’Tis the Season: Your 2018 eCommerce Holiday Marketing Calendar

It’s no secret that the holidays are an important time of year in eCommerce. Revenue potential goes up, spending habits shift, and merchants often generate a significant portion of their annual revenue in less than two months.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), consumers spent $691.9 billion during the 2017 holiday season — a number they’re projecting to top $720 billion this year. That’s a LOT of opportunity to cash in on holiday shoppers. Nearly 30% of that is expected to happen online, according to First Data.

To help you prepare your marketing calendar for the holiday season, we’ve created a list of some of the most noteworthy dates for retailers this November and December. Mark your calendars folks, because the most wonderful time of year is quickly approaching!

eCommerce Holiday Marketing Calendar

Holiday Dates to Note

Though this list isn’t comprehensive and doesn’t cover ALL of the major holidays, these are the most important ones to include in your eCommerce marketing mix for Q4.

November 1: November 2017 saw 23 consecutive days of over $1 billion in online holiday sales even before Black Friday arrived, Shopify reports. Now is the time to start getting your ducks in a row!

Singles’ Day Global Shopping Festival (November 11): Established by Alibaba and popular in Asian markets, the 2017 eCommerce holiday saw more than $25 billion in sales in just one day, according to Forbes — that’s more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving): Black Friday is (unsurprisingly) the most popular day for in-store shopping in 2017, cited by 77 million consumers. eCommerce brands can compete with pop-up shops or an early kickoff to Cyber Monday.

>>>Learn more about prepping for Black Friday from Shopify

Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving): The second-most popular day for in-store shopping in 2017 was Small Business Saturday, with 55 million consumers. Online sellers can get in on the action too, by supporting artisans and makers or partnering with small brick-and-mortar businesses.

Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving): In 2017, Shopify merchants did more than $1 billion USD in sales on Black Friday Cyber Monday, per Shopify. This is when savvy shoppers look online for their holiday needs — and serious deals to go along with it.

Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving): In 2016, U.S. consumers raised $180 million on Giving Tuesday. The day is meant to break up the monotony of the overly saturated consumerism around BFCM. Donate a portion of your sales on this day.

Green Monday (the second Monday of December): The second-biggest online shopping holiday of December, consumers spent $1.6 million in 2016 on this day. Online retailers use it to promote major deals to shoppers who may have procrastinated.

Free Shipping Day (December 14): 9 out of 10 consumers would shop online more often if there were free shipping, and shipping costs are the second-biggest complaint holiday shoppers have about shopping online for the holidays. To stand out from your competitors, take a cue from Target and offer free shipping all season long.

Super Saturday/Panic Saturday (the last Saturday before Christmas): In 2012, only 5% of holiday shopping was AFTER December 25; five years later, that number was more than 7x higher. These last-minute shoppers need product bundles, curated gift guides, and fast shipping.

Boxing Day (December 26): The day after Christmas is a popular holiday in countries like England, Australia and New Zealand. Boxing Day kicks off the post-holiday clearance sales. In 2017, Australians alone spent more than $2 billion on Boxing Day sales. Run geo-targeted promotions for these shoppers.

For a more detailed calendar that spans October through December, check out Shopify’s holiday marketing calendar.

Happy holidays, and happy planning everyone!