Though COVID-19 is still dominating quite a bit of the conversation when it comes to retail and e-commerce, you still have planning to focus on. Many people will still be stuck at home or leery of visiting physical stores for a while yet. When the retail holiday sales hit, they will be heading online. What e-commerce holidays should be on your immediate and longer-term radar?
Amazon Prime Day: date TBA
Now one of the largest e-commerce holidays, Amazon always keeps the actual date of Amazon Prime Day pretty close to the chest until it’s almost here. Typically, it occurs somewhere in mid-July, but DigitalCommerce 360 predicts it will be pushed to August with a longer sales period of possibly a week. With $7.16 billion over 2 days last year, it will be interesting to see what Amazon has up their sleeve in a year where online spending is booming.
If you’re an Amazon seller, it’s likely too late to sign up in an official capacity. That doesn’t mean you can’t advertise your own version of Amazon Prime Day sales. If you’re not an Amazon seller, or you also have other sales channels, it doesn’t hurt to plan tangential sales and ride the wave of buzz around the e-commerce holiday.
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Particularly since Amazon doesn’t allow you to contact customers with promotions, your other sales channels will be pivotal to capitalize on the holiday to increase sales. We’ve previously written some tips around how to do just that.
- Prep for Amazon Prime Day (even if you don’t sell on Amazon)
- 3 Ways to Use Amazon Prime Day to Set Up for Holiday Season Success
Back-to-school: varying weeks in August and September
The back-to-school season could look very different this year. Students in some states may be doing virtual learning as students in other states head back to the physical classroom. Your promotional strategy needs to reflect both of these, which means you’ll need to pay attention to the most current news.
A way to make this work to your advantage is to segment your audience for email campaigns and create email copy that is relevant to your customers’ local needs. Write email copy that shows you understand and empathize with their current situation, and that you understand their needs.
For example, here in Texas, COVID-19 cases are currently spiking. If that eventually leads to an announcement of a virtual start to the school year, you can segment your customers by state and create an email campaign that speaks directly to the needs of parents and teachers of students who will be learning virtually this year.
The good news is that the opportunity will certainly be there with back-to-school shoppers. According to a recent RetailMeNot study, parents are nearly twice as likely as last year to begin shopping for back-to-school items before July and spend, on average, $25 more than last year.
Consumers also plan to shop online this year as well. Retailers, on the other hand, are 16% less likely to say they are prepared for the back-to-school season in 2020. So those who are prepared will have a major advantage.
Labor Day: September 7
The unofficial end of summer is typically a major pre-holiday season sales event. This year could see even bigger sales numbers online as people may be stocking up on fall needs in preparation for staying in. You’ll want to consider that when calculating and balancing your inventory, ordering your shipping supplies, and planning your Labor Day sale promotions.
Halloween: October 31
If things get back to some semblance of normalcy by October, Halloween could be a major event this year. It falls on a Saturday, with daylight savings time, and I believe I have read there is expected to be a full moon that weekend, too. Halloween parties and celebrations could be a huge draw if we can all gather in one place.
This could be great news if you sell clothing, costumes, consumables, makeup, or anything else that is easily associated with Halloween. Even tangential connections to Halloween or simple Halloween sales are a great way to get in on the hype.
Things are constantly changing and could look drastically different in a couple of months. One thing that likely won’t decrease is that consumers are looking to e-commerce channels when e-commerce holidays roll around and they’re ready to shop. Will you be able to keep up with increased demand, or will your shipping and fulfillment be a major burden? Take ShippingEasy for a spin, free for 30 days, and see how much easier your shipping could be!