With the dawn of a new year comes another year to plan for product releases, discounts and promotions.
Indeed, the world of e-commerce never sleeps. But with so many different holidays, customs and traditions around the world to take note of, which days should you focus on and why? Furthermore, with holidays being declared for virtually everything from the commemorative to the whimsical around the globe, you need a way to be strategic about which holidays to focus your marketing strategies around.
Have you planned your e-commerce holiday marketing calendar for 2019 yet? To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of holidays crucial for any e-commerce marketer or founder to pay attention to and fill their e-commerce marketing calendar for 2019! Click to the respective month below to jump to easily navigate the calendar.
- 1 January: New Year’s Day
A marker of new beginnings, your customers will be all fired up for new beginnings and inspired to work on their goals. An ideal time to kick off some form of 30-day challenge on social media or incorporate a promotion within.
- 21 January: Martin Luther King Jr Day
A holiday in the United States; either use this holiday as an opportunity to engage on social media or push customers to your more socially responsible goods.
- 4-8 February: Tet (Vietnamese New Year)
The most important festival in the Vietnamese calendar, Vietnamese spend this holiday buying new clothes, paying debts and visiting friends and family. Retailers in fashion, food, and groceries should pay attention as customers increasingly turn online to shop for new clothes and stock up on festive treats.
- 5-6 February: Chinese New Year
Another vital date in the Chinese calendar, e-commerce retailers targeting Chinese consumers would be wise to run promotions here. Transactions are mobile-driven and the retailer who is mobile-optimized will reap benefits here.
On the logistics front, also note that logistics and order processing in China will slow down during this festive period – sometimes for weeks on end. Make alternative supply plans if your e-commerce suppliers are based in China.
- 5-8 February: Korean New Year
With Korea also preparing to visit friends and family, another key date to note if Korea is in your customer list.
- 14 February: Valentine’s Day
Traditionally a celebration of love and romance, Valentine’s Day is an obvious choice if you are targeting couples and families. Encourage your audience to celebrate friendships, parental love, and other meaningful relationships too.
- 8 March: International Women’s Day
Vital for any retailer focusing on women, showcase your brand story or run a charity based campaign to support women in need around the world.
- 14 March: White Day
In Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, women celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving chocolate or handmade gifts to their male partners and friends. A month later on White Day, it’s the men’s turn to reciprocate for the women in their life. Focus on personalized, customized gifts in Southeast Asia here.
- 17 March: Saint Patrick’s Day
Marking the death of Saint Patrick, European and Irish-based businesses should focus on green colored items, anything relevant to Ireland, shamrocks and even Guinness. Also, feature the lucky number 7 in promotions.
- 20-21 March: Holi Festival
The traditional Hindu festival of colors celebrating love, the triumph of good against evil and the start of spring, skincare products, apparel, clothing, and jewelry are especially popular here.
- 1 March: April Fool’s Day
Here, people in the Western world expect to be pranked. Showcase your brand’s humor; insert a cheeky hashtag on social media, film a fun video to drive awareness and engagement.
- 21 April: Easter Day
Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday commemorate the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Next to Christmas, it’s one of the most important holidays on the Christian calendar. Look at preparing a spring sale, Easter egg promotion or something related to home goods.
- 22 April: Earth Day
Eco-friendly and retailers who focus on sustainable goods pay attention here. Showcase your brand’s story here, highlight how your products support the environment and promote sustainability efforts.
- 12 May: Mother’s Day
Did you know Mother’s Day is the third largest retail holiday in the U.S? Greeting cards, flowers, and even special dinners top the list of planned purchases. It may be worthwhile to take a more reflective, heart-warming approach in your marketing campaigns. Note that Mother’s Day is celebrated on different days for different countries, so do your research while planning your efforts.
- 27 May: Memorial Day (US)
A holiday in the United States, Memorial Day remembers the people who perished serving in the country’s armed forces. For consumers, Memorial Day kicks off the summer spending season. they expect steep discounts and look forward to doing the bulk of their summer holiday spending or travel plans here. Have an interactive campaign planned to capture a slice of that awareness and foster engagement
- 5 June: Hari Raya Puasa / Eid
Marking the end of Ramadan, this is one of the most important sales periods for retailers targeting the Muslim population. Consumers will actively purchase gifts, apparel, electronics, and decorative items to prepare for the Hari Raya season.
As Muslims across the globe prepare to go back to their hometowns to visit friends and family, expect searches and sales for baby car seats, car maintenance packages or even travel deals to rise.
- 16 June: Father’s Day
The companion shopping holiday to Mother’s Day, take advantage of this holiday to look at deals on menswear and electronics. Likewise, different countries around the globe celebrate Father’s day on different days, so check your target markets before planning your respective campaigns.
- 21 June: International Yoga Day
If you sell products in the yoga, wellness or activewear space, don’t forget this holiday!
