Cyber Monday began as a way for online retailers to compete with the Black Friday sales held in brick-and-mortar stores. But with its savvy marketing encouraging customers to shop sales in their pajamas, the online shopping holiday quickly grew in popularity.
Still, Cyber Monday hasn’t made in-person sales obsolete. In fact, many physical stores capitalize on the online-shopping day. In 2022, 22.6 million shoppers bought in-store on Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.
The key for brick-and-mortar retailers is to continue to adapt to meet the needs of online shoppers and maintain a competitive edge so they can compete during the crucial Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) weekend. Here’s what physical stores need to know to accomplish this, and Cyber Monday marketing ideas to help you get there.
Table of Contents
- What is Cyber Monday?
- Why should retail stores invest in Cyber Monday?
- 6 Cyber Monday marketing ideas for your retail store
- 4 Cyber Monday promotion ideas
- 5 best practices to get the most out of your Cyber Monday promotions
- Meet retail goals this Black Friday Cyber Monday
- Cyber Monday marketing ideas FAQs
What is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is an online shopping event in the US that occurs annually on the Monday following Black Friday weekend, after the Thanksgiving holiday. Traditionally, Cyber Monday is one day and caters to online shoppers looking for deals and discounts. However, some retailers extend the event and honor deals across their websites and brick-and-mortar stores.
In 2022, 77 million online shoppers participated in Cyber Monday, and consumer spending reached a record-breaking $11.3 billion—or $12.8 million per minute during peak times. A majority (59%) of online shoppers made ecommerce purchases using their mobile devices. Together with Black Friday weekend, Cyber Monday is considered the kickoff to the holiday shopping season.
Why should retail stores invest in Cyber Monday?
There are several benefits to retail stores investing in Cyber Monday. By integrating digital and retail experiences you can help ensure a more cohesive shopping experience for your existing customers. Special cyber deals can also attract new customers who may not already be familiar with your brand. In turn, you may gain more brand exposure when these shoppers share mentions on popular social media platforms, post reviews, or make word-of-mouth referrals.
Additional benefits include:
- Increased sales and revenue
- Customer acquisition and retention
- Increased marketing opportunities
- Clearing and refreshing inventory
- Driving website traffic
- Stronger brand awareness
6 Cyber Monday marketing ideas for your retail store
- Marry the retail and digital experiences
- Promote early
- Target your Cyber Monday marketing efforts
- Be more than just a shop
- Offer in-store personalization
- Highlight the benefits of shopping in-store
Here are six marketing strategies to help you leverage and maximize Cyber Monday:
1. Marry the retail and digital experiences
Marketing has conditioned consumers to search for online deals on Cyber Monday, whereas Black Friday has a closer tie to brick-and-mortar stores. So while storefronts attract shoppers on Friday, computers take center stage on Monday.
That gives brick-and-mortar retailers the opportunity to make their digital and in-person brand experience seamless—working together to promote the event. “Shoppers should be able to check their phones to find mobile content connected to in-store promotions to find great deals,” says Gil Don, co-founder of Splitit.
Consider adding exclusive coupon codes to your site or creating a whole section of Cyber Monday deals that are available to in-store shoppers. You can also use proximity marketing and beacon technology to transmit special promotions to nearby shoppers.
You can bring the cyber to your store, even if just for the day. “I’ve seen retailers equip salespeople with tablets or mobile technology that enable them to better serve customers,” says Gil.
2. Promote early
Gil suggests retailers anticipate shoppers’ needs, promoting the in-store deals early on instead of waiting until the holiday-shopping weekend to announce your sales.
“Consumers begin to anticipate the day by looking for deals as early as pre–Black Friday,” Gil says. “It’s about staying on the consumer online in order to drive sales in-store.”
3. Target your Cyber Monday marketing efforts
Focus your marketing efforts on the customers whose shopping habits align with your Cyber Monday promotions and deals. Know who buys only when something’s on sale, and offer them the clearance and deepest discounts you’re planning. That’s why it’s important to understand not only your offers, but who they appeal to. Use customer segmentation and assess your customer lifetime value to gain insight into which customers will provide the higher return on investment.
Michael Osborne, former president of multichannel behavioral marketing platform Wunderkind Audiences, stresses the importance of knowing who your customers are. “It’s about offering them the right promotions,” he says. “Retailers must make sure that their offers aren’t generic and boring, and that they’re tailored to each type of customer.”
He says retailers also benefit from having a deep understanding of their holiday shoppers, and from promoting to the right customers. “Target potential high-value customers who haven’t converted yet,” Michael says.
4. Be more than just a shop
If you want to compete with online retailers this Cyber Monday, one way is to treat your store like both a fulfillment center and a shop. “By adapting this mindset,” says Gil, retailers can focus more sharply on advanced order fulfillment, stocking, and back-of-office efficiencies.”
Research shows that that advice holds merit: 47% of consumers who go to a store to pick up an online order also end up making an additional in-store purchase.
If you want to bridge the gap between online sales and in-store shopping, you could drive traffic to your retail store with a special Cyber Monday promotion. For example, if you sell pet supplies, you could offer all customers who purchase catnip online a free bag of cat food if they come in-store.
5. Offer in-store personalization
To capture new customers and retain existing ones, consider personalizing your in-store offers. Doing so through messaging, product recommendations, and targeted discounts can increase brand awareness and customer loyalty. By taking an omnichannel approach, you can capture customers at every touchpoint and bring them into your retail locations for a seamless personalization experience.
