Black Friday has, for a long time, been considered the most important shopping day of the year in the United States. With the rise of ecommerce, however, Cyber Monday is quickly becoming a relevant competitor. In 2016, consumers spent a whopping $3.45 billion on Cyber Monday. This was a 12 percent increase over the previous year—showing that Cyber Monday still has plenty of room left to grow.
For people who run ecommerce stores, this is good news, as it means that there will likely be even stronger participation in online pre-holiday shopping this year. It also means that ecommerce storeowners need to ensure that their businesses are ready for an uncertain influx in sales.
Here are a few things to consider in order to get your storage space ready now for Cyber Monday.
One of the typical benefits of running an ecommerce store as opposed to a physical retailer is that online businesses typically require less space. This saves ecommerce retailers money on rent, insurance, and a variety of other things.
However, during the holiday season, when sales spike, a shortage of space can come back to bite an ecommerce retailer—especially if they have better-than-expected sales. This can quickly turn what should be an exciting day into one of complete panic, as customers won’t be happy if they order one of your products only to find out later that it was actually out of stock.
If you’re anticipating high-volume sales on a few items, it might not be a bad idea to rent out a few storage lockers in order to stockpile inventory in the weeks leading up to Cyber Monday. This can be expensive, but much less so than renting a space for the whole year. Most storage spaces allow customers to rent units by the month. While your home or apartment might work as a mini-warehouse most of the year, Cyber Monday demand will likely make this an impractical arrangement. Getting extra space will allow you to better scale sales for the entire holiday season. Before you rent any storage space, make sure you’ve done product research to determine which products will see the most demand. You will also need to dedicate more space to products you plan to use as giveaway items that will entice people to spend more on your site. The actual size of top-sellers and giveaway items will be instrumental in determining your storage needs. Smaller items require less space and have lower shipping costs. Consider this when preparing for Cyber Monday.
The great thing about drop shipping is that it allows ecommerce storeowners to sell a product without actually having to inventory or stock it. Drop shipping allows ecommerce stores to act as a middleman between manufacturers and consumers—earning a small commission without having to handle the product. Several enterprise ecommerce platforms offer this option, which can be extremely useful for handling excess demand. It’s important to note that margins are typically smaller on drop-shipped items. One strategy is to advertise a deal on a drop-shipped item, on which you won’t make much, if any, money, in order to draw more customers onto your site. This can pay off in huge ways if those customers end up purchasing more items from you at a higher margin.
Don’t limit yourself by only planning Cyber Monday sales. Black Friday is also a huge day for online selling. In fact, last year, Black Friday was only $110 million behind Cyber Monday’s $3.34 billion sales total. You can potentially double your pre-holiday sales rush by marketing for Black Friday in addition to Cyber Monday. Just make sure you have your inventory in order if you plan on doing this.
Cyber Monday can be the most lucrative day of the year for an ecommerce store that approaches it with a plan. It can also end up as a nightmare for the online retailer who fails to consider and prepare for the worst. Make Cyber Monday work for you by taking care of your storage needs ahead of time.