The most important ecommerce dates of 2018

You survived BFCM and the entire month of December. The presents made it under the tree. Everyone got their coveted NYE outfit just in time.

Even though it might feel like we just finished wrapping up the chaotic 2017 holiday shopping season, it’s never too early to get a jump on the year ahead — and that means thinking about your sales and promotions for 2018.

With that, here are the most important ecommerce dates for the coming year, so you can beat your competition and keep your business thriving.

Valentine’s Day (February 14)

Whether you like it or not, Valentine’s Day is a multi-billion dollar holiday celebrated by over 50% of consumers. Jewelry sales alone reach almost $5 billion. What can you do to add a little romance to your sales and promotions?

When planning your campaigns for Valentine’s Day, it’s important to remember that couples aren’t the only ones celebrating. See if you can offer something for the singles in the crowd. After all, almost 50% of American adults are single. It’s not uncommon for singles to celebrate with family, friends, or even themselves.

Earth Day (April 22)

Earth Day isn’t just for taking out the recycling or powering down for an hour before binge-watching Planet Earth. April 22nd is an opportunity for environmentally-minded people and retailers to think about their impact on the planet and brainstorm paths for a more eco-friendly lifestyle or business model.

Even if you don’t trade in solar-powered lamps, organic cleaning supplies, or reusable wax food wrap, you can still use Earth Day to showcase what your business is doing to tread lighter on the planet.

More and more consumers are saying that sustainability is something they consider when shopping. Over 65% of consumers are willing to spend more on products from businesses that are committed to environmental and social causes. This is an opportunity to attract new, like-minded, and potentially lifelong customers.

Mother’s Day (May 13)

The second Sunday in May is a day for showing our moms how much we appreciate them and their selfless acts of love, from hemming our curtains to baking our favourite blueberry muffins, and everything in between.

Canadian shoppers spend an average of $76 on Mother’s Day gifts. With most shopping done immediately before the holiday, it’s important to keep deals going right up to the big date. Additionally, shoppers could be more willing to splurge on next-day delivery if they see a good deal on the initial product purchase.

Your sale might just be the saving grace for that procrastinating child or spouse.

Father’s Day (June 17)

After age six, it’s no longer acceptable to gift your dad a tie made of manila tag coloured with crayon, especially after that time he totally had your back when you crashed the car.

Last year, Father’s Day spending was expected to land in the $15 billion range, with 33% of that taking place online. You can be sure estimations for both figures will be even higher this year.

Back-to-School (August 1 thru Labour Day)

For those who’ve left the semester system behind — or who don’t have kids of their own — it’s easy to forget that back-to-school shopping is a thing. And with billions of dollars up for grabs, we don’t want you to forget about it.

Most back-to-school consumers start their shopping three weeks to a month before school starts. Make sure your promotions appeal to parents and students alike. Students will be looking for the most fashionable items and buzzworthy gadgets, and parents the best deals.

Thanksgiving Day (November 22)

American retailers saw an 18% increase in spending this Thanksgiving, with online shoppers spending just shy of $3 billion. While you might find yourself swaying exclusively toward BFCM deals, don’t forget the millions of shoppers eager to spend on the holiday itself.

With many people celebrating Thanksgiving in non-traditional ways, such as Friendsgiving, there’s no reason for you to stay strictly within the classical confines of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales dates.

Black Friday (November 23)

Black Friday saw conversions surge by 17% in 2017, with consumers spending approximately $5 billion. That is… a lot of money.

These days, consumers are less and less willing to roll the dice on being stampeded in a Best Buy lineup, and more and more inclined to shop from the comfort and safety of their couch. In fact, BFCM 2018 saw 58 million people choosing to shop online, while 51 million people shopped in store.

Cyber Monday (November 26)

This is the day! Cyber Monday is the finale of the suite of November sales. In 2017, Cyber Monday sales increased by 17% over the previous year, making 2017 the biggest year in Cyber Monday history. Hopefully you were part of the record $6.6 billion spent — and if not, there’s always this year.

December

Maybe clumping December together feels like a bit of a cop out, but your business should be on its toes all month. While daily sales likely won’t compete with those chart-topping BFCM days, there are several important shopping dates throughout the month that boast exceptionally high online sales:

Green Monday (December 11)

The second Monday in December, Green Monday was originally coined by eBay as a way to advertise their biggest sales day of the month. Other retailers have followed suit and co-opted it as the last day for shoppers to buy and guarantee their gifts will arrive in time for the holidays.

Free Shipping Day (December 15)

Did you know 47% of online shoppers cite free shipping as the most important checkout option? Free Shipping Day is an excellent opportunity for you to entice holiday shoppers, and a great way for your customers to avoid busy lines and expensive shipping fees. Sounds like a win-win for everybody!

Super Saturday (December 22)

Super Saturday, sometimes called Panic Saturday, is the last Saturday before Christmas and a chance for procrasti-shoppers to get in some last-minute shopping. Super Saturday draws in over 150 million consumers panicking to find the perfect gift. This one-day sale aims to outsell any other day of December shopping.

Boxing Day (December 26)

A classic for many members of the Commonwealth, Boxing Day has a long and storied history in brick and mortar retail stores, but many consumers have come to expect online sales as well. In the notoriously slow post-Christmas haze, a sale or ad campaign can never hurt!

Final thoughts

While these aren’t the only days you can cash in on, we hope you’ll keep these important dates in mind when planning your 2018 campaigns. Your products will likely determine which day is the most fruitful for you.

Every business has a different way of planning for holidays and sales, but there’s one thing that never changes — the customer is key. Be mindful of the message you’ve crafted and how consumers are interacting with you and your products. Any online store can have a sale for any of the dates above, but it’s how they craft and deliver their message that will ultimately determine their success.

How will you ensure merchant success throughout the year? Any dates you think we’ve missed? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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