Shopping on Cyber Monday

How are shoppers supposed to navigate all those ads hitting their inbox and flooding their computer screen today? With so much commercialism competing for the same wallets on Cyber Monday, it’s hard to sort through the buzzwords and price tags to determine what’s really a great deal. Reduced costs aren’t enough to help buyers decide which sites to visit and where to ultimately check out. But understanding how the competition operates and how people think about shopping today can help you attract some of that interest – and some of that holiday buying power.

And in 2011, that buying power is stronger than ever. This is the biggest year so far for shopping on the Internet. Web sales are projected to stand for 15% of all holiday purchases. It will also be the biggest year for mobile commerce; InMobi found that about 60 million shoppers would use their phone to find bargains this weekend, with a third of those searches translating to online sales.

And that’s also going to impact how advertisers promote the products and services that are highlighted today – and on Cyber Mondays going forward. For example, several stores are highlighting games like scavenger hunts where shoppers can earn additional discounts or even free items. This can help drive potential purchasers to a website in the hopes of getting them to complete a transaction. Plus, this type of ad is more likely to go viral with individuals linking the game to their friends and posting the opportunity on social networking sites.

The timing of when advertising goes out will also change. Businesses with brick-and-mortar locations first want drive audiences into their stores and take advantage of Black Friday. But immediately following, the Cyber Monday sales begin. They don’t actually all take place on Monday; the Saturday after Thanksgiving is when e-commerce begins to pick up across the Web. For those vendors who only operate online, they may offer the same sales all throughout the holiday weekend or they might switch up the sales in order to get people to come back not just once, but on Friday and then again on Monday for fresh deals.

The key points to consider when planning your virtual advertising for Cyber Monday (and similar holiday campaigns) is understanding shopper mentality, knowing you’re your competition is doing, using creative incentives to get shoppers on your site and timing to determine when your sales or ads should run to get the most from your marketing.

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