Cyber Monday’s Lessons for Marketers

Angela Kujava eCommerce

Upgrades to eCommerce site and mCommerce adoption are mission-critical for B2C sales

Riverbed InfographicAging eCommerce websites won’t drive online sales revenue, and retailers will have to invest in mCommerce (internet shopping on smartphone and tablet apps) to keep up with the times.

Those are two key findings from this year’s “Cyber Monday” postmortems.

The good news for retailers? Cyber Monday was the most lucrative day in online sales history, generating almost $1.5 billion. U.S. consumer online spending rose 33% from last year’s Cyber Monday, with the average purchase value also rising to an all-time high at $198.26.

But not all brands benefitted from the upbeat consumer mood.

Retailers who haven’t upgraded their eCommerce website in several years and haven’t invested in new marketing channels did not reap significant dividends. Why?

For one thing, the widespread adoption of smartphones (owned by roughly 120 Americans) and tablets (owned by roughly 70 million Americans) by consumers is changing the B2C sales and marketing landscape.

On Cyber Monday, 18% of shoppers browsed websites on their mobile devices, and mobile purchases accounted for 13% of total online sales. With mCommerce’s share of total internet sales universally expected to rapidly increase, having a strong mobile platform for consumers to engage with is becoming mission-critical.

Similarly, weak or outdated eCommerce websites result in a loss of potential customers and revenue. With Forrester Inc. forecasting a 62% increase in online retail spending by 2016, a strong eCommerce website in addition to offering mCommerce can make-or-break a brand’s sales performance.

According to a Riverbed study:

• 89 percent of U.S. adults would stop shopping at a website because of poor website experiences

• 79 percent percent of those surveyed said that overall website experience is absolutely essential or important when choosing a site to shop

• 36 percent of participants report they often encounter difficulties including slow load times, site fails and navigation difficult when shopping online

• 44 percent of online shoppers have had to cancel an online order mid-way through the checkout process because the site was too slow

• 84 percent of respondents will specifically revisit a brand online based on their website shopping experience.
This research also reinforces the importance of first impressions in website design. Google’s evidence suggests that it only takes a user approximately 50 milliseconds to make a judgment about a website’s design. This, in addition to other website performance factors, will determine whether a consumer pulls out his or her wallet or pulls the plug on your website and brand.

The message from consumers to retailers?

Don’t let a shoddy website and last decade’s marketing strategy spoil the quality of your products and sales performance.

Chart via Riverbed