The biggest ecommerce dates you need to know about in 2019
Sales can be seasonal and demand often fluctuates, but by tapping into the year’s big diary dates you can keep your customers interested all throughout the year.
These special ecommerce dates – from St Valentine’s Day through to Christmas with a dozen more in between – are a great excuse to get in touch with customers. A new product line, a special sale and a reminder of crucial dates are all opportunities to promote your online shop.
You can also jump on social media to join in the conversation, using seasonal hashtags to raise your profile among customers old and new.
Don’t forget that these neat tactics can help you stand out from the crowd:
Publish last order dates: Remind your customers of upcoming events while reassuring them that there’s still time to shop. Get in touch with plenty of time to spare to attract the forward-thinkers, then again when time is running out to help save the panic-buyers.
Gift wrapping: Many of the dates listed in this calendar go hand-in-hand with gift-giving. If wrapping is a service you can offer, it’s one less thing your customer needs to worry about, and they’ll thank you for that. Maybe you can charge for the service, offer it at a discount for orders over a certain value – or offer it for free to truly drive demand!
Discount codes: The diary dates listed below often attract bargain hunters, shoppers who love nothing more than to feel they have saved money. Not only do discount codes entice these customers – but you can use different codes in different media to judge which of your marketing efforts worked best.
Here are the biggest dates in the 2019 calendar, and how to take advantage of them.
World Book Day
Thursday, March 7
What to do: Each March, the world falls back in love with books and reading. It’s a gift for any retailer stocking books or reading-related items.
Bonus: Even if you don’t sell books, you can still take advantage. Theme promotions around great works of literature: Which of your products would famous characters buy? Which products relate to your favourite book?
When to begin: March 1
Sunday, March 31
What to do: We all know that the special women in our lives should be appreciated throughout the year, but the last Sunday in March is when most of us are truly inspired to dig deep into our pockets. It’s the perfect opportunity to promote any products that a mother would be thrilled to receive.
Bonus: The USA celebrates Mothers day on May 12 this year, so don’t forget to repeat your marketing efforts for any stateside shoppers.
When to begin: March 14
Sunday, April 21
What to do: For many years, Easter celebrations have gone hand-in-hand with chocolate gifts. More recently, this has expanded to other sweet treats and baked goods – making the festival a great opportunity to promote your more mouth-watering products and presents.
Bonus: Some parents aren’t all too keen about overloading their kids with too much ‘naughty’ food, presenting a great opportunity to promote alternatives types of presents, such as stuffed toys, books and other playful delights that are kinder to teeth.
When to begin: April 2
May to July
What to do: As the rain clouds begin to dissipate and the sun gets ever warmer (hopefully!), wedding season hits its peak. The early summer months are a hotbed for weddings, and that means wedding organisers (both professional and DIY) are on the hunt for the perfect finishing touches. Consider promoting any item that will help make a special day – wedding favours, dresses, shoes and accessories, luxury wedding gifts, premium alcohol, food, decorations, sweet treats, the list goes on…
Bonus: Win over wedding planners by offering discounts for bulk buyers.
When to begin: Early March
Sunday, June 16
What to do: Mothers Day gets its male equivalent a few months later. A fantastic opportunity to market any and all items that the fathers of this world will love to receive. Obvious items and themes include cars, beer, gardening and sports related gifts, but don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box.
Bonus: Encourage the dads to treat themselves for Fathers Day by promoting items that allow men to indulge themselves a little.
When to begin: May 30
Amazon Prime Day
What to do: Amazon Prime Day, which takes place in mid-July, is a 36-hour long sales bonanza, with the online retailer offering huge discounts on what becomes its biggest trading day of the year. If you use Amazon as a sales channel, get in on the action by offering discounts to the many eager shoppers browsing the site hunting for bargains.
Bonus: This sales promotion is an ideal way to connect with new customers for the first time. Encourage them to sign up to your newsletter so that you can keep in touch and encourage them to come back in the future.
