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Important Q4 Shopping Holidays for Your Ecommerce Store

By Reading Time: 6 minutes

We all know shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday that break sales records. 

Just last year, Cyber Monday became the highest US ecommerce sales day in history with $7.9 billion in revenue. It’s no doubt that you should be marking these events in your marketing calendar. However, there are plenty of other shopping holidays in October, November, and December you can use to boost up your store. 

This blog post goes over a list of fall-winter shopping holidays that don’t get as much hype as Cyber Weekend but are still worth your time. Plus, it includes actionable campaign ideas you can use!

Halloween

When is it? October 31, 2019

Halloween is known for costumes, candy, and trick-or-treating, but it’s also gaining ground in terms of spending. In 2018, Halloween sales reached a whopping $9 billion. While the most popular spending categories are candy, decorations, and costumes, Halloween is also a prime occasion for retailers to plan a campaign or promotion!

Curious about other shopping holidays in October? Check out our ecommerce holiday marketing calendar for a full list of 2019 holidays and spending events!

What can you do?

Create Halloween–themed designs or product collections

These will appeal to fans of the holiday and the fall season in general, or can even be worn as a costume. You can also create products that are evergreen and can be used year-round. A simple design with a black cat, for example, is stylish even after Halloween.

If possible, tease your customers about the upcoming Halloween products in advance by sharing sneak peeks on your social media. This year, retail giant Target shared their spooky decor collection as early as July, while Yankee Candles started their Halloween campaign in late August. Of course, you don’t have to go this extreme—a couple of weeks before Halloween will work as well. Not only will this get your customers excited about the start of fall, but your store will also be the first to pop up on their mind once they start shopping for Halloween-themed products!

Source: Yankee Candle 

Host a contest or giveaway

Ask your followers to share photos of their Halloween costumes, their favorite fall recipe or Halloween candy as a way to drive engagement on your social media profile. Be creative: for example, if you have a clothing brand, ask your followers to use products from your line as a part of their costume. 

Don’t forget to not only come up with a unique hashtag to keep track of your entries, but also to highlight your brand. And of course, plan your prizes. Giving away a couple of your products, or a gift card to your store can be an inexpensive way to promote your product and increase user engagement! 

Source: M&M’s official Instagram account

Show your Halloween spirit

Share a behind-the-scenes photos of you and your team dressed up in costume! This doesn’t necessarily drive sales, but it’s an easy way to show your brand’s personality and engage with your audience in a fun way.

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Singles’ Day

When is it? November 11, 2019

Singles’ Day is still relatively unheard of in the Western world, but it’s a big deal in China.

Created in 1993, Singles’ Day was originally meant as an anti-Valentine’s Day to celebrate being single. In 2009, Alibaba founder Jack Ma transformed Singles’ Day into a consumer spending day, spreading the message to treat yourself as a celebration of being single.

Shopping sprees were initially driven by major discounts offered on Alibaba’s Tmall, but these days many other ecommerce companies and brick-and-mortar stores are getting involved, too. In fact, Singles’ Day continues to break records: last year marked by far the largest–ever Singles’ Day to date, reaching a staggering $30.8 billion in sales. 

But this shopping day isn’t just for customers in Asia. Each year, Singles’ Day is gaining more and more ground in other parts of the world as well. So much so, that big brands like H&M, The Body Shop, and Ralph Lauren have offered Single’s Day promotions to shoppers in the US.

Source: edited.com

What can you do?

Keep in mind that Singles’ Day is still relatively new in the West. And most consumers are likely waiting to shop during Black Friday-Cyber Monday, so your customers might not want to start spending so early. Your campaigns will have to both educate and entice, so don’t feel discouraged if your first try is underwhelming. Continue to experiment! With time, it’s possible that Single’s Day will catch on.

November 11 is also Veterans Day in the US (and Remembrance Day in Canada), so be sensitive to your audience and what appeals to them.

If you want to truly get into the spirit of Singles’ Day (and make your campaign work), offer a deal that’s on par with what you’ll be offering during Black Friday-Cyber Monday. You can frame your Singles’ Day offer as a pre-Cyber Week deal to encourage getting holiday shopping done early.

Small Business Saturday

When is it? November 30, 2019

Small Business Saturday is essentially the antithesis to Black Friday-Cyber Monday. Created in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday was meant as a chance for small business owners to compete against the big-box retailers offering crazy deals for Black Friday-Cyber Monday.

Last year, consumers spent a record $17.8 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday. That’s an almost 40% growth compared to 2017 sales, which hit at $12.9 billion. So it’s safe to say that this spending event is only growing in popularity. 

