Another year complete, and another year ahead. Throughout the calendar year, most online retailers expect to devote a certain number of days each month to promotions. But how far out you plan, and how you decide when a discount or sale will be most effective, is more than just selecting a day or established holiday. In reality, it takes a data-centric strategy to be successful. With Q1 upon us, we’re taking a look at the major events and holidays with the understanding of when most promotions are put into play, and why each particular occasion typically drives revenue.
The following dates, holidays, and events are worth noting, if not incorporating, into your promotional plans. Want a long-tail view? Download our new promotion planner template to plot out your promotions for the rest of 2017, and use the chart to compare your plans to this year’s efforts. You can also see Q4’s events and holidays here.
Dates and Holidays To Know In January
New Year Day – January 1
The holiday hangover officially begins as we kick off a new year. If you haven’t already started to plan out your promotions before today, you may be in for a slightly rocky start to the new year.
Martin Luther King Jr Day – January 16
Marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. (near the date), this federal holiday is on the third Monday each January. It also marks remembrance for one of the most well known nonviolent activists in the Civil Rights Movement. As many businesses are out on this day, brands take to creating promotions to drive traffic to their sites and stores.
Also – Chinese New Year (1/28)
Fun and or interesting holidays: Unicorn Day (1/11), Squirrel Appreciation Day (1/21), Pie Day (1/23), and Opposite Day (1/25).
Dates and Holidays To Know In February
Super Bowl – February 5
The mother of all football games, Super Bowl is a smorgasbord of deals and promotions in the retail world. With ad spots going anywhere from $5.5 – $5.7 million per spot (not including production), a lot of money is spent to appeal to a large group of consumers. Both before and the day-of, you can expect to see a great number of promotions, just be sure to not use the specific name unless you have permission, otherwise that’s a big no-no.
Valentine’s Day – February 14
Perhaps one of the most commercial holidays ever created, Valentine’s
day is specifically designed to push consumerism. From all things pink and heart shaped, to terrible tasting chalky candy, Valentine’s day is over filling with promotional potential.
Presidents’ Day – February 20
A federal holiday designed to celebrate presidents, but more specifically the first U.S. president George Washington, it’s also a common date for promotions. In the past, many businesses would close, but in recent years it has become more commercialized, especially for car dealerships.
Also – Groundhog Day (2/2)
Fun and or interesting holidays: Working Naked Day (2/3), World Nutella Day (2/5), Singles Awareness Day (2/15), Random Acts of Kindness Day (2/17), Drink Wine Day (2/18), and World Yoga Day (2/22).
Dates and Holidays To Know In March
Saint Patrick’s Day – March 17
Depending on your product or even geographic location, Saint Patrick’s Day can either be a big deal or just a reason to wear green. Chicago, for example, turns the Chicago River green, Savannah throws a mini-mardi gras esque event on River Street, and many other cities across the nation are overflowing with bar deals.
Also: First Day of Spring (3/20)
Fun and or interesting holidays: Dr. Seuss Day (3/2), International Women’s Day (3/8), Pi Day (3/14), and Earth Hour (3/19).
Planning For The Year Ahead
Throughout the year, there are countless opportunities to create promotions; however, brands and retailers need to be strategic. Having too many promotions within a calendar month can create negative buying habits, encouraging consumers to only make purchases during sales. By looking at least three months out, retailers can identify when a promotion should fall, whether it makes sense for the business, and if it will have a positive impact on their KPIs. Download our free promotional planner to get strategic with your promotions.