If you’d asked someone about the biggest e-commerce promotions about five years ago, Christmas or Thanksgiving would have been popular answers. But those times are long past us. Naturally, competition has gone up, and brands are fighting to capture market share.
To keep the cash registers ringing, craft your e-commerce strategy around major holidays throughout the year, and not just Q4. Read on to identify the key events for boosting revenue and running relevant marketing campaigns for 2019.
Here’s the e-commerce calendar for 2019 and the tips to plan for it:
- January 1: New Year’s Day
- January 21: Martin Luther King Day
- February 2: Groundhog Day
- February 3: Superbowl Sunday
- February 10: The Grammy Awards
- February 14: Valentine’s Day
- February 16: President’s Day
- February 24: The Academy Awards
- March 8: International Women’s Day
- March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
Planning for Q1
While the year does start with the much awaited New Year’s Day, most customers would have made important purchases around New Year’s Eve. So don’t focus too much on the first few days of the year, when sales will presumably be slow. But this is, in fact, a good time to keep up the holiday sales momentum through extended promotions.
January is also a good time to launch something ‘new’ for shoppers looking for something different at the beginning of the year.
Q1 hosts one of the most important e-commerce dates of the year – Valentine’s Day. This is when couples are scurrying to buy gifts for their partners. The US saw a whopping $20.1 billion of sales on V Day – the highest in the last 10 years. Boost your traffic by running personalized gift campaigns. Heavily promote your store on social media with posts on love and gift guides for him and her. This is also a good time to collaborate with influencers and market your products through their social media posts and gift guides.
Other important dates include the Grammy Awards and Academy Awards Ceremonies that are slated for the 10th and 24th February, respectively. Events such as these should primarily be used to increase your reach and brand awareness via social media. Timely posts about winners or performances will generate more traffic to your social media accounts.
Another important event in this quarter is the International Women’s Day on March 8th. This can be used to bump up sales (especially if your store caters to women) via discounts increase your reach with social media posts.
- April 1: April Fool’s Day
- April 10: Sibling’s Day
- April 11: National Pet Day
- April 21: Easter Sunday
- April 22: Earth Day
- May 5: Cinco de Mayo
- May 12: Mother’s Day
- May 27: Memorial Day
- June 16: Father’s Day
Planning for Q2
Q2 is packed with important dates, most of which lie in April. We start off with April Fool’s Day, which presents a great opportunity to boost traffic to your store while getting a laugh out of customers. Run funny, quirky campaigns that will have customers sharing the word and pranking those around them. Apart from driving sales, this is a great opportunity to have your brand personality shine through.
Other events in April include Sibling’s Day and National Pet Day. These can be used to drive sales by offering personalized products to specific audiences.
Q2 also hosts two important events for the e-commerce industry – Mother’s and Father’s Day.
While Father’s Day is not as popular as Mother’s Day, it is still a great sales opportunity as customers feel obliged to grant equal attention to both parents. Have the right marketing strategies in place to capitalize on these days in 2019.
- July 4: Independence Day
- September 2: Labor Day
Planning for Q2
Two important events are the Fourth of July and Labor Day. The Fourth can be used to increase social media presence with patriotic slogans and posts. Q3 primarily features the first days of academic years in universities and schools. So this will be a good time for those selling apparel, stationery products, shoes etc. Other than these, Q3 doesn’t feature many important dates and would be a great time to focus on developing your store for the crucial Q4. Q3 is arguably a slow quarter for e-commerce. But don’t let the lull in sales bring you down. Focus on analyzing past campaigns and using those lessons to optimize your store.
Q3 doesn’t feature many important dates and would be a great time to focus on developing your store for the crucial Q4.
- October 31: Halloween
- November 11: Veteran’s Day
- November 26: Thanksgiving
- November 29: Black Friday
- December 2: Cyber Monday
- December 21: Super Saturday
- December 22 to 30: Hanukkah
- December 24: Christmas Eve
- December 25: Christmas Day
- December 31: New Year’s Eve
Planning for Q4
Q4 is undeniably the most important period of the year. It is filled with holidays and events that have shoppers being very generous with their purchases. Around Halloween, promote spooky-themed products and offers. In 2018, online spending on Thanksgiving hit a whopping $3.7 billion at a 27.9% growth rate YOY, the highest growth since 2014.
Last year, online sales on Black Friday grew 23.6% to $6.2 billion. What’s even more interesting is that over $2 billion of these sales came from smartphones. Naturally, this is a time e-commerce stores gear most of their efforts towards.
For #BFCM, give your customers some amazing deals and promote these heavily during the days leading up to the event. Increase the shoppers’ sense of urgency with countdown timers and limited stocks messages.
Other important dates of Q4 include Hanukkah, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve. Because Christmas is a time of buying gifts, prepare your store to welcome the holiday spirit. Win customers through out-of-the-box marketing ideas. Decorative items are quite popular during this period. These are all family holidays and hence, your marketing campaigns during these festivals must revolve around comforting wishes and posts.
To generate traffic and increase brand awareness, it is important you target holidays and special events. Use our e-commerce calendar to run promotions and grow your online business.
Q1 is over. Let’s power through Q2, Q3 & Q4
Let holidays be a part of your strategy and not mere uncontrollable spikes in your revenue chart. A well-timed approach and an ahead of time planning are the only two things that can truly prepare you for the humongous wave that the holiday brings on.
Do you think we covered all the important days/ events/ holidays or did we miss some? Let us know in the comments.