- 1 July / 4 July: Canada Day & US Independence Day
July 1st and July 4th is a proud day for all Canadians and Americans respectively – they take the weekend off and spend time with friends and family. Retailers can take advantage by promoting products people want to use during the long weekend. Showcase your patriotism here!
- Somewhere in July: Amazon Prime Day
If you’re holding an Amazon Prime membership or sell or Amazon, keep a lookout for Amazon’s 36-hour shopping bonanza. Expect big discounts and deals on Amazon! For online retailers, Amazon Prime Day has turned into a new online shopping holiday and consumers will be looking out for deals across the Internet.
- 9 August: National Day (Singapore)
Likewise, 2019’s National Day falls on a Friday – making it one of the long weekends in Singapore. Singaporean-based businesses will do well to showcase their patriotism here. Retailers in the travel industry might want to take note here as Singaporeans might be up for a short trip here.
- 11 August: Hari Raya Haji
Marking the end of the Hajj; the annual Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, Haji has a more spiritual focus compared to Puasa, but you can still expect to see tables lined with traditional foods in Muslim homes. Likewise, retailers targeting Muslim populations should take note of this holiday.
- 21 September: Oktoberfest
A massive 16-18 day beer and folk festival happening in Munich, if you can picture your customers having a nice brew to relax and have fun, create content around lighter themes, play dress-up and of course, lots of beer.
- 14 October: Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
October marks the start of the festive peak season where orders and customer service requests traditionally ramp up over the next few months.
Thanksgiving in Canada is a family holiday where families give thanks for the past year and have a special meal together. Don’t be afraid to thank your customers for supporting your business or even share a personal story here.
- 27 October: Deepavali
One of India’s most popular holidays, this is also the biggest shopping season for Indian households as they prepare to spend on lights, presents and festival ornaments. Expect abrupt surges in orders and spending here especially if you cater to a primarily Indian market. It’s common for retailers like Amazon and Flipkart to organize multi-day sale campaigns.
- 31 October: Halloween
Bring on the Halloween-themed decorations and promotions! Unsurprisingly, costumes, candy, decorations, and greeting cards did exceptionally well here. Take the opportunity to do a switch in store decor and branding, add in seasonal items or add in a community-driven event around trick-or-treating.
- 11 November: Singles Day (China)
Singles Day in China is one of the biggest e-commerce days in China where everyone, regardless of their relationship status buys themselves gifts. Turned into a massive online shopping festival by Chinese retailer Alibaba in 2009, it’s now the world’s largest online shopping festival; outstripping the results of traditional Western holidays like Amazon Prime, Cyber Monday and Black Friday
- 28 November: US Thanksgiving
Celebrated in the US, this day is a good time to stop and think about what you already have. Why not extend that to your customers too?
Towards the lead up to the festive season, prepare your shops for advent calendars, Christmas gifts and holiday decorations. Now will also be a great time to start showing off your holiday offers and personalized products.
- 29 November: Black Friday
Another key date in the e-commerce calendar, you simply cannot miss this one as your customers will be out looking for fantastic deals and bargains! Prepare your marketing campaigns early!
- 2 December: Cyber Monday
The shopping frenzy of Black Friday continues into Cyber Monday – the Monday after Black Friday. Retailers may offer higher discounts than Black Friday and your customers might shop more.
- 17 December: Free Shipping Day
In a bid to extend the online shopping season, thousands of online shops worldwide collectively offer free shipping for this one day only. They usually also promise customers that they’ll get their orders to them by Christmas. With free shipping being a popular incentive to get customers to shop online, run a special promotion to entice the wave of last-minute shopping still trying to obtain Christmas gifts.
- 24-25 December: Christmas Eve / Day
As a significant religious and cultural holiday for people all over the world, base your marketing around family themes or strive to evoke heart-warming emotion. Or simply look at reflecting on the year past as things wind down for the end of year festive period. You could also show off a lighter side of your company culture or send Christmas greetings to your customers.
- 26 December: Boxing Day
As an extension of the Christmas sales, Boxing Day sales usually start around this time and can continue into January. Take the opportunity to unload unsold stock at bargain prices to attract bargain-hunters and win back customers with great deals!
- 31 December: New Year’s Eve
The last day of the year involves social gatherings, watching fireworks and feasting. It’s also a good time to start preparing for new year promotions as people wind down and contemplate the year past. Prepare your shop for themes revolving around new beginnings, losing weight or highlight end-of-year seasonal sales.
Plan your e-commerce holiday marketing calendar in 2019 today
With over 30 dates for you to plan holiday marketing programs and special promotions around, you have plenty of opportunities ahead to grow your brand awareness and drive lead generation for your online shop in 2019. Get creative by playing around with your brand voice and injecting fun where appropriate to show off your brand personality.
Did we miss a holiday on this list? Please let us know by reaching us on Twitter. @parcelperform.
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Joshua is the Marketing Manager at Parcel Perform. He loves technology and a good book. Outside of e-commerce and Parcel Perform, you can find him in the kitchen, gym or yoga studio.