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While the main holiday shopping season typically runs from Black Friday until after Christmas, ecommerce vendors shouldn’t lose sight of other holidays throughout the year. Holidays are the perfect time to convert first-time buyers, re-engage inactive subscribers, and generate more revenue from your core audience.
Holiday ecommerce planning is a great way to schedule your ecommerce campaigns for the year.
With the right holiday campaigns, you can keep your audience engaged and increase your sales both during the winter season and throughout the year. Let’s take a look at the holidays you can’t miss in each month of 2023.
Ecommerce holidays for 2023
New Year’s Day (1/1)
New Year’s Day is your first opportunity to interact with your subscribers at the beginning of 2023. This is a good time to look forward to the upcoming year while reviewing everything that happened in 2022. The New Year is also an ideal chance to create flash sales for any stock that wasn’t sold during the holiday season.
With that being said, it’s important to keep in mind that your subscribers will be coming off the busy shopping season at the end of 2022. Even loyal customers may be reluctant to make new purchases after the new year—unless they need to spend gift cards that they received during the holidays.
Valentine’s Day (2/14)
Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest times of the year for brands in a number of fields including jewelry, fashion, and candy. People are prepared to spend more money than usual on the perfect gift for their significant other. So you don’t want to miss the chance to make some sales during Valentine’s Day.
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for this holiday, we’ve got you covered. Check out our Valentine’s Day email marketing guide for tips, templates, and examples from some of the most successful Valentine’s campaigns that we’ve seen so far.
President’s Day (2/20)
President’s Day commemorates the birthdays of Presidents Washington and Lincoln, and it’s the only federal holiday in February, March, or April. With government workers and many private-sector employees getting the day off, this is a good chance to generate more orders the week after Valentine’s Day.
Furthermore, people who filed their taxes at the beginning of the year will be receiving tax refunds around the President’s Day weekend if not earlier. These customers will be ready to spend money on big-ticket items with a little extra motivation from free shipping or another exclusive discount.
Consider using presidential imagery in your President’s Day promotions for even more engaging messaging.
St. Patrick’s Day (3/17)
Despite its Irish roots, St. Patrick’s Day has become one of the most popular holidays in the US—both within and outside of ecommerce.
While you might not think of this as a retail holiday, the National Retail Federation estimated a total of over $5.87 billion in consumer spending on St. Patrick’s Day in 2021. Make sure to match the green holiday theme in any St. Patrick’s Day emails!
Easter is technically a religious holiday, but it has also taken on a life of its own for ecommerce businesses. Even though it isn’t technically a federal holiday, some American states and companies give Good Friday off. So that people can spend more time with their families.
Similarly, Easter Monday is a popular holiday throughout the European Union, and many British people get Good Friday and Easter Monday off from work.
Another key benefit of April sales is that Americans will be receiving their tax refunds around the same time of the year, giving them a little more spending money than usual. While Easter branding may be effective for some companies, you can also call your promotion a “Spring Sale” to avoid any associations with religious observance. Keep in mind that Easter is also the time to start thinking ahead to your upcoming Mother’s Day campaigns.
Mother’s Day (5/14)
While British consumers celebrate their mums in March, most of your consumers will be recognizing Mother’s Day on the 14th of May in 2023. This is the most popular day to give gifts within the month of May. So brands with mother-friendly products and services should be ready to make the most of the opportunity.
Your approach to Mother’s Day marketing should be closely tied to your brand image as well as your typical sales cycle.
Take a look at our Mother’s Day subject lines for more ideas to help you take advantage of this unique holiday.
Memorial Day (5/29)
It won’t really feel like summer until school’s out, but Memorial Day is the first taste of the summer season with a long weekend filled with outdoor grilling. With that in mind, Memorial Day is a good fit for some of the same items that are typically associated with the 4th of July including things like summer clothing, party items, and grilling gear.
Our data shows that the two most successful subject lines offer clear information about the scope of the sale—so be explicit. Deep discounts are the best way to draw your subscribers’ attention away from the rest of the emails in their inbox.
Father’s Day (6/18)
Just over a month after families around the country celebrate their mothers, they’ll be back on Father’s Day to show their appreciation to their dads. Father’s Day is the day before Juneteenth in 2023. So be conscious of this when sending out promotional emails around this time.
Even if you miss the opportunity to send out promotional material on Mother’s Day, don’t forget to take the chance to generate some more sales throughout the Father’s Day weekend.
Independence Day (7/4)
Independence Day is a classic American holiday, and it’s the perfect way to start off a festive summer. While some brands lean into the patriotic theme, this isn’t really necessary for Independence Day campaigns—in the end, people are most interested in having fun with their family and friends.
