December 29, 2009, 12:00 AM

In December, some retailers placed their bets on a Cyber Monday sequel

With consumers responding enthusiastically to Cyber Monday deals on the Monday after Thanksgiving, some online retailers decided to repeat the offers the following week

Internet Retailer

It was the Monday after the Monday after Thanksgiving, and some retailers were hoping for a second online shopping windfall, marketing another day of sales like those they offered on Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Ashford.com and CircuitCity.com called it Cyber Monday II, while ChooseDirect.com dubbed the day Second Chance Cyber Monday.

The tactic worked at ChooseDirect, which offers discounts on items like fireplace equipment and hot tubs through four e-commerce sites. Traffic doubled over the previous Monday, the “official” Cyber Monday, and sales on the fireplace site were up 500% and on the hot tub site 200%, says Diana Slampyak, director of community research. She did not disclose the retailer’s dollar sales.

Biding their time

Why would shoppers respond to the same offers that had been made the previous Monday? “People were biding their time and waiting to see if there would be a better deal,” Slampyak says. “I guess they figured they missed out on it Cyber Monday, came back and saw we had the same sale going and just jumped on it.” She says the e-retailer marketed the sales through e-mail and paid search advertising, and also has an in-house team focused on search engine optimization.

At online watch retailer Ashford.com, traffic was up 20% over the previous Monday, says Eli Katz, president of parent company United Retail Group. Sales were up over the same day last year, although Katz did not provide a dollar figure, and the average order value was higher than it’s been this season. Katz says the e-retailer promoted the sale through e-mail to its house list of 300,000 names, affiliates, comparison shopping engines and display advertising.

Being present widely on the web is important to Ashford.com because, while 80% of buyers make a purchase the same day they first come to the site, half leave the site, shop elsewhere on the web, then return to buy, Katz says. “In 50% of the cases, it’s taking multiple views of our ads to convert that customer,” he says.

He says Ashford.com is on track to register $10 million in online sales this year, up from $6 million last year.

Several major retailers began promoting repeats of Cyber Monday sales last year, and others do the same with the term Black Friday, promoting “Black Friday” sales every Friday from the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas, says Chad White, research director at e-mail marketing service provider Responsys. “Cyber Monday has been highly successful the past couple of years so retailers are looking to leverage the Cyber Monday brand to boost sales on other days,” White says.

don@verticalwebmedia.com

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