It’s a new year and that means a new e-commerce promotional calendar! This calendar provides a quick summary of every key sales date and holidays that you should be aware of this year along with a few key statistics to help you with your seasonal promotions.
Identify which holidays and sales dates align with your brand and your marketing schedule so you can be more effective with your seasonal marketing strategy and your ecommerce promotions. I’ve also provided a quick promotional checklist and some additional seasonal ideas for promotions.
Quick Promotional Checklist
- Identify your next promotional opportunity – Check out the calendar and select which holidays and key dates you want to focus on this year.
- Determine what your goals are for this promotion – Do you want to drive sales, build your email list, notify visitors of sales or announcements? Once you get a clear picture of what you want to accomplish, you can move forward.
- Choose a type of promotion based on your goals – Now that you have your goals, select a type of promotion! Also decide if you want to use promo codes. Run an email pop up, cart abandonment offer, messaging pop up/bar, CTA pop up, and so on.
- Design your promotion to fit the season or holiday – Promotion design can make a big impact on your brand perception and can increase ecommerce sales conversion. Take control of your shopping experience and have some fun with it!
- Choose which methods of driving traffic you’d like to use – Schedule email campaigns, consider PPC campaigns, and look for other ways to build anticipation.
- Target Incoming Visitors – Once your promotion is built, you’ll need to select which visitors will see your promotion.
Seasonal Sales Opportunities
In addition to key sales dates, it’s important to look at seasonal sales opportunities. This gives you an idea of what to focus on during each of the quarters of the year and provide an additional framework for seasonal promotions if you aren’t looking to run a promotion for every single holiday.
Beginning of the Year Clearance Sales
You’ve just finished up with the busiest and most lucrative time for ecommerce retailers. Time to relax, right? Not so fast. You’re most likely dealing with excess inventory and it’s in your best interest to clear that inventory to make room for this year’s stock. Use clearance sales, bundling, and other tactics to move old and slow moving products. For a full list of ideas for clearing inventory, read 14 ways to turn excess inventory into cash.
Summer Sales are Slow, Prepare and Execute Early
July is the slowest month for e-commerce with sales dipping by 30% compared to big sales months like December. August is also particularly slow early on until back to school sales start to kick in.
If you’re selling items specifically for summer, it’s imperative that you prepare and execute your marketing strategy early. You want your summer shoppers completing purchases in April, May and June before things start to slow down. Luckily, you have several big sales holidays in that time frame that you can use to get people to your site. Here are some ecommerce sales strategies to help you during slow online sales months.
Back to School Sales
Back to school shoppers start as early as April. Yes, 40% of B2S sales occur in August but over 50% of B2S sales occur before August. In the early summer months, it’s beneficial to craft a marketing strategy that specifically focuses on reaching B2S shoppers.
Much of the focus during the holiday season goes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This makes total sense. That weekend is the biggest opportunity to drive sales. However, the competition is fierce and putting all your eggs in one basket puts way too much reliance on a 4 day span.
Instead, start marketing to your shoppers early, stay consistent, and look for other sales opportunities. Green Monday is the biggest day for sales in December. Small Business Saturday (11/25) should be a big focus for smaller retailers.
Free Shipping Day is perfect for driving last minute holiday sales. Q4 is going to be your biggest sales period so get strategic and seek out less obvious sales opportunities in addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.