Consider sales for things like:
- Summer wear
- Party goods
- Anything else that shoppers need to celebrate and enjoy summer
Our 4th of July research indicates that customers are most likely to click on emails that include “Independence Day” in the subject line. Of course, what works for one brand won’t be as effective for another—consistent A/B testing is the best way to identify the messaging that resonates with your unique audience.
Back to School
The weeks before school start have been a significant opportunity for vendors since the dawn of ecommerce. In fact, the National Retail Federation estimates total sales were about $37 billion during the back-to-school season in 2022.
Of course, any time of the year that’s associated with high ecommerce sales will also lead to substantial competition among online vendors. Check out our list of back-to-school email subject lines to learn about powerful messaging for attracting both children and parents to your online store.
Remember that the right time to run back-to-school campaigns depends on the day that students start school in your region. While some school districts return in August, others won’t be back in session until late September. Brands that primarily sell to consumers in a specific location should take care to match their campaigns to their local back-to-school season.
Labor Day (9/4)
Americans celebrate the contributions of workers on the first Monday in September. If the 4th of July marks the beginning of the American summer, Labor Day brings it to a close as the last federal holiday until Columbus Day in October.
In many states and localities, Labor Day is also the final holiday before students finally return to school. This makes it an ideal time to run some last-minute promotions for parents who missed out on your earlier back-to-school campaigns in August.
Taking place between the start of school and the end of the year, Halloween is your best chance to engage with customers before the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
While some brands can run successful campaigns in a Halloween style, don’t worry about forcing the theme if it isn’t a good fit for your business.
Singles’ Day (11/11)
While most Americans would give you a blank face if you mentioned “Singles’ Day” in November, this holiday is wildly popular throughout China. Singles’ Day is appropriately commemorated on November 11th—or 11/11—to celebrate the joys of being single rather than the challenges of being without a partner.
American customers may not understand your Singles’ Day promotions, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on this all-important holiday. In fact, Alibaba’s 2020 Singles’ Day promotion alone generated more than $74 billion in sales—a 26 percent jump from their figures for 2019.
Even though Singles’ Day was once primarily associated with Chinese consumers, a growing number of American companies are running exclusive promotions at this time of the year. You don’t want to miss out on this unique opportunity to generate sales both abroad and within the United States.
The Cyber 5 (11/23-11/27) + Giving Tuesday (11/28)
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still tentpole days for holiday sales, we’ve seen the Cyber 5 become more popular over the years, with the lines almost blurring into Cyber November. The Cyber 5 typically takes place in the 5 days between Thanksgiving and the following Monday:
- Black Friday
- Cyber Saturday
- Cyber Sunday
- Cyber Monday
In this calendar, we’re also adding Giving Tuesday.
Each of these days is an opportunity to grab shoppers’ attention and offer relevant messaging. With the lines blurring each year into more of a Gray November, this isn’t a trend that’s stopping any time soon. In 2023, we expect a slow buildup throughout the week with major sales on Thanksgiving Day before the year’s best promotions start on Black Friday and run through the rest of the long weekend.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to offer a sneak peek of some of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers in your Thanksgiving emails and texts. Send out a few can’t-miss offers for Thanksgiving Day and promise that even better deals are coming over the weekend.
Christmas Day (12/25)
While most consumers aren’t looking to make any major purchases on Christmas Day, that doesn’t mean marketers should shy away from the biggest day of the year. Prepare and optimize your holiday email templates. Keep in mind that many of your customers will be looking for ways to use any cash and gift cards that they received from friends and family during the holiday season.
Our research indicates that many retailers continue to offer discounts around Christmas Day—even after the best deals have passed during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.
A lot of brands stick with a modest 5% discount, while a smaller number of companies offer even better deals of between 20 and 50 percent off. Remember that Christmas is the last good opportunity to engage with your subscribers before the start of the new year in 2024.
Customers want to be sure that their items will arrive by Christmas Eve, if not earlier. So remember to check with your carrier to find out about any shipping cutoffs. That information should be clearly posted across all your holiday promotions so that customers know what to expect when they place an order.
Find some tips for shipping success during this holiday season here.
New Year’s Eve (12/31)
As we mentioned for New Year’s Day, the weeks after Christmas are an ideal opportunity to clear out any remaining stock and interact with any customers who received gift cards for your store.
Remember to include a similar notice about shipping cutoffs for items that customers want to have on hand on New Year’s Eve as they wait for the beginning of 2023.
This holiday marketing calendar is full of holidays to celebrate, and reasons to shop. While most people think of the end-of-year holidays as the prime shopping season, the year is littered with opportunities. Depending on what you sell and who your target customer is, you might have more than others.
With any luck, this calendar will help put a few more of those opportunities on your radar to make for the most profitable 2023 possible!