What can you do?

If you’re a small business owner, use Small Business Saturday to your advantage! You have a story and a personality, which is something big-box retailers often lack. According to a survey by Groupon, 67% of respondents say they prefer shopping at small businesses over national chains.

Remind your customers about Small Business Saturday and promote the idea of shopping small:

  1. Create a banner for your store
  2. Send an email campaign to your list
  3. Share on social media
    • Use hashtags like #ShopSmall, #SmallBizSat, #SmallBusinessSaturday

Take advantage of the The Shop Small Studio, provided by American Express. They’ve created customizable visuals that you can use for your Small Business Saturday campaigns.

Source: American Express

Green Monday

When is it? December 9, 2019

Green Monday is an online shopping day that falls on the second Monday in December every year. The term Green Monday was coined by eBay in 2007, as a way to mark their biggest day of sales that year. Fun fact: the “green” in the name refers to all the money the retailer made that year.

A number of retailers, including Amazon, Target and Best Buy offer Green Monday deals, and often the discounts are even better than those on Cyber Monday. That makes Green Monday a prime opportunity for last-minute shoppers to make their final holiday purchases. 

Source: theblackfriday.com

What can you do?

Use Green Monday as an opportunity to remind your customers that the holidays are just around the corner, and now’s the time to finish their gift shopping. Be mindful of order deadlines: you might still be able to guarantee Christmas Eve delivery with expedited shipping. If you can’t make it by Christmas, create a campaign that pushes people to buy something for themselves. Just make sure you’re transparent about delivery dates!

If you use Printful for drop shipping, keep an eye for our holiday deadlines announcement later in the fall!

Free Shipping Day

When is it? December 14, 2019

Similar to Green Monday, Free Shipping Day is a perfect opportunity to cater to shoppers who are looking for last-minute Christmas gifts. Created in 2008 by FreeShippingDay.com, the idea is that retailers who participate need to guarantee their orders will arrive by Christmas Eve and offer free shipping in the process.

What can you do?

Both big and small retailers participate in Free Shipping Day, often offering additional discounts to attract more customers. Free shipping doesn’t just help the customer rationalize buying something online instead of going to a brick and mortar store. In fact, studies show that 9 out of 10 shoppers say free shipping is the biggest incentive to shop online.

As long as you can guarantee Christmas Eve shipping, you should definitely host a one-day-only free shipping day. Additionally, you can offer discounts on some (or all) of your products, making shopping at your store even more appealing to your excited customers. 

If you work with Printful, here’s what you can do:

1. Check our  order deadlines beforehand (we usually announce our product deadlines in October or November).

2. Offer free shipping on warehousing products or products that you ship yourself for quicker delivery. You can have your order shipped out the same day with Printful’s Warehousing & Fulfillment service!

3.  Limit your free shipping offer to domestic orders only. International expedited shipping can get pricey, plus there are customs fees to keep in mind!

Boxing Day

When is it? December 26, 2019

Boxing Day is celebrated in Canada, Australia, the UK, and several other countries that were once considered part of the British Empire. It’s very similar to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US—it’s a major shopping holiday where retailers offer steep discounts.

Nobody knows when Boxing Day originated, or how it got its name. One theory is that it originated in the 1800’s when the wealthy would give boxes of gifts to their servants the day after Christmas.

With Black Friday-Cyber Monday gaining more worldwide notoriety, Boxing Day spending has been decreasing. But it still racks in the numbers and can boost post-Christmas sales if your audience is in Canada, the UK, or other countries where Boxing Day is observed.

What can you do?

Treat Boxing Day like you would a Cyber Week sale. Set up your discount and promote it through email and social media.

If you create Facebook ads for your Boxing Day campaigns, make sure you target specific countries that are relevant.

Keep in mind that Boxing Day is after Christmas. So your message shouldn’t be about buying gifts. Emphasize that this is a post-Christmas blowout, and encourage customers to spend on themselves while you have a deal going on your store.

Source: Roots Canada

Think outside the Black Friday-Cyber Monday box

You’re not limited to one weekend of sales this holiday season! There’s a lot you can target in the lead-up to Christmas, and in the days after. Whether it’s an engagement-boosting event like Halloween that doesn’t shine with as many sales, or a lesser-known in the US spending holiday like Singles’ Day, there’s plenty you can do to drive customers to your store during the fourth quarter.

Nora covers all things ecommerce for the Printful blog. She appreciates good dad jokes, new books, freshly baked cookies, and evening jogs.

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