Cyber Monday may be fantastic in terms of one-day sales for online retailers, but that’s all it might be. Over the past few days, no doubt, you will have received dozens of emails offering “Black Friday” deals followed by “Cyber Monday” special offers. Indeed, many online retailers are now merging the two days into one great long weekend of deal making.
They will be able to report soon that today’s Cyber Monday is the “best ever”, that last week’s Black Friday was the most successful since the last one. It will all be positive, whoopee-sounding excitement.
And there will be truth in it. Each year online we see the ever-rising impact of both Black Friday and Cyber Monday with increased sales, year-on-year. More people shop online throughout the four day period each year as increasing numbers of people try to get their Christmas shopping done in the comfort of their own home, without having to trudge round the shops. Each year, Cyber Monday and Black Friday get bigger and better for the retailers.
Yet, new research shows they are not capitalising on that frenzy of activity. Millions of people today will be visiting tens of thousands of online stores – yet most of those Internet retailers will ignore any activity on their website other than a purchase. A worldwide study from the global search firm, SLI Systems shows that six out of every ten online retailers are ignoring what people look for on their own sites.
When people visit an online store they may be attracted by a deal, but then go on to search for other items. This data is vital to the long-term success of an online shop because it shows EXACTLY what customers are interested in buying. Yet, the majority of online retailers do not even assess the search data their website is collecting, meaning they have little idea of what their customers really want.
It reminds me of when I moved house several years ago and we needed curtains and curtain track. I went to several curtain shops asking if they would make the curtains AND install the track. Every shop I went to said, “we get lots of people asking us to do that, but that’s not a service we offer.” Er…? When your customers repeatedly ask for something and you don’t offer it, isn’t that a signal that there is a money-making opportunity for you?
It’s the same online, when people are searching for items on a website it is a signal that this is what they want you to provide. Ignoring those signals is tantamount to throwing money away.
So today, if you are selling stuff online make sure you analyse your search data. It will help you extend the benefit of today’s Cyber Monday right round to next year’s Black Friday.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+