When to begin: July 1
Back to school
What to do: Parents up and down the country begin preparing to send their little ones either to school for the first time, or back to school for another year. Kids grow, the curriculum changes, and so this always requires stocking up on uniforms, supplies and more. Any goods that can help a child ease back into the school year become ever more valuable as September draws closer.
Bonus: As soon as ‘back to school’ draws to a close, ‘back to university’ begins, this time with adult students heading back to their studies. On top of clothing and studying supplies, many need to furnish their home-away-from-home on a budget.
When to begin: August 6
Thursday, October 31
What to do: Halloween is big business in the UK these days, with more than £400m spent each year on sweets, costumes, make-up, decorations and more. And that figure is growing by around 5% to 10% each year. Be sure to let current and potential customers know about any product lines you have that can be directly (or indirectly) used to celebrate this ghoulish night.
Bonus: Halloween is a great time to let your creative juices flow. You, your staff and even your pets can try some eye-catching costumes to generate original social media content. Use your personality to win over new fans.
When to begin: October 15
Monday, November 11
What to do: Singles Day is China’s biggest online sales day – and as China is one of the world’s biggest economies, it’s therefore the biggest online sales day in the world. If you sell into China or surrounding countries, this is a great opportunity to use discounts and promotional material to drive your international sales.
When to begin: November 5
Friday, November 29
What to do: Black Friday originated in the USA – it’s the day following Thanksgiving – but is now a truly global event. Customers are looking to spend big – but they expect discounts. They’re either stocking up on presents ahead of Christmas, or they simply want to treat themselves. Electronic goods are always popular, but any product that’s on sale is sure to draw attention.
Bonus: Build a temporary landing page dedicated to your Black Friday deals. And don’t forget to optimise your listing pages in case you sell out of a product – always recommend a good alternative rather than letting a customer leave empty-handed.
When to begin: November 19
Monday, December 2
What to do: Cyber Monday quickly follows Black Friday and is dedicated to online sales. Boost your trade, either by offering further discounts on products or adding new lines to your sales page. Don’t forget to remind potential customers that this is one of the last big opportunities to hit the sales ahead of Christmas.
Bonus: Use your feedback from Black Friday to gauge the effectiveness of your sales and marketing, fine-tuning your methods for a second bite of the apple after the weekend.
When to begin: November 30
Small Business Saturday
Saturday, December 7
What to do: Small Business Saturday has been around for a few years and was designed to draw attention to smaller and independent retailers as a great alternative to buying from national chains. Take advantage of the campaign’s high street events, social media hashtags and media coverage at a time when potential customers are most likely to try a new place to shop.
Bonus: Check local and national media outlets for any covering Small Business Saturday. Contributing to their features will help further raise your profile.
When to begin: November 26
Wednesday, December 25
What to do: Christmas is still the biggest of all annual shopping events with up to £50 billion spent each year on food, drink, beautiful dresses and ugly christmas jumpers, decorations, cards – and of course presents and wrapping paper. Tap into this with fantastic opportunity by offering gift wrapping, personalised products and expedited shipping.
Bonus: Calculate the last shopping date possible that you’ll be able to ship products in time and get in touch with your customer base to alert (and remind) them.
When to begin: November 19
Boxing Day Sales
Thursday, December 26
What to do: Boxing Day brings together bargain hunters, excited post-Christmas shoppers looking to accessorise their new presents, and those of us looking to immediately spend the cash and vouchers we received. Make sure you’re a prime destination for spending by offering some enticing discounts, using social media and your email list to advertise your sales.
Bonus: Boxing Day Sales are also a handy way of leveling out your inventory. If you over-stocked on Christmas items, there are always savvy shoppers looking to pick up big discounts ahead of Christmas 2020. Advertise your festive goods at a big discount and clear those shelves ready to stock up on next year’s ranges.
When to begin: December 26