Table of Contents
- Q2 Holidays
- Q3 Holidays
- Q4 Holidays
- Q1 Holidays
The holiday season is a time to celebrate all things; family, friends, national and cultural traditions, religious ceremonies, and – for brands – huge sales! Between gift-driven incentives and promotions galore, for most eCommerce stores, Q4 brings in more conversions than any other time of year. If you ask us, the holidays are the perfect time to build your brand, boost awareness among new audiences, and accumulate large amongst of revenue with super-sweet promotions inspired by the season of giving!
Brands that take advantage of the holidays to boost revenue through seasonal promos often see the greatest returns on their efforts. But the success your business experiences during the holiday season doesn’t have to taper off with the end of Q4. Keep the celebration (and sales) going throughout all four quarters with a year-round holiday marketing strategy!
In the world of eCommerce, the height of the holiday season (Q4) experiences the most hype. But your brand should not ignore the many other opportunities to take advantage of other holidays throughout the year.
Now that we are well into Q1, it’s time to turn up the heat! For eComm stores looking to whip up holiday campaigns that are chef’s kiss, here is the ultimate 2023-2024 holiday calendar. For a little something extra sweet, we’ll let you in on our secret recipe for making sweet holiday sales!
Easter (April 9th)
From Easter basket goodies to new spring collections, April welcomes spring fever amongst shoppers, presenting a plethora of opportunities for eCommerce brands to make the first sales of the spring season! Because Easter is such a family-oriented holiday, target your audience accordingly. Piggyback your marketing efforts off of Easter themes like bunnies, egg hunts, Sunday family dinners, and the celebration of the arrival of springtime. Plan your promotions around new spring collections your brand may be dropping, or offer customers a special discount on Easter weekend to kick off the season.
Bonus tip: If you haven’t already stocked your summer inventory, now is the time to start. Before you know it, summer will be in full swing. So get your ducks (or chicks) in a row!
Earth Day (April 22nd)
Now more than ever, shoppers are buying from brands that promote sustainable production and shipping methods over those that let environmentalism take a back seat. In fact, 66% of shoppers actively seek out sustainable brands, and 80% of U.S. consumers consider sustainability when making some purchases.
If your brand needs an eco-friendly makeover, Earth Day is a great day to start! While this may seem like a major undertaking (and it can be), there are some changes you can make that can help your brand ease into more sustainable practices. For starters, introduce sustainable packaging to your online store. You can even make this part of a promotion by offering shoppers free, eco-friendly (bio-degradable or recyclable) gift wrapping or packaging with every purchase. You could even donate a percentage of your April and Earth Day proceeds to an environmental foundation like PETA, OCEANA, or environmental another cause that aligns with your brand and consumer values.
Your brand could also support environmental efforts through a more hands-on, eco-friendly cause like beach cleanups or planting trees in your local community – this is an especially effective effort for localized, small businesses. Be sure to leverage your social media to show off your brand’s green thumb. Or, run a charitable promotion like, “For every $50 you spend, we’ll plant one tree.”
However your brand chooses to go green this Earth Day, down-to-earth efforts and promos are sure to drive sales among the growing pool of sustainably-motivated shoppers.
Cinco de Mayo (May 5th)
As of 2021, nearly 60% of the United States’ Hispanic population were people of Mexican origin. As a melting pot (or mixing bowl) of people, cultures, religions, and heritages from around the world, the U.S. is an incredibly diverse and vibrant place. Brands should not only acknowledge but take advantage of this by celebrating shoppers of all cultures and backgrounds – and Cinco de Mayo is a top-tier opportunity to do so.
A holiday dedicated to celebrating our neighbor’s (Mexico’s) independence, much of the United States population partakes in this momentous day. Take to your social channels to partake in the celebration to show your support for our country’s diverse population. Just remember to do so respectfully. You could even use this as an educational opportunity to engage with your followers and share information about Cinco de Mayo.
