Q4 Dates and Holidays that Ecommerce Managers and Retailers Should Know

Posted by | October 13, 2016 Events | No Comments
cyber monday

Throughout the calendar year, most every retail and ecommerce business expects to devote a certain number of days each month to promotions. But how far out you plan, and how you decide when a discount or sale will be most effective, is more than just selecting a day or established holiday. In reality, it takes a data-centric strategy to be successful. With Q4 upon us, we’re taking a look at the rest of the year with a keen understanding of when most promotions are put into play, and why each particular occasion typically drives revenue.

The following dates, holidays, and events are worth noting, if not incorporating, into your promotional plans. Want a long-tail view? Download our new promotion planner template to plot out your promotions for 2017, and use the chart to compare your plans to this year’s efforts.

Dates and Holidays To Know In September

Labor Day – September 4

From outdoor grilling to back-to-school, and even last-minute summer vacations, there are a lot of ways Labor Day drives revenue and sales. Parents spend, on average, $674 per child for back-to-school expenses, and up to $899 for college students. All this spending added up to $68 billion last year!

Other Events and Important Dates

First Day of Fall (9/22), Rosh Hashanah (9/20)  and Yom Kippur (9/29)

Fun and Interesting Holidays

World beard day (9/3), Literacy day (9/8), Talk like a pirate day (9/19), and comic book day (9/25).

Dates and Holidays To Know In October

Thanksgiving (Canada) – October 9

On the second month in October, Canada celebrates its version of Thanksgiving. Similar in nature to Thanksgiving in the U.S., this holiday is a large sales driver for our neighbors to the north, but not quite to the same extent as it is in the states.

Columbus Day – October 10

Columbus Day is the last major U.S. holiday before “the” holidays roll in, and with it comes a variety of sales and promotions.

Halloween – October 31

Candy, ghosts, and decorations galore, Halloween is about a lot more than fun for kids. The commercialized holiday makes it easy to create interesting and creative campaigns to drive revenue.

Fun and Interesting Holidays

October is Pizza Month, Taco Day (10/4), Back to the Future Day (10/21), and Cat Day (10/29).

Dates and Holidays To Know In November

Veteran’s Day – November 10

Although an important holiday because we honor those who have served our country, Veteran’s Day also marks a time for sales. From cars to clothing, businesses often offer special discounts for member of our military and extend similar offers to all consumers.

Thanksgiving – November 23

Thanksgiving day itself is not a huge sales driver, although some brick-and-mortar stores have begun opening before Black Friday officially begins to get a jump on sales. Most retailers are closed, and ecommerce stores are prepping for one of the largest sales day of the year.

Black Friday – November 24

Considered to be the largest revenue-driving day of the year, Black Friday is traditionally when retailers and ecommerce brands offer the best deals and discounts, often starting with doorbusters. For ecommerce brands, these deals often stretch between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday – November 27

Traditionally, Black Friday is the biggest sales day of the year for retailers, so ecommerce brands thought they’d stand out and continue on with the deals. Though sites like Amazon will stretch their deals out for a week or more, many brands will compete for inbox space, ad dollars, and onsite promotions to capture the money grab that falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Other Events and Important Dates

Single’s Day (11/11)

Fun and Interesting Holidays

Mickey Mouse Day (11/18), Small Business Saturday (11/26), and Giving Tuesday (11/29).

Dates and Holidays To Know In December

Green Monday – December 12

Typically the second Monday or at least 10 days prior to Christmas, this promotional day is considered to be the highest revenue-driving day in December. Similar to Cyber Monday, Green Monday historically drives more than $1.4 billion in U.S. spending.

Hanukkah – December 12

Hanukkah is traditionally not one of the more important Jewish holidays; however, over the years it has become more commercialized. The holiday lasts eight days, with small gifts given on each. Of late, it is becoming more common to give fewer, larger gifts, more in line with the Christmas holiday gift-giving tradition.

Super Saturday – December 23

Super Saturday is the last Saturday before Christmas, and marks one of the last shopping days before the holiday hits. As Christmas falls on different days of the year, this is considered a floating promotional period and changes along with the holiday.

Christmas Eve – December 24

Shoppers are down to the wire on Christmas Eve, and unless there are same-day shipping options, consumers are more likely to spend their dollars at a brick-and-mortar store or on gift cards/digital gifts.

Christmas – December 25

Christmas promotional periods last more than a single day, and each year the starting line gets earlier and earlier. On Christmas Day, most retail stores are closed, and shopping online is done well in advance or on Boxing Day.

Boxing Day – December 26

Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, is typically a large promotional shopping day for Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. In these locations it’s often considered their in-store version of the U.S.’ Black Friday, and it is also notably the day brands and retailers see the most returns. (Guess they should have been given coal after all.)

New Year’s Eve – December 31

New Year’s Eve marks the end of Q4, a busy holiday season, and the final push to get excess inventory out of the warehouse. Time to use those gift cards!

Other Events and Important Dates

First Day of Winter (12/12), Double 12 (12/12), Kwanzaa (12/26)

Fun and Interesting Holidays

Cookie Day (12/4), Free Shipping Day (12/16), Festivus (12/23), and Bacon Day (12/30).

Planning For The Year Ahead

Throughout the year there are countless opportunities to create promotions; however, brands and retailers need to be strategic. Having too many promotions within a calendar month can create negative buying habits, encouraging consumers to only make purchases during sales. By looking at least three months out, ecommerce brands can identify when a promotion should fall, whether it makes sense for the business, and if it will have a positive impact on their KPIs.

About Elliot Volkman

Elliot is Blue Acorn's Digital Marketing Manager. He hold a master's degree in communication from Gonzaga, and has several awards for journalism and digital marketing. In his spare time he likes to brew beer and contribute to the digital world through his non-profit, Digital District.

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