5 Important Online Shopping Dates You May Have Left Off Your Holiday Marketing Calendar

With holiday shopping in full force, columnist Jordan Elkind shares some key retail days — beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday — that marketers should pay attention to.

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holiday-retailer2015-mobile2-ss-1920.jpgFor many marketers in the US, November 11 was an opportunity to promote Veterans Day specials or just a part of their campaign buildup to fast-approaching Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

But for more than 100 million shoppers in China, November 11 is known as as “Singles Day.” Aggressively promoted by Alibaba since 2009 as an exhortation against the alienating effects of consumerism on Valentine’s Day, this day was created to expand the opportunity for celebration beyond romance. Purchases made on Wednesday generated sales in China topping $14.4B in revenue.

In a different part of the world, shoppers in Brazil have been joining the pre-holiday frenzy and taking advantage of Black Friday in their home country.

As we all know, Black Friday is an American event, with stores showcasing major discounts released the day after Thanksgiving. However, Brazilian shoppers make it apparent that there are no cultural limits to the universal appeal of a good deal.

The success of Black Friday in Brazil and November 11 in China are just the tip of the iceberg in the growing trend to capture the attention of shoppers throughout Q4.

As more and more special shopping occasions are promoted during the holidays, it’s important to keep pace with retail trends and buyer behavior in order to put the right deals in front of your customers.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday tend to take center stage during the holiday season, there are some other key shopping days that marketers often overlook. Here are five dates you may have left off your marketing calendar this year:

Cyber Sunday (11/29)

Despite much controversy in the retail world, keeping stores open and operations running during Thanksgiving has become the norm. Cyber Sunday is the online equivalent, giving insiders a sneak peek into what they’ll expect to see for Cyber Monday deals.

Be aware of the potential backlash against “holiday creep.”

Green Monday (12/7)

Mondays are known to be strong online shopping days throughout the year, and during the holidays this notion is even more pronounced, according to the Custora Ecommerce Holiday Pulse (Disclaimer: Custora is my employer.), a free dashboard with data derived from more than 500 million anonymized shoppers, $100B in ecommerce revenue and 200+ online retailers.

Cyber Monday is the obvious driver of the trend, but the following Monday (lovingly referred to as “Green Monday”) should not be overlooked. As shoppers enter into full gift-giving mode, gift messaging done correctly can take the place of price-slashing.

Small Business Saturday (11/28)

For those of you running your own business, this is your opportunity to appeal to your local community. Small Business Saturday presents an excellent opportunity to bring in new local shoppers to your store around the holidays.

You’ll want to pay special attention to geo-targeting to find people who are looking for deals on local goods.

Free Shipping Day (Mid-December)

The date isn’t set in stone, but the deadline for guaranteed delivery by Christmas should be well-advertised on your site so your customers have a deadline for their orders.

Implement a countdown clock on your landing page, allow website visitors to sign up for reminder emails or place clear reminders during the checkout process to relay a sense of urgency in placing a timely order.

Last-Minute Scramble (12/22)

We’ve all been there: It’s the day before Christmas, and you’ve already wrapped up all your gifts, only to realize that you completely forgot to get something for Cousin Joe.

Knowing this, deploy a few campaigns towards the end of the month featuring your digital gift cards. Your customers will thank you.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are only the first few miles in a marathon that the holiday shopping season has become. By leveraging differentiated campaigns for these five days, you can increase your holiday orders without relying solely on discounting.

Contributing authors are invited to create content for MarTech and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the martech community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

Jordan Elkind
Jordan Elkind heads the product team at Custora, an advanced customer analytics platform for ecommerce retailers. Prior to joining Custora, he earned an MBA from Wharton and worked in marketing analytics at Citi Cards.

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