Mother’s Day (May 14th) and Father’s Day (June 18th)
Mother’s Day was one of the biggest sale days for eCommerce brands in 2022, with consumers spending a record 31 billion dollars. What can we say; we love our moms! So, how can your brand share in a slice of this multi-billion dollar pie? Gift guides for moms and dads are an absolute must.
First, curate collections just for moms and dads. Then, create shareable content around these “Gifts for Moms” and “Gifts for Dads” with Mother’s and Father’s Day gift guides. To incentive purchases further, feature discounts on your picks and highlight these Mother’s and Father’s Day promos on your social channels, mailing lists, and throughout your site. You could even curate a Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gift basket or bundle for something a little extra sweet.
Memorial Day (May 29th)
Finally, summer has arrived! Memorial Day marks the beginning of the “fun in the sun.” So, why not kick off the summer season with a sale? Offer discounts on all your summer must-haves or run a Memorial Day weekend flash sale for all the shoppers looking to stock up on seasonal essentials before their long weekend getaway. With the arrival of summer, shoppers are sure to be in good spirits – use this to your advantage!
Independence Day (July 4th)
What better way to celebrate independence than with a little something free? Offer your shoppers a free(dom) gift with purchase to earn loyalty and boost customer satisfaction. If you’re planning to run an Independence Day sale, leverage the all-American 4th of July pastimes like backyard BBQs, pool parties, beach cookouts, and firework displays in your campaigns. Not only are you connecting and resonating with a very large target audience, but you’ll generate excitement and anticipation about your sale. Plus, people will already be looking for any reason to celebrate, so why not give them something extra to toast to?
Back-to-School Season (August-September)
While the back-to-school season isn’t necessarily a “celebration” (except for parents!), the end of summer is another opportunity to bring customers to your site. Leverage your brand’s blog and school-year-related products to create a back-to-school shopping guide for parents – this will ultimately boost site traffic and encourage conversions.
If your target audience or buyer persona just so happens to be “parents” or “middle-aged” adults with children, play up the aspect of parents getting more time to themselves. Something like, “With your little ones back in school, treat yourself to “X” with 25% off!” or even, “Now that you have some downtime, browse our new arrivals made for moms.”
If your brand happens to sell something like kid’s clothing, market to parents for back-to-school shopping with messaging like, “Refresh your child’s wardrobe for the school year with trending kid’s styles!” Run a back-to-school sale and launch campaigns that incentivize purchases for the school year.
Labor Day (September 4th)
Labor Day marks the ever-dreaded end of summer. The best way to say goodbye to the warm weather and season of sunshine is with an end-of-summer sale. Leverage Labor Day weekend to clear out your remaining summer inventory with a flash sale. Your end-of-summer sale should offer steep discounts to really drive purchases, especially since you’ll likely be offering price markdowns on products that are no longer in season.
This is also a good time to announce your fall collections. Get the word out to your mailing list with a special message giving them first dibs on new fall drops! You could even feature a social promotion on seasonal new arrivals to maximize reach and get audiences excited to shop for the fall season.
With autumn just around the corner, now is also the time to start preparing for the icing on the cake: the Q4 holiday season! This is the big one, so be sure to get your seasonal inventory stocked and holiday promotions planned early. While you don’t necessarily have to start running your holiday promos now, it’s a good idea to get your campaigns ready for launch so you have more time to worry about the details when the season is in full swing. The more prepared you are for the big holidays, the more dollar signs you’ll see.
Halloween (October 31st)
By now, you should be getting shoppers in the (spooky) spirit for autumn and the upcoming holiday shopping season! Even if your brand doesn’t sell Halloween-related products, you can use this holiday as a good “checkpoint.” Your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns, for example, should be live. Don’t leave optimizing your checkout process and any last-minute fixes to the eleventh hour – get ahead of the holiday rush and make these optimizations and fixes now. The end of October is also a good time to start preparing (or even finalizing) your December holiday marketing strategies.
