An eCommerce holiday guide for 2021 helps you when planning a marketing strategy and growing online sales on the biggest shopping days of the year. Get your 2021 shopping holiday calendar with the busiest and most important sale days you need to know about, and read our practical tips and ideas that you can put in place right now to boost conversions on Valentine’s Day, Easter, the Wedding Season and more.
Although COVID-19 measures will mean many people remain stuck indoors and a lot of brick-and-mortar stores will see less foot traffic in 2021, shopping days like Black Friday and Mother’s Day will still be important eCommerce shopping dates. This year, however, it’s going to be largely online, with delivery and in-store pickup options playing a much larger role than in previous years.
The largest shopping days of the year are:
After the Christmas rush, stores are looking to unload their excess stock in the January sales. Ecommerce merchants and their partners need to be prepared to offer big discounts and run special campaigns to get people buying at this relatively slow time of year. Angle shopping as a way to lift people’s spirits on Blue Monday – January 18, the most depressing day of the year. Try letting customers buy now and pay later if they’re a bit cash-strapped at the start of the year.
Read main article: Valentine’s Day Ecommerce Tips
Valentine’s Day shopping is traditionally good for jewelry sales, chocolates, perfume and flowers. Lots of flowers. But with the right marketing spin, any product can be turned into a romantic gift for Valentine’s Day. The most loving gesture is giving someone a well-thought out present, something that will suit their tastes and needs. In fact, the more you recommend alternative Valentine’s gifts, the more your marketing campaign will stand out from the crowd. You can also capture singletons by encouraging people to treat themselves with love and buy themselves a present. Whoever your target segment, it’s imperative to connect with clients personally in the way best suited to their customer profile via all retail channels they use.
Ecommerce holiday deals... there’s nothing more romantic
Also known as Chinese New year, Lunar New Year is actually celebrated all around Southeast Asia and by communities worldwide that follow the lunar calendar. The Chinese New Year is on Friday 12 February 2021 and will bring in the Year of the Ox, but the celebrations last for around a week. As with other shopping holidays on this list, it’s a good idea to dedicate a special section of your ecommerce website just for products and deals related to this time of year.
International Women’s Day is becoming more and more popular every year as a way to celebrate women’s empowerment and suffrage, and raise awareness about domestic abuse. Put a customised banner on your website to support the cause, and consider donating $1 to a women’s charity for every item in a certain product line that customers buy from you.
Read main article: St. Patrick’s Day: 10 Ecommerce Sales Ideas
Maybe it has something to do with the clever branding of turning everything green, maybe it’s thanks to the large Irish diaspora in the USA, or maybe it’s just because it involves drinking large quantities of alcohol, but St. Patrick’s Day has taken off around the world like no other patron saint day. Giving away free branded merchandise is a great way to raise brand awareness on this holiday – just ask Guinness!
Easter weekend 2021 goes from Good Friday on 2 April to Easter Monday on 5 April. It’s not only chocolate eggs and bunnies that are big sellers at this time of year; Easter is also a school holiday for many around the world, and that means the kids need entertaining at home. Merchants can take advantage of this holiday to sell everything from books and games to experiences like days out, cinema trips and vacations (where local COVID restrictions allow!).
Obviously a big one for book sellers, but everyone can get in on the act. Use World Book Day as an excuse to push a free ebook about your services, and show an interest in getting books into children’s hands by donating reading material to schools. This can really help to boost your brand image as a business that cares about community and social responsibility. Also, if you’re wondering, World Book Day is earlier in the UK so as not to collide with its own patron saint holiday, St. George’s Day.
There is no other like mother, so treat her right! Pretty much everyone has a mother, grandmother or mother of their children who can be spoiled rotten on this day, so your target audience for the holiday is nice and broad. Run an email marketing campaign starting a few weeks before Mother’s Day to remind your customers and subscribers of the upcoming holiday.
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The warm weather heralds in the sound of wedding bells. Summer is the most popular time to get married, and the amount of money spent on modern weddings combined with the non-traditional variety of items and requests people have nowadays means no retailer can afford not to have a marketing campaign focused on the wedding season, starting in May. Wedding planners, who provide services to brides- and grooms-to-be, often buy their wedding things from other companies. When marketing to this customer segment, make sure that your eCommerce website is optimised for B2B sales.
Weird weddings are a sales opportunity for all retail sectors
Father’s Day, while somewhat more overlooked than Mother’s Day, is still one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year. Online sales of gaudy ties and socks skyrocket. Special discounts, promos, and product collections work well. This holiday can sneak up unexpectedly on many customers, so fast fulfillment and delivery times are essential.
Schools over, and parents have to find a way to entertain the little ones for up to 3 months in some places. Everything and anything is fair game to sell in this period – the more fun, the better! Many parents look to Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration, ideas and deals for the summer vacation, so selling and marketing on social media is the best tactic for eCommerce vendors this summer.
School shoes, new clothes after the kids’ summer growth spurt, stationery and more should be on offer at this time of year. Not the most glamorous of shopping holidays, but one you can count on every year to bring in large, regular profits. Because many people will be making repeat purchases the same as they did last year, this retail holiday lends itself to Voice Commerce, when people simply command Alexa or Siri to make the order for them automatically.
Don’t be scared of this important shopping date! Embrace the spooky spirit of the season and customise your web store with creepy decorations. Halloween decorations and products are incredibly niche and last for a very short time each year, but they are ubiquitous when they’re around and there are a lot of sales opportunities to take advantage of.
Cyber week is by far the biggest and busiest online shopping days of the year, at least in 2020. It’s the time when every retail brand needs to put on their biggest sales regardless of what they sell. Competition is especially fierce, so you need to make special promotions that are particularly attractive to shoppers. Comprehensive delivery options from online stores are important, but so is giving customers the option to buy online and pick up in store (Click & Collect).
The Christmas shopping period starts with Black Friday or even earlier, and it’s even more competitive among retailers. Rising above the noise to attract web traffic to your e-store, and making sure the website can handle the increase in traffic and sales, are vital preparations for Christmastime, as outlined in the Ecommerce Holiday Shopping Guide.
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