Is Cyber Monday the New Black Friday?

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It’s not hard to understand the appeal of Cyber Monday.

On Black Friday, you get up before dawn (if you go to bed at all) to line up outside a big-box store or mall, ready to storm the entrance and throw elbows for a discounted TV or the toy of the moment.

Meanwhile, all that Cyber Monday requires is getting on your phone or computer, making a few clicks, and getting equivalent deals, often with free shipping (and without even having to put on pants).

This year, 72 percent of consumers are more excited to shop Cyber Monday than any other end-of-the-year sales, including Black Friday (62 percent) and the day after Christmas (55 percent), according to a new report from Euclid.

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But the popularity of Cyber Monday doesn’t mean that consumers aren’t excited to shop in stores this holiday season: According to the report, 75 percent of consumers aged 18 to 34 plan to visit a store to interact with products and then buy online later, and 68 percent of 35- to 54-year-olds do the same thing.

Shopping online still hasn’t replaced the tactile experience of going into a store, picking up an item, and getting a sense of its true feel and fit. But nothing beats the convenience of buying online: no getting up early, no lines, no schlepping bags around the mall. And, especially on Cyber Monday, the deals and discounts are often unbeatable.

As this most popular shopping day gets closer, here’s how to prepare for your most successful Cyber Monday ever:

Limit your pre-Cyber Monday promotions.

If you want consumers to pay attention to your major promotions, then you need to cool it on the sales before Cyber Monday. When customers perceive you to constantly be having sales, then it doesn’t feel as special or noteworthy to them when you are actually having a major promotion, which could hurt your Cyber Monday sales.

Reach consumers through email and online ads.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday might be the only times of the year when customers are actually anticipating your online ads and email communications. As they prepare their shopping strategy, they’re comparing prices and looking for the best deals. So it’s time to bring it with compelling email subject lines and deals that are worth their attention.

According to the report, the majority of both 18- to 34-year-olds and 35- to 54-year-olds (62 and 61 percent, respectively) were drawn to the store by a retailer’s holiday email. When you consider how many shoppers report buying online something they first saw in the store, you can consider email and online ads the first part of a two-step strategy for attracting Cyber Monday shoppers.

Save your best deals for Cyber Monday.

If you’re trying to make a major play for Cyber Monday shoppers, you have to offer them a can’t-miss opportunity, like one-day-only discounts on certain products, free shipping, or a gift card with the purchase of a certain amount.

On this most competitive shopping day, you have to excite, surprise, and delight consumers if you want them to take you seriously.

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