Black Friday (November 24th) and Cyber Monday (November 27th)
Want a taste of our secret recipe for making sweet Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales? As we’ve said, the key to mastering the holidays is to start running your campaigns early (even as early as September). We recommend running your promotions through email, SMS, and social media. Then, use retargeting campaigns to remind shoppers about your upcoming discounts and special offers. So, by the time Black Friday and Cyber Monday arrive, you can kick your feet up, relax, and watch the sales roll in!
Most consumers check holiday shopping off their to-do list during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when sales are hot and stores are stocked with seasonal collections. But don’t forget about last-minute holiday shoppers – they’re out there, and they’re hungry for a sale. Offer these audiences a “last chance” opportunity to get a discount on their holiday gifts. Trust us, they won’t refuse.
Pro tip: Make your holiday marketing strategy inclusive to maximize reach.
New Years (January 1st)
3…2…1, Happy New Year! Just like that, it will be 2024. Start Q1 right with a special offer to thank your loyal customers for another successful year in the cookbooks. Running a New Year’s sale can help your brand clear out leftover seasonal and holiday inventory. Going with the theme, this is also a great time to drop new collections to get shoppers excited about your brand and the new year!
New Years is a good time to refresh your inventory for Q1. Restock on customer favorites and best-sellers, butter up your winter collections, and start whipping up your marketing strategy for 2024 (if you haven’t already.)
MLK Day (January 15th) and Black History Month (February)
There’s no better way to celebrate Martin Luther King Day than with a few creative ideas to honor Black History Month and black leaders. Whether your brand partners with a black-owned business donates a percentage of monthly proceeds to a black organization, or hosts an event with a black speaker, make it a priority to respectfully celebrate this holiday. Not only will your efforts resonate with customers, but they could also make a difference.
And, of course, be sure to promote your Black History Month efforts on your social channel to maximize awareness and show shoppers you support this momentous month.
Valentine’s Day (February 14th)
Even if your brand doesn’t sell the “traditional” Valentine’s Day gifts like flowers and chocolates, you can still find ways to leverage the season of love to your advantage. All you need is a dash of creativity! After all, not everyone will be celebrating romantically – some plan to live it up with a girls’ night out for Galentine’s while others will be embracing “self-love” with a little self-care. Target these audiences with a little love! For example, if you’re a skincare brand, encourage shoppers to show themselves (and their skin) some love with a self-care night (with a little help from your products!). Or, if you’re a clothing brand, hype up the single ladies out there with the perfect Galentine’s night out looks.
You can’t go wrong with a Valentine’s Day gift guide featuring unique and non-traditional V-Day gifts for him, her, moms, dads, babies and toddlers, grandparents, friends, partners, and more. Just target your buyer persona, and success is in the piping bag! If you run a Valentine’s Day sale, offer discounts on the collections featured in your gift guide.
President’s Day (February 19th)
President’s Day marks another seasonal transition. Say goodbye to the winter blues and get your brand (and customers) back into the spirit of spring! We recommend launching a simple President’s Day sale to clear out your remaining winter inventory. Now is also a good time to introduce your new spring collections just in time for spring break shoppers.
Women’s History Month (March)
Show the women who shop with your brand a little extra love and support. Leveraging Women’s History Month is a super sweet way to reach, resonate, and empower your customers. Show them your company is here to make a difference by celebrating Women’s History Month with content – like blogs and social posts – promoting women’s rights or hosting an event with a female speaker. You could even donate a percentage of your monthly proceeds to a women’s organization or non-profit.
The Secret Ingredient to Successful Year-Round Holiday Marketing Efforts Year? CakeCommerce!
Building your brand year-round isn’t a cakewalk. But when you partner with an expert eComm digital marketing team like CakeCommerce, the holidays are a piece of cake. To learn more about our services, contact our super sweet team.