Using Holidays to Your E-commerce Advantage

International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day is coming up. What – not marked for February 23 on your marketing calendar? I bet your local pet boutiques have it on theirs. Perhaps your brand doesn’t do dog-based business. Whatever your field, I imagine there are some unique holidays you can use to your e-commerce advantage. And even if you don’t find something wonderfully obscure to celebrate, you can certainly gear some marketing towards common commercial holidays.

Marketing actually plays a large part in the popularity of many national days of observance. I’d like to think I’d remember to recognize my professional assistant during the third week of April but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be reminded by digital and prints ads. Every marketing team should have on their strategic calendars the national holidays, days, weeks, months, bank holidays, and more. They should also have a solid understanding of which of those days of recognition can be embraced by their organization to give an extra boost to business.

While you’ll want to take advantage of the big holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, etc., you might find a marketing advantage if you target some of the lesser-known celebration days that are relevant to your industry. Why?

  • You won’t have to stand in the shadow of large companies’ marketing campaigns.

  • Humor and weirdness go a long way with a lot of people. (Think: Take Your Pants for a Walk Day – July 27 since we’ve mentioned it.)

  • People simply like to celebrate aspects of their lives. (Think: Middle Child Day or National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.)

Essentially, if you can tie your brand into the celebration of something, consider creating a marketing campaign around it! Just be sure to give a fair amount of lead time ahead of the actual day.

It helps to utilize that sort of content across all of your channels. You can write a blog that talks about the history of the day or simply provides information about it. You can create a series of social posts that share tidbits of your blog information a bit at a time. (Paired with engaging visuals, of course.) Use or create a relevant hashtag and encourage your followers to use it as well.

A holiday, any sort of celebration day, is an excellent reason to offer sale prices or discounts of some sort to honor the day of observance. Again, a combination of channels works best. Use your website, social media, email newsletter, and print items, either in your store or mailers, to communicate the special deals you are offering.

If the day has a significant significance for your brand, consider making a theme week or month out of it. If you have a brick and mortar location, hold an ongoing celebration with food and prizes. Invite visitors to post on social media images of themselves with various displays in your store – hashtag included. Once you have a year under your belt, you can use the images you take of the event to create engagement-building posts for the next year.

Whether you are an organized planner and stay ahead of holiday marketing or you run a little behind, we have some ideas to help push out those promotions, engage those consumers, and encourage them to convert.


It Needs to be EASY

A lot of people dislike shopping and when they find themselves doing it last minute, their attitudes are even more challenging. Make it easy for visitors (website or store) to find what they are looking for. In person, large signage and primary placement of displays work well.

Online, it helps for you to initiate a push notification so all they have to do is work from that message. Also, create dedicated landing pages for each special day of celebration. This allows you to focus on one goal – convert the visitor into a purchaser. Remember to minimize the information and number of products on the landing page so you are keeping viewers’ attention on the right products or services.

Read more: Are Your Landing Pages All They Can Be?


When in Doubt, Go Visual

Amazing images are more likely to attract viewers’ attention than plain text. Not only should these appealing visuals attract attention, but they should also communicate the sales message clearly and concisely. For e-commerce, these visuals should be displayed on your home page, collection pages, and any landing pages you’ve created. Consider adding them to opt-in or promotional pop-ups and your social media profiles. (Don’t forget to change them after the special day.) You can also integrate the images into banners on your website.


Did We Say Make it EASY?

Let’s talk about cart abandonment. It is often the single largest obstacle to completing a sale. Combat this pesky issue by making sure your check-out process is hassle-free and requires minimal information from the consumer. Utilize modern e-commerce features like product zoom and hover effects and ensure easy transition back and forth between products and the shopping cart.

Use the cart saver technique for your own use in follow up messages, if possible, or in case the shopper returns later to finish the purchase. Use exit-intent triggers with a pop-up to encourage finishing the deal right then. If you can, offer something in return if the consumer completes the purchase right then and there.


Other Tips for Success

  • Create a game or competition of some sort centered on the holiday and feature it on your website leading up to the day. Be sure to advertise what customers can win.

  • Push out discount codes on your social media accounts ahead of the date and make them valid only for the products or services you are promoting for the holiday.

  • Extend your discount offers around the date of the holiday.

  • Use the word “annual” to entice repeat business or show there is an opportunity for anyone who feels he missed out.

  • Offer free gift wrapping so consumers don’t have to send an unwrapped gift or go through the hassle of sending it to themselves first and then on to the recipient of the gift.

  • Offer free shipping. Truly, people have come to expect this little perk.

  • Be very clear on the “last day to order” for any celebration or holiday related item. Put the notice on your home page, landing pages, product pages, everywhere to make sure there are no misunderstandings or disappoint customers.

  • Coordinate pricing with the date – for example, if you celebrating Pi Day, end prices with 3.14 so instead of $60, 63.14. Those in the know will get it and appreciate it!


Read more:

Psychological Pricing Strategies to Increase Sales

E-commerce Best Practice


It certainly helps to center your promotions around regularly celebrated days or those special days most relevant to your business. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to identify your brand’s slow times and then go looking for days to celebrate and bring in business during an otherwise sluggish sales period. And don’t forget the kindergarten through college Back to School season if you can make that work!

The team at Strategy Driven Marketing has experience working with e-commerce across multiple industries. We can help with everything from graphic design to store set up to product descriptions, imagery and more. We’d love to learn more about your organization and your business goals to help you establish a rock-solid marketing strategy and offer an amazing online store. Trust us to help your brand make the most of holidays throughout the year. Let’s get started!

P.S. In case you were wondering about the cover photo, the U.S. National Dairy Goat Awareness Week is the second week of June!