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Holiday Calendar 101 – Dates and Themes You Need to Know

Posted In Business - By Techtiplib on Monday, October 20th, 2014 With No Comments »

Having a holiday sales strategy is important for online sellers, however developing a more in-depth strategy that focuses on each unique holiday can result in much higher sales numbers.

The holiday shopping season, beginning in late October and lasting until early January, is composed of three major holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In addition to the “big 3”, a few e-commerce related days have gained popularity over the years, including: Boxing Day (December 26), Free Shipping Day (December 18) and Super Saturday (December 20). Recommended reading 12 Top Tips for Online Sellers 2014.

Here’s what you need to know in order to fully leverage each holiday and increase your sales this year:

Halloween – October 31

Did you know that 40% of shoppers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween?

This holiday is all about candy, parties, greeting cards, and most of all costumes. If you thought that you should be ignoring this holiday, you should think again. The National Retail Federation (NRF) is estimating record breaking sales in 2014, with an expected $7.4 billion in total spending. Included in this amount is an estimated $2.8 billion in costumes sales, of which 40% is children’s costumes and 60% is adult.

The NRF also conducted surveys to find out what the top children’s costumes will be this year, and found that cinema blockbusters Frozen and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will have a major impact in 2014. The top movie costumes will be: Frozen (2.6 million), Spiderman (2.6 million) and TMNT (1.8 million), while other popular costumes will be princess (3.4 million) and animal costumes (3 million). 

Thanksgiving – November 27

This holiday is all about giving, and not paying attention to it may result in you giving up sales! Popular items during the holiday include themed kitchen and household accessories, and lawn & garden, but the major things to look out for as an e-tailer are Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

With Cyber Monday (December 1) now the largest online spending day of the year, and Black Friday (November 28) the 2nd largest, these two important days deserve an entire post of their own… which is why we have one planned for next week! Make sure to subscribe to our 2014 Essential Holiday Guide, or keep an eye on our blog for our next post. 

Christmas – December 25

One of the most popular holidays of the year, for online sellers Christmas = $$. While some sellers focus only on the US market, this major holiday is popular around the world and results in amazing online sales in other global markets including Canada, the UK and Australia.

You’ll want to focus on three major groups when developing your Christmas sales strategy:

  • Early Birds – these are shoppers who buy gifts months in advance and sit back while the remaining shoppers scramble to find the best deals. 40% of shoppers begin shopping before November; make sure to have your inventory and online store ready so you don’t miss out on this group.
  • Last Minute Shoppers – having forgotten all about the holiday season, these shoppers are less picky and may be willing to buy “whatever they can get”. In fact, surveys show that up to 1 in 5 men don’t buy presents until Christmas Eve! As a seller, this is your chance to off-load some unsold inventory and less popular items.
  • Post-Holiday Shoppers – these shoppers are either looking to take advantage of huge sales due to unsold products, or eagerly want to spend some of that holiday cash they received as presents. Don’t think that all that holiday food will leave people sleeping – Experian Hitwise, a web analytics company, shows that UK retailers saw over 129m website visits on “Boxing Day” 2013 (the day after Christmas). Make sure to retain some inventory and perhaps even launch a “post-Christmas” sale to take advantage of this group.

And if you’re still not certain about the impact of organized e-mail and social media campaigns on boosting holiday sales, here’s an interesting infographic:

Holiday Calendar

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