· Important information to ask merchants in preparation for Black Friday/Cyber Monday
· Tips for communicating with merchants to ensure you’re not stuck with last-minute updates
· Communicating with your merchants (or network rep) is key. Explain why you need information in advance, make a case for why it’s in their best interest (stats, site traffic over Thanksgiving weekend, case studies), and describe how you promote (email, ppc, etc) so they can provide all the assets you need.
o Give merchants a deadline and stick to it
· If working through a network, think about asking to be part of a spotlight in newsletters sent to merchants, highlighting the value of your site for Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals.
· Consider asking for a list of a merchant’s top sellers and the products they plan to promote during the holiday season so you can plan accordingly.
· Ask merchants if gift cards are commissionable, as sales of these cards directly add revenue to their bottom line and many consumers don’t end up redeeming them. This presents a high-profit opportunity for them and an up-front commission earning opportunity for you.
· When asking merchants (and/or your network) for deal details, consider asking for all of the following information:
- Offer title & details
- Official deal start date & time
- Official deal end date & time
- Specific landing page URL
- Required coupon code (if applicable)
· Black Friday online sales totaled $595 million in 2009 and $648 million in 2010
· The largest online sales day in 2010 was Cyber Monday and the peak week was December 5-12th
· Americans are sitting on $30 billion in unused gift cards
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