Since 2010, the year-over-year growth of eCommerce sales has registered a consistent 10% (and above) and to be specific, last-minute shopping before festival seasons has garnered attention among customers. The estimated eCommerce sale in 2017 is $107.4 billion.
To run a successful eCommerce business, it is important for marketers to plan ahead if they need to reach out to potential buyers during the top spending time of the year. Among seasonal sales, Halloween and back to school promotions have seen a significant return of $9.1 billion and $83 billion respectively in 2017.
Other significant holiday seasons include Easter Weekend Sale. As per NRF Easter spending survey, planned easter spending stood at $16.48 billion in 2015, $17.38 billion in 2016 and $18.48 billion in 2017. Spending in eCommerce shops has increased significantly on specific days such as Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Adobe Digital Insights, in 2016, reported that total online sales on Thanksgiving Day was $1.93 billion and on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it was $3.34 billion and $3.39 billion respectively.
With such huge spendings and consistent sales growth, it is high time that eCommerce marketers plan ahead to capitalize on the upcoming 2018 holiday seasons.
Let’s start running frequent campaigns and not wait until the 2018 Holiday Season!
|January 15||Martin Luther King Day|
|February 2||Groundhog Day|
|February 4||Super Bowl Sunday LII|
|February 14||Valentine’s Day|
|February 19||Groundhog Day|
|March 17||St. Patrick’s Day|
|April 1||April Fool’s Day and Easter|
|April 22||Earth Day|
|May 13||Mother’s Day|
|May 29||Memorial Day|
|June 17||Father’s Day|
|July 4||Independence Day|
|September 4||Labor Day, Back to School|
|October 4||National Golf Day|
|October 8||Columbus Day|
|November 11||Veteran’s Day|
|November 22||Thanksgiving Day|
|November 23||Black Friday|
|November 26||Cyber Monday|
|December 11||Green Monday|
|December 16||Free Shipping Day|
|December 26||Boxing Day|
|December 31||New Year’s Eve|
Checklist For Effective Promotions Throughout The Year
Now, you know the key eCommerce dates, here is a quick checklist needed for effective promotions.
- Bookmark This Calendar – Keep this calendar in your desk so that you can have a look at it every day and plan promotional campaigns well ahead.
- Choose Target Audience – It’s crucial to focus on the right audience for all your promotional campaigns. Let’s imagine your eCommerce store is a fashion destination for people of all ages, but what is the point in sending emails to all customers when you are running a promotion on just baby clothes? Segmentation is essential for a profitable eCommerce campaign. After customer segmentation, focus on customers who have the highest probability for conversion so that you can save on campaign expenses.
- Set Specific Goal – For every holiday campaign, plan as to whether you are looking to increase sales or reach out to a wide customer base.
- Plan Promotional Activities to Achieve Goal – Make sure that the promotions you plan are oriented towards achieving specific goals. Have a time limit to create a sense of urgency in the customer’s mind. While your promotions can kindle some excitement, focus on how much ‘value’, such promotions offer to the customer.
- Design Is Important – Ensure that the promotional content you design, matches the seasonal holidays. Every design element should mimic the specific holiday theme.
- Budgets and Measurement parameters – Before every promotion fix a budget. It is wise to allocate a bigger budget for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays than the other holidays. After every campaign, measure the sales and conversion so as to learn and tweak the strategies and improvise in the next campaign.
Seasonal eCommerce Strategies
Let’s break down the months of the year into four key seasons with regard to sales.
Jan – Mar
The first few months of the year are ideal for clearance sale.
Apr – June
eCommerce sales during the summer season, especially July and August, are generally slow . Therefore, promotional campaigns can be conducted between April and June. Back to School campaigns can start as early as June rather than waiting untill September.
July – Oct
Ahead of Halloween on October 31st, execute small promotion campaigns during National Golf Day (Oct 4) and Columbus Day (Oct 8) where the probability of finding new customers is high.
According to the National Retail Federation, eCommerce sales in 2016 crossed $7.5 billion dollars and was estimated to reach $9.1 billion dollars in 2017. Hence, it’s recommended to allocate more budgets for promotional campaigns during the Halloween festival season.
Nov – Dec
Holiday Sales should commence from Black Friday and to be continued through the weekend until Cyber Monday. Green Monday is the ideal time to start the holiday promotions which should continue till the Christmas Holidays.
Our eCommerce calendar and checklist are the right tools, to start the marketing campaigns ahead of your rivals. Make the best use of the 2018 holiday seasons.
Pro Tip: The promotional period is essential to collect crucial customer data and product reviews on the website needed for the organic success of your eCommerce website.