If the right promotions are delivered to the right potential shoppers, they’ll convert to buyers and that retailer will have a much better turnout and sales. Nike, for example, offers a membership that includes personalized brand experiences—from invites to events to run clubs.
6. Highlight the benefits of shopping in-store
Brick-and-mortar retailers have the experiential advantage: When shoppers want to touch, feel, or try a product, they have a physical place to go to. At retail locations of eyewear retailer Warby Parker, for example, customers can see and try on its diverse collection of frames in a variety of colors and styles, and made from different materials.
If you know who your best shoppers are in-store versus online, you can tailor your offers directly to those consumers to get them to convert in the store, if that’s your desired strategy, according to Michael.
4 Cyber Monday promotion ideas
- Have a Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend sale
- “Buy Local” campaign
- Have exclusive in-store offerings
- Support a cause
Any time you’re running a sale or promotion, it’s imperative that the offers are compelling enough to drive foot traffic. Cyber Monday is one of the biggest shopping days—so offering competitive deals can attract new buyers and retain existing ones for the long term.
Here are some ideas on what to do to compete for customers for Cyber Monday:
1. Have a Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend sale
Instead of limiting the deals and promotions to specific days, make it a weekend-long event. Start with the buzz of Black Friday and carry it through Cyber Monday. Consider rolling out new deals each day, offering incentives for customers who shop multiple times during the weekend. Strategically cross-sell to make the most of your engagement with the customer. Consumers who are used to seeking in-store deals on Friday will learn that they can score more deals all weekend long.
2. “Buy Local” campaign
Small Business Saturday (the Saturday before Christmas) started in 2010, and it’s ignited a movement to support local businesses. You can benefit from the trend and stress the importance of supporting local. You can participate by linking your promotions and deals to the movement to encourage shoppers to visit your store.
3. Have exclusive in-store offerings
If you sell online and in your store, sales that are exclusive to the in-store shopping experience can help you attract more customers in person. Promote the sales on your website, so online shoppers will feel compelled to come in-store to see what other deals they can score. You can also offer limited product drops in-store to drive foot traffic.
4. Support a cause
The holidays are about receiving, but they’re also about giving. With Giving Tuesday a growing trend, businesses are seeing the value in being philanthropic.
Beauty retailer Follain, now part of Credo Beauty, is a prime example. It has hosted a holiday pop-up shop, offering custom wrapping paper to benefit a local charity. When consumers feel as though their transaction is making a difference, they may be more compelled to make a purchase.
5 best practices to get the most out of your Cyber Monday promotions
- Hire seasonal staff
- Incorporate mobile checkout technologies
- Plan Cyber Monday marketing campaign early
- Unveil time-sensitive deals
- Measure your promo success
To help make your in-store Cyber Monday marketing ideas and promos a success, incorporate these best practices into your marketing efforts:
1. Hire seasonal staff
To prepare for the anticipated influx of customers, start hiring additional seasonal staff at least two weeks before Cyber Monday. That way you will have support in-store to provide the best customer service you can to shoppers so they have a positive retail experience. Benefits include decreasing wait and checkout times, having the flexibility to meet the demands of peak sales periods, and providing faster customer service.
2. Incorporate mobile checkout technologies
When customers have to wait in long lines during a holiday rush, it can translate into a negative brand experience and erode customer satisfaction. Investing in mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) devices on the retail floor can help expedite checkout, improve customer service, and improve return on investment through increased sales.
3. Plan Cyber Monday marketing campaign early
Maximize your marketing efforts by planning your campaign before the season hits—data shows people start searching for Black Friday deals leading into Cyber Monday as early as October. You have numerous options, regardless of budget. You can engage low-cost guerrilla marketing tactics such as street marketing, posting flyers or installing custom sandwich boards in front of your store to bring in retail foot traffic. You can also design creative window displays.
4. Unveil time-sensitive deals
Some retailers create a sense of urgency during special promotions with limited-time deals in-store. Take a page from Macy’s, which during the holiday season offers bonus buys and extra discounts for customers who shop in-store during certain times. Such a strategy can drive customers to your store to get the best buy.
5. Measure your promo success
Measure the success of your Cyber Monday promo with tools such as a customer relationship management software system that help you track customer relationships and sales promotions. You could also leverage in-store or post sales surveys to capture information about what encouraged them to shop and your store and purchase during the cyber event. Revisit your sales strategy to assess whether you’re meeting your business goals.
Meet retail goals this Black Friday Cyber Monday
Clearly identify your Cyber Monday goals and the strategies you’ll implement to reach them. After the busy holiday shopping season winds down, study your sales by asking (and answering) a few key questions:
- Which promotions were effective in driving foot traffic?
- Which sales were most successful online?
- What feedback did you receive from customers?
Analyzing this data can help you determine what strategies were most effective, so that you can strengthen future Black Friday Cyber Monday events.
Cyber Monday marketing ideas FAQs
Do stores still do Cyber Monday?
Yes, stores still do Cyber Mondays each year.
Is Cyber Monday only online or in-store?
Cyber Monday is an online shopping event, but some retailers may offer in-store deals as well.
Are Cyber Monday deals good in-store?
Some stores offer Cyber Monday deals both online and in-store, while others offer deals online only.