Holidays – and the “holiday season” (Q4) itself – produce a spike in sales for eCommerce stores. Brands that take advantage of the opportunities holidays present to boost revenue through seasonal promotions often see the greatest returns on their efforts. But for eComm brands that are new to the holiday game, the first step to a top-tier holiday marketing strategy is to mark your annual calendar with dates that see the highest sales throughout the four quarters.
Now that we are in Q2, 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 2022-2023 holiday calendar. For a little something extra sweet, we’ll let you in on a chef’s secret: when to start running your holiday sales!
Easter (April 17th)
From Easter basket goodies to new spring collections, April welcomes spring fever amongst shoppers and presents many opportunities for eComm brands to make sales. Because Easter is a very family-forward holiday, target your audience accordingly and play on Easter themes like bunnies, egg hunts, Sunday family dinner, and springtime. Plan your promotion around any new spring collections your brand is featuring, or offer customers a special discount on Easter weekend to kick off the season!
If you haven’t already stocked your summer inventory, now is a good 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 care about sustainability – especially when it comes to the brands they buy from. As of 2020, ⅔ of North American shoppers prefer to buy from brands that are making more sustainable efforts to produce, package, and distribute their products. If your business needs an eco-friendly makeover, Earth Day is a great day to start!
For Earth Day 2022, 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 or OCEANA.
Want to go the extra mile? Have your team volunteer on Earth Day for an eco-friendly cause like beach cleanups or planting trees in the local community. 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 plant one tree.”
However your brand chooses to go green, down-to-earth efforts and promos are sure to drive sales this April 22nd.
Mother’s Day (May 8th) & Father’s Day (June 19th)
Mother’s Day is projected to be one of the biggest sale days for eCommerce brands in 2022, with an expected spend of $26 million. What can we say; we love our moms! So, how can your brand share in a slice of this multi-million dollar pie? Gift guides for moms and dads are an absolute must.
Feature discounts on your “Gifts for Moms,” and “Gifts for Dads” collections, or offer a free gift with purchase and gift wrapping with these products. You could even curate a Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gift basket or bundle.
Memorial Day (May 30th)
Finally, summer has arrived! Memorial Day marks the beginning of 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.
Independence Day (July 4th)
What better way to celebrate freedom than with a sale? Offer a free(dom) gift with purchase to patriotic shoppers to earn loyalty and boost satisfaction. If you’re planning to run an Independence Day sale, leverage 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.
Back to School (August-September)
While back to school isn’t necessarily a “holiday” (except for parents!), the end of summer is another opportunity to bring customers to your site. Leverage your brand’s blog and products to create a back-to-school shopping guide for parents to boost site traffic and encourage conversions.
If your target audience or buyer persona happens to be “parents” or “middle-aged” adults, play up the aspect of parents getting more time to themselves. For example, if your brand sells skincare, market to moms during this period with messaging like, “Now that you have some downtime, take a moment for a little self-care.”
Or, if your brand sells 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 5th)
The official end to summer, say goodbye to the warm weather and season of sunshine with an end-of-summer sale. Leverage a Labor Day weekend sale to clear out your remaining summer inventory. It should offer steep discounts to really drive purchases.
This is also a good time to drop 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.
With fall just around the corner, now is 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. Getting a jump on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale campaigns isn’t a bad idea, either. The more prepared you are for the big holidays, the more dollar signs you’ll see.
Halloween (October 30th)
Get shoppers in the “spirit” for fall, Halloween, and the upcoming holiday shopping season. This holiday is a good checkpoint, even if your brand doesn’t sell Halloween-related products. By now, your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns should be live. Don’t leave optimizing your checkout process and any last-minute fixes to the eleventh hour. Now is also a good time to prepare your December holiday marketing strategies.
Black Friday (November 25th) & Cyber Monday (November 28th)
Want to know our secret recipe for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales? As we’ve said, the key to these 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 roll around, you can kick your feet up, relax, and watch the sales roll in!
December Holidays: Christmas (December 25th), Hanukkah (December 18th-26th), Kwanza (December 26th-January 1st), and more!
Most shoppers check holiday shopping off their to-do list during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when sales are hot and inventory is stocked. But don’t forget about last-minute holiday shoppers! Offer these audiences a “last chance” opportunity to get a discount on their holiday gifts. 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’s 2023. Start the new year right with a sale to thank your loyal customers for another successful year in the cookbooks. Running a New Year’s sale can help your brand clear out any leftover 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.
Also refresh your inventory for the new year. Restock on customer favorites and bestsellers, butter up your winter collections, and start whipping up your marketing strategy for 2023 if you haven’t already.
MLK Day (January 16th) & Black History Month (February)
There’s no better way to celebrate Martin Luther King Day than with our 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.
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 this holiday. All you need is a dash of creativity!
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 21st)
It’s time for 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 your brand some love. This is a great 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 (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 to a Successful Year? CAKE!
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.