If you don't already know Cyber Monday takes place on 1st December and is named so due to being the busiest day of the year for online shopping. Although it started out as an American concept Cyber Monday has now reached international status. Consumers make the most of the last pay-day before Christmas by firing up their laptops, smart phones and tablets and heading online. ECommerce giant Ebay has released data confirming their customers are already starting their Christmas shopping! With the online spend of British consumers alone predicted to reach £13 billion this festive season all businesses need to ensure they're ready.

Where do I start?

The thought of Cyber Monday may leave you wanting to run for the hills but by thinking of it as a great business opportunity and starting preparation early you'll be well on your way to increasing profit just in time for Christmas! We're here to arm you with all the facts you need to make Cyber Monday a day to look forward to.

Research shows "peak" shopping times on the 1st are between 12 and 2 in the afternoon. Shoppers head online during their lunch breaks to search for the ultimate gifts for their family, friends and sometimes event themselves too! We suggest starting out by enticing potential and existing customers through promotions, offers or discounts. If customers feel you're offering them a better deal than competitors it's only logical they'd choose to book with your company. Some businesses set up email alerts for customers who want notification of when Christmas deals are released. This is a great idea but make sure you don't interrupt your regular online bookings and sales too much. You can avoid this by releasing the option of an email sign-up nearer the time. BookingLive integrates with the eMarketing company MailChimp so it's easy for you to send mass communication to customers.

Generate & Retain New Cyber Monday Custom 

Cyber Monday shouldn't just be viewed as the perfect opportunity to make loads of sales in one day. Approach the date with the intention of gaining and retaining custom. Persuade customers to come back again with offers such as "book today and receive 10% off your next booking!". You could also run offers which promote your business and further customer generation such as "one free session for every friend you refer" or "bring a friend along for free"! With BookingLive you can set-up, personalise and sell vouchers with promotions such as these.

Be Mobile Ready

Mobile purchases, including bookings, are up 94% since last year. That's one third of all Cyber Monday purchases! Make sure users can access your website by creating an omni-channel approach. Although this term may at first sound like something from a Sci-Fi film it simply means taking a multi-channel approach. This involves considering your business's presence on mobile devices as well as on desktop. All BookingLive systems are fully responsive so both you and your customers achieve the optimum user experience. Studies show Cyber Monday reaches a "2nd peak" in tablet users during the evening when users return home from work so don't miss out, be mobile ready.

Convey Urgency

Create a sense of urgency by sharing updates via social media that there are "only a handful of spaces left on January's yoga course" etc. Customers are more likely to make a booking if they feel as though they'll miss out by not doing it straight away.

Create Gift Options

We understand the majority of our clients aren't running online shops but that doesn't mean you can't sell gifts. Here at BookingLive we integrate with well-known gift agencies such as Groupon and buyagift so you can sell and redeem vouchers online. Market your bookable activities, classes, courses and more as gift ideas. BookingLive enable these to come in the form of a voucher so your Cyber Monday sales are more likely to increase. Do you have a seasonable business? Don't worry, customers will be happy purchasing redeemable activities for the summer months as long as they're able to give a voucher so there's something to open on the day!

Last year Cyber Monday was responsible for 113 million visits to online shops in just one day. That's the equivalent to 400 millions hours spent shopping online! BookingLive's online booking systems ensure your business is able to deal with high-demand bookings and payments throughout the year with Rackspace's 100% uptime hosting. Check out our plans & pricing page for more information. Make sure your business is ready for Cyber Monday with BookingLive.