SME Survival Guide: A practical Cyber Monday guide for SMEs

By now, you’ll have probably seen the Coca-Cola trucks on TV, which can mean only one thing… Christmas is coming. With each festive season comes the influx of sales – and there’s no escaping the buzz around Cyber Monday.

Falling on November 26, the UK will inevitably see news headlines dominated by bargain hunters locking horns over the best deals, and internet sites struggling to cope with the demand from online shoppers.

But, it’s not just consumers who should be benefitting from the rock-bottom prices – there’s advantages for SMEs to shift stock, grow their customer base and instil customer loyalty too.

Prepare to get stuck in

Participating in Cyber Monday can sometimes seem overwhelming for SMEs, but it’s important not to be intimidated by high-street brands offering 75% off left, right and centre. Your product will be right for your customers, so by creating targeted deals for them, you should be able to reap the rewards too.

It’s simply not practical for SMEs to offer huge discounts on many of their products. While some businesses might be willing to roll the dice in the hunt for increased brand awareness, you know better than anyone what your customers want, so pinpoint a handful of products you can feasibly run promotional offers on.

Email exclusives

A good way to boost your email marketing list – while complying with GDPR regulations – would be by encouraging people to sign up to a mailing list to hear about any Cyber Monday offers before anyone else.

This relatively low-cost option boosts customer loyalty, and can be bolstered by a simple website pop-up, displaying a message relating to your forthcoming sale – and how to get exclusive access to your online-only deals.

Out with the old or best foot forward?

Lots of SMEs choose Cyber Monday to shift older stock which is clogging up space in offices or warehouses. If you’ve got a new product in the pipeline, this is a great way to make room for the new collateral at a relatively low cost.

On the flip-side, making the most of your top-selling-inventory is a great strategy for Cyber Monday. If you don’t want to try and offload the things no one really buys anymore, simply identify your top three products or services and create a real buzz around them in the lead up to sale-day, then offer those as your sole discounts.

Simple yet effective

One easy yet powerful Cyber Monday hack is the age-old discount code. It’s an effortless strategy with minimal set-up time. In the run-up to the event, send out a good batch of promotional content – shouting about your savings – and let the code take care of the rest.

Free delivery can also push a buyer over the transaction line. By feeling like they’ve beaten the sale system through not having to brave the traffic, the queues or the winter weather – and not having to fork out for a delivery fee – they’re more likely to make a purchase.

Small Business Saturday

Cyber Monday’s second cousin, Small Business Saturday falls on December 1st this year and celebrates all things local – a great resource for flourishing SMEs and even better if you’re a service-led business.

This grassroots, non-commercial campaign highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’. In the run up to Christmas, members host special events and discounts online and in-store. It’s certainly one to consider.

Better to be safe than sorry

Unfortunately, the bottom-line boost also comes with an increased risk of cyber-attacks and data interception attempts. So, it’s more important than ever that your business is well prepared to defend against – and deal with – any pesky online criminals.

As the influx of website traffic and elevated sales attract an elevated level of attention from the darker corners of the web, we recently looked at how to protect yourself online this Cyber Monday, and it’s important to have any necessary measures in place before the big day.

Make sure your systems can cope with demand

It’s all well and good quadrupling your web traffic overnight and having your biggest day of trading, but are your systems robust enough to deal with the increased demand? In 2017, even the large retailers such as Debenhams and Game struggled under the weight of increased numbers of site visitors.

The strength of your IT infrastructure plays a pivotal part in your SME’s success, not only on Cyber Monday, but on the other 364 days of the year too. Therefore, if you’re in any doubt about how ready you are for a sudden increase in business activity, why not sign up for our free IT audit, to make sure your cyber-structure is supporting you as it should?

If you’d like further advice on how to protect your IT infrastructure against malicious cyber-threats this Cyber Monday, contact our friendly team of experts today.

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