Thread: Cyber Monday

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  1. Dancin with the devil
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    Cyber Monday


    Being that Black Friday [Weekend] is about to come to an end, online entities now have the opportunity to target shop-a-holics by luring them in with online deals. I italicize deals b/c I am not totally sold on the idea.

    I was curious to know what others think about Cyber Monday. Do you think it's a sham? Do you think you are really getting a great deal? I lean towards sham but admittedly, I may be ignorant to the concept. One would think they are making it up somewhere else but I want to be swayed into believing that I'm missing out.

    What were some of the better deals you've seen since the start of Cyber Monday? I wish I could start this off but being that I'm not really a believer, I have invested little time in looking at these so called deals.

    What are your thoughts, beliefs, theories?
    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Chinese Proverb
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    EGOL
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    Originally Posted by Lb1878
    What are your thoughts, beliefs, theories?
    First, I will say that we get LOTs of sales on Cyber Monday. About double to triple normal sales volume. I think that a lot of these sales are driven by merchant hype for the "cyber monday" concept.... and a lot of the hype is the promise of deals. So, I think that the expectation of deals are what drive this day.

    I believe that the need to participate in big deals depends upon your niche. If you are selling something highly competitive such as digital cameras then you better be cutting some deals.... but if you sell something that is not found in very many brick and mortar stores and only on a small number of websites then the deals are not needed as much.

    Also, if you have a site that has repeat visitors who type in your domain (such as LandsEnd.com) offering visitors great deals on commonly purchased items such as socks and shirts is a great way to get them to purchase items that they might not have considered otherwise. However, if your site is found mainly by search for very specialized items then deals are not as important.

    Most of the items that I sell are not found in very many brick and mortar stores and not sold on very many websites. So, I don't offer special deals on these "shopping holidays" or any other time.
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    Originally Posted by EGOL
    Most of the items that I sell are not found in very many brick and mortar stores and not sold on very many websites
    Sometimes I think EGOL and I are in very similar markets.

    I don't offer sales either, as I don't sell common commodity items.

    Marketing strategy really depends on your product - a popular strategy does not necessarily work in all markets.

    For example, when "Free Shipping" became the craze, I started to offer it as well. After a year I looked at my shipping bill and fell over. Then I took away free shipping, but offered it at cost.

    Guess what - no drop in sales. Why? Chances are you expect and don't mind paying for actual shipping cost. The only time Free Shipping swayed my decision to buy something was when it was a large heavy item. Otherwise I tend to stick with businesses I know and trust.

    Again, just an example that as a merchant, you should not automatically do what everyone else is doing. Marking is one big experiment - test what works and don't assume anything

    Another reason I don't have sales and markdowns is because a price war with your competitors is a race to the bottom. I know what my stuff costs, and I know what their stuff costs. Sales volume is is NOT the goal. Profit margin is the goal.

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees : "Profit margin is the goal.".... That's right.. I enjoy manufacturers who want everyone to sell at MSRP.
    • Lb1878 agrees
    • kju385 agrees
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  7. Dancin with the devil
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    Another thread on here sparked this question in my mind. I did not intend for this discussion to go anywhere but I'm glad that it did. I have learned something here.

    Chances are you expect and don't mind paying for actual shipping cost.
    We offer a product for $1.99 and people pay the flat rate shipping of $6.00! Crazy if you ask me but I certainly get your point.

    Another reason I don't have sales and markdowns is because a price war with your competitors is a race to the bottom. I know what my stuff costs, and I know what their stuff costs. Sales volume is is NOT the goal. Profit margin is the goal.
    Over the weekend ironically, I was talking to a friend about the same thing and wondering why he does not play the gimmick game. His response was very similar in that he offers the lowest prices and he know this. He knows his competition could probably beat him in a price war and he doesnt want to highlight this. Meanwhile, one of his competitors offers a % off plus an extra % off when you sign up for their newsletter. Clearly, they are marking up and they do quite well on the web. I am somewhat at a loss with offering him an idea or two to help him get ahead. Off topic, sorry.

    I started out more curious than anything else if others thought that these deals were truly deals or just gimmicks mainly b/c I don't buy into it. I figure they are marking up so much or making it elsewhere. A couple of good responses if I don't say. Thank you.

    Comments on this post

    • kju385 agrees
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    I worked for an executive who said, "Give our customers a good deal, BUT don't leave money on the table."

    What he was teaching his staff is that you don't give away stuff that people expect to pay for. In my case I discontinued free shipping. My charts say I lost no customers. Some of my competitors are leaving a lot of money on the table with free shipping. Besides, I can show a lower list price because I don't have shipping costs built-in. But to make that work - you can't over-charge on shipping (I charge actual cost).

    Which leads to my rule #2 - Don't try to overcharge on something where it is obvious you are overcharging. Back to my boss... we had a standard markup formula on all the spare parts we sold (industrial electronics) and we were selling 9 volt batteries for $8. Many customers complained that they could buy the same battery for a lot less at the drug store. So, we changed the price and sold them at 25 cents over cost. Why? Goodwill. If people know you are gouging them on something basic, then what else are you gouging them on? We more than made up for the batteries on other items where the customer can't easily compare prices.

    So yeah - I've abandoned many a shopping cart when I realized the low price I thought I was getting was about to be negated by a ridiculous shipping charge. One time I had to order some motor brushes for one of my mfg machines, and was shown a shipping charge of $20. The brushes cost $8. I called the company and the lady said, "Well I can just mail them in a padded envelope for $2". Saved $18 for making a phone call. Which leads to my rule #3 - You make your money when you BUY, not when you sell." But I'll save that explanation for another day.

    Please continue to share your e-commerce wisdom

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees : Thanks! Great story!
    • kju385 agrees
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    As an experiment one should definitely try the concept, personally I have no need since my niche doesn't get much hypes. If you have a large customer base, any inovation will probably raise interest. There is still a lot of scepticism on online shopping issue, the good part being it is growing weaker as the time passes, since more and more people are getting involved and have had positive experiences. Thanks for the great educational stories people, you've earned your rep points

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