Key Dates For E-Commerce Owners

Yes. It’s that time of year AGAIN. It’s been quietly looming in-stores since September and now Christmas preparation is in full flow for most people. Including the team at R88 who are self-confessed Christmas lovers. After all, we’re not out to scare anyone but there’s only TWO paydays left until the big day.

Today we wanted to concentrate on E-Commerce and lend a helping hand to those who are feeling a little overwhelmed this time of year. We thought it would be a good time to offer some guidance on what dates you should be adding to your calendar and really pushing sales on. We don’t want you to be left behind by the retail giants. This way you can make sure that you’re in the know how on when customers will be hunting for offers and most likely making a purchase.

Did you know that in 2016 40% of Christmas shopping was done online? Therefore it’s time to start planning your sales, promotion and marketing campaigns to tie into all the official (and unofficial) holiday shopping dates starting from early November right until Christmas day.

So here it goes….

#1 23 November – Grey Thursday

Grey Thursday is the day before Black Friday and is when things start to get really interesting. You can use this date as a soft launch, followed by a more ‘in-your-face’ campaign for the shopping craziness that is associated with both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

#2 24 November – Black Friday

Originating from the United States, Black Friday has quickly taken over Europe as one of the most cost-saving dates of the year- ideal for Christmas crazy customers after a bargain. It’s no surprise that Adobe has predicted an 11% year on year growth for Black Friday.
Last year in the UK, Black Friday E-Commerce sales peaked at an estimated £1.23 billion. With this in mind it would be ludicrous for retailers to not take advantage of this date and plan an intensive marketing strategy.

#3 27 November – Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday was launched exclusively for online retailers as originally Black Friday was associated with bricks and mortar retail outlets. However, most retailers (in-store and online) now take advantage of both dates and have promotions running from Friday to Monday.
Cyber Monday tends to be about discounts and flash sales that create an urgency to buy for customers with the fear of missing out. This time it is important that you get your email marketing game in place and ready to take advantage of these bargain hungry consumers.
In 2016 Cyber Monday traffic increased by 155%, compared to normal sales day traffic and Brits spent an unbelievable £968 million.

#4 28 November – Retargeting Tuesday (Bounceback Tuesday)

Never heard of this one? It’s a little new to us to. Don’t worry though, this date is relatively new in the e-commerce community. The aim of this date is retarget customers who didn’t complete their transactions on your website over Black Friday to Cyber Monday. As we know sales are usually huge over these days but there are also 70-80% of people who abandon their carts, this therefore gives you the opportunity to retarget these warm leads and convert them further down the line.

#5 2 December – Small Business Saturday

This e-commerce date is gradually gaining prominence among online shoppers and so it should be! Small businesses are a vital part to any thriving economy and it makes sense to encourage customers to support their local shops and retailers. Online businesses participate and show their involvement by using the ‘#SmallBizSat’ hashtag. Don’t miss out on this date.

#6 6 December – Saint Nicholas’ Day

Our modern day Santa Claus and Father Christmas. This e-commerce date signifies the official start of holiday shopping in many European countries. Why not start planning your marketing strategy to make it relevant to online shoppers looking for gifts for their children and loved ones.

#7 11 December – Green Monday

In 2007 eBay experienced their busiest online shopping day EVER. Due to its success they branded the day as ‘Green Monday’. From this moment the second Monday of December has proved to be one of the highest grossing dates for the majority of e-commerce stores. The surge can be mainly attributed to customers who want to ensure they receive their products in time for Christmas.

#8 15 December – Free Shipping Day

Offering free shipping on ‘Free Shipping’ day is a smart move and is the perfect way to drive last minute Christmas sales. This one day only event is held annually each year on the 15 December and is a day where e-commerce owners and retailers offer free shipping, with a guarantee that products will be delivered by Christmas Eve. Shipping costs are one of the highest causes of basket abandonment therefore offering it for free will make your conversions rocket. One thing we will say is PLEASE don’t offer this with a guarantee of delivery before Christmas if you can’t honour it. There’s nothing worse than taking advantage of a great offer and it backfiring!

#9 16-17 December – Last Weekend Before Christmas

The last weekend before Christmas presents an ideal opportunity to increase your marketing campaign efforts to target (or retarget) those warm leads that have recently uncompleted transactions on your website. You can do this through a combination of personalised email marketing messages and online retargeting strategies.

…The End

We hope that these dates help when considering your Christmas marketing strategy during this crazy, festive period. Good luck to everyone involved and we wish you the best year of sales yet!