Using Green Monday to boost online retail sales

By David Gilbert

| Retail

A woman shopping for holiday gifts online, surrounded by wrapped presents.

Bigstock

You’ve witnessed the crowds of Black Friday. You’ve shopped on Cyber Monday. But there’s a new holiday shopping day on the block: get ready for Green Monday. This shopping day is dedicated to helping promote sustainable lifestyle choices by encouraging shoppers to make gift purchases online. Retailers looking to take advantage of this trend need to ensure they have learned the lessons from November’s designated shopping days to maximize their returns and promote themselves as supporters of a sustainable lifestyle.

Here’s everything you need to know about the this new shopping day:

Why green?

Green Monday follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the third largest online shopping day of the year. It falls on the second Monday of December, or at least 10 days before Christmas itself. It was initially timed to coincide with the last possible day consumers could make online purchases and be certain to have them delivered in time for the holidays. In 2017, Green Monday will fall on December 11.

The term was first coined a decade ago to describe a particularly busy shopping day on eBay. Though the holiday has never attained the recognition among shoppers that Black Friday or Cyber Monday have, it has been adopted by many mainstream retailers.

The term green was initially used simply because it was the color of a US dollar bill, reflecting the increased revenue that retailers draw in through well-timed online purchases. However, the green moniker is also a way of highlighting the fact that shopping online can, in some instances, be better for the environment than going to a store.

How much revenue does Green Monday generate?

Reuters reports Cyber Monday 2017 became the biggest online sales day in history, recording $6.6 billion in US sales. It won’t compete with that level of sales, but for online retailers looking to make the most of the busy holiday season, the date can provide a significant and timely boost ahead of the end of the year.

According to The Balance, here are the sales revenues for Green Monday for the last five years, and the percentage change for each year:

  • 2012: $1.275 billion (12.5 percent)
  • 2013: $1.401 billion (9.9 percent)
  • 2014: $1.615 billion (15.3 percent)
  • 2015: $1.408 billion (-12.8 percent)
  • 2016: $1.621 billion (15.1 percent)

Is online shopping greener?

Online shopping might be beneficial for the environment, according to a 2013 study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Transportation & Logistics, which examined various ways consumers could shop in stores or online. No way of shopping has zero environmental impact, but shipping en masse is generally more efficient than individual shoppers driving to various stores to do their shopping. With consumers increasingly worried about the environment and sustainability, retailers have to ensure their brands are promoting sustainability through lifestyle choices. Nielsen’s Grace Farraj notes, “Brands that establish a reputation for environmental stewardship among today’s youngest consumers have an opportunity to not only grow market share but build loyalty among the power-spending millennials of tomorrow, too.”

How can brands leverage their green credentials?

A key lesson from Black Friday and Cyber Monday is that the retail is trending very much toward online shopping, and mobile in particular.

Consumers purchased a record $1.59 billion using their smartphones on Cyber Monday, marking almost 25 percent of all purchases. This trend shows retailers ensuring their mobile apps are working perfectly is key to taking advantage of consumers’ increased need to shop on the move.

Here are five tips to ensure you are ready to take on Green Monday:

  1. Get things ready early: Plan now for Dec. 11 so you’ll have plenty of time to work out any bugs in your app.
  2. Leverage the sustainable aspect: To leverage the sustainable aspect of the holiday, rebrand your app as green for the day, or have sustainable products at the top of your product pages. Another option could be to offer a donation to an environmental charity for each purchase to offset the carbon footprint of delivering the packages.
  3. Tell customers what’s happening: This day doesn’t attract the attention Cyber Monday does, but if you communicate ahead of time what you’re planning to do, it will help remind people who need to do last-minute holiday shopping, making them think of your app — and any gifts they still need to buy.
  4. Test the system: Retailers should be prepared for every eventuality, including a lot of people using your system at the same time. Load testing will ensure your app will stand up to the strain when the real thing comes around.
  5. Keep things simple: Helping consumers navigate through your products is key to ensuring they get all the way to checkout. By making sure your app’s interface is simple and intuitive, you give your customers an improved experience — possibly encouraging them to buy a few extra items, either for themselves or their loved ones.

By planning ahead, your brand can leverage this shopping day and bring in more green while helping customers go green.

Written By

David Gilbert

David Gilbert specializes in covering the global smartphone industry and the dangerous world of cybercrime. David has worked as a reporter for VICE News, served as European technology editor at the International Business Times, and as Technology Editor for the UK edition of IBTimes…

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