The holiday shopping calendar has expanded in recent years, and the transition from brick-and-mortar shopping to online shopping has continued to accelerate. Together, these factors can make planning your holiday season promotions strategy difficult. To make things easier, here's a list of the big days that U.S. sellers ought to plan for this year to make the most of the holiday selling season and the growing audiences that it offers.
Mark these days down on your calendar. Days in green are likely to be top search and/or sales days this year in e-commerce, and are great promotion targets. Days in yellow indicate the deadline period during which you can inform your buyers of shipping deadlines and offer promotions to drive any last-moment sales.
- Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2016. The actual U.S. holiday is growing into one of the most promoted shopping days of the year and many shoppers do online comparison shopping before hitting the brick-and-mortar stores. This is now the real holiday shopping kickoff day.
- Black Friday, November 25, 2016. Requiring no explanation, Black Friday vies with Cyber Monday each year for the biggest shopping day title. For online sellers, Cyber Monday continues to be a bigger day, though Black Friday is gaining as more and more sales transition from brick-and-mortar to online.
- Cyber Monday, November 28, 2016. For online sellers, this is the mother load, the big kahuna, the day of days and is the gravity center around which most organize their holiday sales strategy.
- Tuesday after Cyber Monday, November 29, 2016. Too often forgotten or neglected, this is regularly the second biggest online shopping day of the year after Cyber Monday. Don't end your promotions early and lose half of the sales benefit!
- First Monday of December, December 5, 2016. If it's not Cyber Monday, the first Monday in December is another big shopping day, often in the list of the top 10 online shopping days of the year.
- First Tuesday of December, December 6, 2016. Following the pattern set by Cyber Monday, on years when this applies, the first Tuesday in December is also a huge shopping day.
- Green Monday, December 12, 2016. The second Monday in December has been amongst the top online shopping days of the year for several years running. Most years, it's the second wave—when late-but-not-panic-late buyers are wrapping up their online shopping.
- Second Tuesday of December, December 13, 2016. Once again, the Tuesday after a big Monday has recently shown big sales numbers and the Tuesday after Green Monday is no different. If you do a Green Monday promotion, keep it running through the following day.
- Varying fulfillment deadline days. Less about volume and more about squeezing every last drop out of the market that you can, your fulfillment deadline days (the last days to buy each product for guaranteed fulfillment before the holiday) are important days to telegraph to your buyers, and to use for last-moment or late-shopper promotions.
Keep this calendar handy or mark the days down on your own calendar to be sure that you're on track to seize every opportunity that you can this holiday selling season.
Aron Hsiao is the marketing communications manager at Terapeak.