Capitalizing on Cyber Monday This Holiday Shopping Season

Many entrepreneurs are quick to jump on the opportunity to bring in sales on Black Friday, but the biggest shopping day of the year doesn't always mean you're going to make a large profit. In comparison to long-standing department stores and discount retailers, small businesses typically don't make nearly as much cash during Black Friday. But what about Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday has been deemed perhaps the second biggest shopping day of the year next to Black Friday, and for good reason. As more consumers look to avoid the crowds and turn to the internet to get their holiday shopping done, Cyber Monday has been an overwhelming success. Take into account the fact that nearly everyone now has access to the internet and you have a recipe for big sales.

Small businesses have especially reaped the benefits of Cyber Monday by situating holiday sales and discounts on their websites. As a small business owner, you can do the same this season in addition to taking advantage of Black Friday.

Since the economic downturn, more large companies have been doing their part to support entrepreneurs and lend a helping hand to small business owners. In 2010, AOL Business notes that American Express OPEN named the day after Thanksgiving, "Small Business Saturday." The goal was to raise awareness of the goods and services provided by entrepreneurs throughout the holiday season.

"Small Business Saturday" turned out to be a success. On the American Express OPEN Facebook page, where the event was advertised, more than 1 million people "liked" the post about "Small Business Saturday" and helped to spread the word. American Express OPEN reported that more than 30,000 tweets were also posted to Twitter, using the #smallbizsaturday hash tag.

This year, there are a few things you can do as a small business owner to make sure that you're making the most of Black Friday and more importantly, Cyber Monday.

First, they don't call it Cyber Monday for nothing--this is a prime opportunity for businesses to revamp their store websites and show consumers what they have to offer this holiday season. On that note, it's important for you to give your website a new look during this time of year to drive more customers to your website.

Although it may seem like a frivolous concern, it's important for visitors to get into the holiday spirit when they visit your page. This gets the gears going in their minds and has them thinking, "Maybe I want to buy some gifts from this beading website." For this task, you might want to give the responsibility to your professional web designer or hire a service to help you if you don't already have the means.

When designing your website for Cyber Monday, think Christmas. Deck out your page in greens and reds to get visitors into the holiday spirit. However, make sure you steer clear of graphics and images that are distracting and take awhile to load. Not only will this overwhelm your visitors, but it may backfire and reduce your number of Cyber Monday sales.

To make the most of this big shopping day, it's best to save your most valuable sales, discounts and coupons until Cyber Monday. While it may be tempting to offer them to your customers all at once on Black Friday, you'll want to release these discounts wisely.

Although the kick-off to the holiday shopping season is unofficially Black Friday, consumers are on the hunt for the perfect gifts all month long heading into December. There's no need to rush everything at once--instead, think about saving some of your biggest offers for Cyber Monday, as well as the week before Christmas.

When coming up with discounts to offer your consumers, consider what your target market is primarily looking for. For some, it may be free shipping, while others might simply be looking for a good discount up to 30 percent off. The sales and coupons you provide are up to you, but the more generous you are, the better chance you have of capitalizing on Cyber Monday and the entire month of December.

Finally, reminds all entrepreneurs to be mindful of what social networking can do for them. As a small beading business owner, you have a prime opportunity to showcase your goods through photos on websites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Although it may seem like a waste of time to primarily focus on social networking during the biggest shopping season of the year, it can pay off in the form of higher sales at the end of the day. These are just a few of the ways that you can capitalize on Cyber Monday this year.