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8 Key Dates for Your eCommerce Strategy in Winter 2018

With only two and a bit months left of 2018, it may be tempting to focus all of your efforts on your eCommerce strategy for 2019. Whilst we admit ‘preparation is the key to success’, let’s also not forget that the busiest quarter of the year is yet to come.

From October to December, there’s a plethora of holidays and promotional opportunities your business can make the most of, increasing brand awareness and boosting sales. This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather the most popular events which are relevant to a UK audience.

31st October – Halloween

Although traditionally the UK have not celebrated Halloween to the same extent as the U.S, over the past couple of years it’s popularity on British turf has been growing tenfold. In fact, according to research by Mintel, Brits spent £310 million on Halloween in 2016, a figure which is set to rise around 3.2% year-on-year. Millennials, in particular, are most likely to buy into Halloween festivities. Ecomdash noted that around 16% of people even bought a halloween costume for their pet. If you’re looking for inspiration on how your business can make the most of the holiday, why not release a makeup tutorial video? Or hold a pumpkin carving competition?

5th November – Bonfire Night

On November 5th it’s bonfire night a.k.a Guy Fawkes night a.k.a the night we celebrate the fact that a group of lads didn’t successfully manage to blow up the Houses of Parliament. This year total spend on bonfire night is set to hit £350 million with around 7/10 adults joining in with the festivities. If your eCommerce business is on the smaller side, bonfire night is the perfect opportunity to engage with your followers and let them know about local firework displays/bonfires.

But you don’t have to be stock fireworks to make the most of the celebration. In fact, toasted marshmallows recently topped a poll as Britain’s favourite bonfire treat. Let your imagination ‘boom’! Here are some of our favourite campaigns from Guinness and Weetabix for inspiration.

7th November – Diwali

As one of the most significant holidays in India, Diwali represents the festival of light. It is a major shopping season for Indian households as they prepare to splash out on ornaments, extravagant lights and, of course, presents. According to a report by Criteo, the top performing online retail sub-verticals during the Diwali period are jewellery, luxury goods and apparel.

11th November – Armistice Day

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of World War I, and whilst we don’t recommend using the date to your eCommerce businesses advantage or trying to profit off the anniversary, it’s worth noting that tourists will be flocking in from across the globe to pay their respects and help us to remember. What does that mean for you? If your business is linked to a local tourist attraction or even if you sell quintessentially British goods, you can expect to see a peak in sales.

22-26th November – Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Over in the U.S, black friday marks the start of the Thanksgiving weekend. A celebration of

Thanksgiving originates in 1621 when a group of English pilgrims shared a feast with a tribe of Native Americans to celebrate a plentiful harvest. So whilst it is of little relevance to us Brits, we will never miss out on the opportunity of grabbing a bargain. 2016 saw a £6 billion spend over the Black Friday week in Britain, as discounts between 10-60% are offered by retailers.

I’m sure we’ve all heard stories about the Black Friday stampede’s that happen in-store as people fight to grab the best bargains. But in recent years, this has become less of a reality as more consumers are choosing to find bargains online. Consumers seem to be shunning brick-and-mortar stores in favour of convenient and stress-free online shopping sprees. With that in mind it’s no surprise that an increase in traffic is likely to result in an increase in shopping cart abandonment rates. However, this can easily be cured with marketing automation i.e chatbots! Have a read of this blog post to find out more.

20-24th December – Christmas Period

You’d be surprised by the amount of people who actually leave their Christmas shopping until last minute. Aptly named ‘panic Saturday’, 22nd December is expected to be the busiest shopping day of the year with a massive 63% more shoppers than the daily average. In the last few years consumer trust in next day delivery and click-and-collect services has gone through the roof, which means more and more people are turning to online stores rather than fighting the frost by heading to their local high street. Moreover, eMarketer predicted that in 2016 1 in 5 Christmas purchases would be made online. It’s no wonder that Christmas is the biggest holiday of the year in the UK, as lavish banquets, extravagant decorations and bundles of presents are seen as basic necessities to most households. It’s fair to say that during the festive period, most products can and will sell. But according to retailer giant Amazon, these are the top 100 toys that all the kids (and maybe some adults) will be lusting after.

26th December – Boxing Day

Boxing Day sales tend to start on the 26th December and run right until the middle of January. According to Statista, the average British household spends around £480 pounds on gifts alone during the Christmas period. It’s no surprise, therefore, that most people try to watch their spending habits in the months to follow. However, nobody can resist the temptation of Boxing Day sales. Make the most of this time of year by sending emails to your customers letting them know that your sale has started. Also, don’t forget to use social media! Sales are a great way of acquiring new customers and creating brand loyalty, so be prepared!

31st December – New Years Eve

Last but certainly not least, 31st December marks the end of 2018. This is the last chance for retailers to lock in the sales before the start of the new year. A good trick to entice customers over this period is to create time-bound promotions, which creates a sense of urgency. As with bonfire night, fireworks and party food are best sellers so be sure to have these promoted on your website to bring the sales in!

Want to chat some more about eCommerce development and how to boost your sales? Give us a call.