Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, which means the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season is almost here. For retail stores, Black Friday brings in hordes of shoppers who battle the crowds (and one another) to get the best deals. In the e-commerce world, business owners need to be ready for Cyber Monday.
Entrepreneur Philip Masiello has been through Cyber Monday with multiple e-commerce businesses. His latest startup, 800Razors, was launched in early 2013 to provide high-quality men and women's razor blades at a fraction of the cost of big name brands. Though this is the first holiday season for 800Razors, Masiello knows the key to Cyber Monday success is to make the shopping process as easy as possible for your customers.
"The No. 1 reason people shop online is convenience," he told BusinessNewsDaily. "Anyone who wants to be successful in this has to figure out how to be responsive, especially in mobile shopping. This is where e-commerce is going to grow more rapidly: ease of use for mobile."
Regardless of how many Cyber Mondays your business has been through, all e-commerce startups could use a little refresher course to make sure 2013 is their best holiday season yet. Masiello shared these four tips to get your business ready for the virtual rush:
Expand your bandwidth. Cyber Monday will bring a lot of traffic to your site, and there's nothing that annoys customers more than a website that doesn't have enough bandwidth to handle all the requests. If you're expecting a lot more traffic than you usually receive, make sure your server host is able to temporarily expand your bandwidth.
Monitor your email and social media accounts. Be ready to man the customer-service fort leading up to and during Cyber Monday. If customers have problems or questions while shopping on your site, they tend to send an email or social media post and expect a response quickly. Someone should be monitoring those accounts at all times and responding as soon as possible, since that's when the customer is actively on your site.
Stay stocked. You need to make sure you can fill all the Cyber Monday orders you receive. Masiello said that 800Razors always carries more inventory than it needs to ensure it doesn't short-change any customers.
Constantly check your website. If you make any changes to your site for the holidays, especially for special Cyber Monday promotions, you should always check and double check to make sure all of those changes are functional. Sometimes, links get broken or something goes wrong, and customers have a low tolerance when their shopping plans don't work during the busy holiday season.
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.