
As eBusiness Institute CEO Luigi Matrone demonstrated at eCommerce conference Alcon Gaze 2019, 46 per cent of consumers say that the quality of online visual and written content very significantly influences their shopping decisions and conversions . Just think of the hugely positive impact that could have on your Amazon conversions on a day like Cyber Monday.
Ratings and reviews generated by other consumers also have a major influence on shopping decisions, with research showing that 78 per cent of online shoppers equate online reviews with personal recommendations, and 73 per cent saying they could be swayed to purchase a more expensive item if it had a higher star rating rather than a similar but cheaper item with a lower rating. Again, promote products with the best reviews on Cyber Monday rather than, perhaps, new products that haven’t yet benefited from shopper generated reviews.
Another thing I would advise is to be sensible with your promotions and deals. Don’t just go slashing prices just because you want to hit sales targets – increasing sales whilst lowering return is not a viable strategy. Think hard about the reductions you want to make, and be sure to make them visible through Amazon Advertising.
You could work on getting additional market share by pushing Display Ads, focusing your efforts on categories relevant to your products that will get a high share of views on Cyber Monday.
Display Ads aren’t necessarily the most efficient means of Amazon advertising, as you will be targeting customers that weren’t initially looking at your kinds of products. But Cyber Monday is an incredible opportunity to gain traction, and Display Ads can help you make the most of this opportunity to generate attendance.
Sponsored product listings are the most efficient option and deliver the highest ROI: you will get higher sales, and also favorably impact your conversion, your rating, and therefore your future sales.
In conclusion – spend but spend wisely
Having high quality Product eContent and finding ways to generate reviews written by shoppers is always a worthwhile investment, leading to conversions.
When it comes to advertising, though, be careful. There are lots of brands out there looking to play and win at the very same game as you. So, you will want to draw a line in the sand in regards to how much you want to spend – setting sensible right targets in terms of spending and Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS) is a very good idea indeed.
This article was written by Jérôme de Guigné (Founder and Managing Director of e-Comas), eBusiness Institute Collaborator and Amazon Expert.
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