How to win at cyber month, by Omnicom Media Group MENA’s Stefanie Cunningham

Omnicom Media Group general manager, e-commerce, Stefanie Cunningham offers eight tips for how your brand can elevate its online sales strategy during the most opportunistic period of the year.

Stefanie Cunningham, Omnicom Media Group general manager, e-commerce

Middle East e-commerce is on track to deliver $42bn in online sales in 2020, according to Emarketer, and this growth is set to continue this November with Cyber Month. This event can account for a substantial portion of your annual e-commerce sales applies to all verticals and is a great opportunity to acquire new consumers.

So what exactly is Cyber Month?
Cyber Month is synonymous with offering the deepest deals for a limited time and is made up of three key events:

  • Singles Day: Originating in China and celebrated on November 11, Singles Day is the highest-grossing e-commerce event globally. Alibaba in 2019 alone saw sales of $38bn during this one-day event, and the demand is picking up pace locally.
  • Black Friday: Occurs on November 27, 2020. Strategically aligned to just after payday, this retail event focuses on deep discounts both offline and online. Black Friday in MENA has been localised and rebranded by retailers to a rainbow of colours such as White, Yellow or Green Friday.
  • Cyber Monday: Exclusively for your online channel, Monday, November 30 marks the end of Cyber Month, encouraging consumers to purchase these deals now or never.

So, how can you ensure your brand maximises the potential of this commercial event? We have mapped out our top eight recommendations:

1 It’s a 10-week event: The search intent and excitement begin in October as shoppers seek to research the best deals. Harness this interest and build hype by creating a specific landing page on your website, enabling you to develop audience pools and collect customer emails to inform first when your deals go live

2 Value proposition: Shoppers are seeking value so it’s essential to offer the best deals of the year or risk losing out to your competitors. Develop a strategic series of offers, all inspired to convert consumers online, and increase basket spend and frequency across the month of November.

3 Awareness and retargeting: In this saturated and competitive event, you need to ensure your existing and potential shoppers know about your offers through campaigns that deliver increased traffic to your website or mobile app. Activate across the essential channels – paid search, social, display and eCRM – alongside reviewing strategic opportunities with influencers, radio and PR. Build dynamic retargeting frameworks to re-engage and convert users across your sales funnel. Ensure a performance-minded approach by monitoring media KPIs daily, reallocating and reinvesting budget into the top-performing channels and campaigns by reviewing CPO (cost per order) and ROAS (return on ad spend).

4 Activating on e-retail partners: If you are live on marketplaces and e-retailers, it’s essential to understand their Cyber Month strategy as early as possible. Invest in their on- and offsite media options, negotiating share of voice in the event vs. your category competitors and ensure this is partnered with attractive trade discounts across your portfolio.

5 Digital shelf excellence: Digital availability is an essential pillar of e-commerce success. This includes best-practice e-commerce images, copy and stock availability to enable shoppers to find your products, engage and transact. Poor digital shelf experiences lead to lack of findability and lower conversion rate.

6 Performance management: Setting KPIs and targets in advance of Cyber Month is vital to ensure you have built the right stock forecast and have media investments capable of driving the required levels of increased traffic. Set up specific Cyber Month reporting, which tracks commercial, media and operational metrics such as fulfilment success and out-of-stocks. If you only sell via indirect e-retailers, ensure you have requested a forecast target based on your activation plans and have negotiated access to daily sales reports.

7 Cyber Month taskforce: E-commerce spans many teams: sales, marketing, finance, supply chain and customer services, all of whom should be on-hand, fully informed and prepared to support throughout the Cyber Month period. Common issues such as out-of-stocks, warehouse capacity, checkout issues and customer service agents who have not been fully trained lead to huge missed potential and wasted media spends.

8 Repurchase strategy: Cyber Month is a great period to attract and convert new consumers to your brand. To extract further value, ensure you have a re-purchase strategy in place. In December, ensure you launch new product lines such as gifting for the holiday season and retarget Cyber Month shoppers with value propositions that drive conversion, such as free shipping.

With these eight key steps in place, we know you will unlock a successful Cyber Month this year. Best of luck!