The holidays are just around the corner, and millions of online shoppers are either pre-shopping and planning their online purchases or are already making purchases online. Running an online store site requires an owner or marketing manager to keep track of a lot, especially dates for upcoming holidays and important shopping days on the road to Christmas.
With proper planning and a good strategy, you can get all your holiday promos, coupons, email campaigns and creative done well ahead of time and put your ecommerce site on auto-pilot so you can focus on customer service and sales.
To make life easier we have gathered all of the 2015 holiday shopping dates, these are great opportunities for sales and promos and will (hopefully) give your customers a reason to shop at your online store this holiday season.
Halloween: This is a great holiday, take advantage of the fun imagery with banners. Think about contests, like photo contests for best costumes for people and pets.
Veteran’s Day: An excellent day to say Thanks to Veterans. Think of ways to offer exclusive discounts to military veterans. Site-wide sales are a very popular way to reach a wide audience.
Ready, Set…: This is the lead up to Thanksgiving, with so many retailers trying to capture customers early, the competition starts ramping up on sales, you have to be in it to win it.
Weekend before Thanksgiving: The pre-black Friday Sales are starting and the ubiquitous Door Buster term is being thrown around, get your door buster sales ready.
Thanksgiving Day (Grey Thursday): Black Friday wasn’t good enough, although for there is sometimes a bit of backlash on brick and mortar retailers that make employees work all day, online retailers avoid the scrutiny. Thanksgiving Day is still a great day for online sales, and also a great opportunity for sneak peek emails for Black Friday Deals, never hurts to prime the pump.
Black Friday: Go big or go home, offer something significant. Not only are these holiday sales about making money, they are about getting new customers that can shop year round. Big Box retailers work out deals by purchasing large quantities of certain items from their suppliers, the quantity price breaks off sets the heavy sale price, still leaving you with some meat on the bone for a profit.
Black Friday Weekend: An extension of Black Friday, retailers want to keep the hype up and the wallets opening, giving you a whole weekend to offer door busters and deals. Think about offering a different door buster each day, or flash sale.
Cyber Monday: Traditionally the biggest eCommerce shopping day, retailers offer online only deals to get customers on their websites. Many stores offer merchandise online that are often not inventoried in stores, offering more variety and no lines.
Cyber Week: Why not a whole week of online shopping deals, extending online only deals, cyber week grew just like Black Friday weekend, offering online retailers a bigger opportunity to rake in the cash. There is a lot of internet traffic, if you are sending emails, remember to release in small batches so you don’t get stuck in email purgatory for potential spamming.
Small Business Saturday: Come out and support your local small business, this is an opprotunity to keep your money local and help the small business owners in your area grown their businesses and cash in on the holiday. Being local and online can be an advantage, with Free Store Pick-up or low cost shipping, local shops online can offer convenience and savings.
Green Monday: 10 Days before Christmas, this day turns out to be a huge shopping day online shopping, even more so than Cyber Monday. Think about offering discounts on expedited shipping options like 2nd Day. Many last minute shoppers may may be nervous about delivery dates. If you know you can ship quick and get it there, create call outs on your site that let shoppers know.
Free shipping Day (last chance for guaranteed Christmas & Christmas Eve Delivery): This is an event held for one day when merchants offer free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas eve. Merchants can participate on the official website freeshippingday.com and/or promote it on their own.
This is also another great opportunity to offer discounted 2nd day air delivery as well as free shipping.
Super Saturday: This is the last Saturday before Christmas, and those who haven’t shopped yet are probably getting a bit restless and ready to run out and spend some cash. This is really one of the last times you can capture a sale and ship it with Next Day Air or 2nd Air. But for online retailers who are savvy, you can leverage gift cards which are sent electronically.
1st Day of Winter: We think it’s nice to celebrate with your customers, offer something nice like a free gift card for hot chocolate or a free candy with orders on that day can be fun.
If you do something different, outside of all the discounts and promos that everyone else is doing, it could really resonate with your customers and grown your brand loyalty.
Christmas Eve: Well if they haven’t shopped yet, they are not going to get it in the mail, but gift cards are an easy win. Think about segmenting your email list, and creating a custom email reminder for last minute shoppers (customers who haven’t purchased something in the last few weeks), send a different email to those who have purchased, letting them know about gift cards, maybe a discount too.
Christmas Day: Just because it’s Christmas Day doesn’t mean your out of the game. You guessed it, gift cards. Online gift cards arrive in an inbox like Santa putting goodies in their stocking. Take advantage of your website’s technology, push gift cards to your customers, it’s easy, quick and can get them out of hot seat for not sending a gift. Bonus, the gift-card recipients may be a new life-long customer.
Return’s & Gift Cards: (National Retail Federation is predicting 31.74 billion in gift card sales this holiday season.) If you did sell a lot of gift cards, be ready for people to use them. Also, this is a great way to offer after Christmas sales and move any overstock inventory, try and push up the AOV over the gift card amounts with promos.
New Year’s Eve: Last chance to put money on the books, and New Year’s can be an excellent opportunity for many industries, especially diet, exercise and weight loss, gift cards are still in play and people still have cash gifts burning a hole in their pockets from Christmas and may be looking to spend on after Christmas deals.
Well, there you have it, after this is all done you probably will feel like you ran a marathon, but hopefully you are running to the bank with your windfall of holiday sales cash. Good Luck & Happy Holidays!