Important Ecommerce Dates 2021
December 18, 2020
With 2021 just around the corner, many retailers are planning ahead.
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on retail throughout 2020, with buying habits shifting towards a digital-first approach. It’s an exciting time for ecommerce businesses, with plenty of opportunities to make the most of the year ahead.
In this post, we outline the most important dates that the majority of ecommerce businesses can utilise to maximise sales and continue to grow – be sure to make a note in your calendar!
1st January – New Year’s Day
Whilst January is famously known as a slow month for sales across retail in general due to lack of disposable income after Christmas, there are opportunities for those in the health and exercise sector as Google searches for “gym wear” consistently peak in the first few days of January. We see a similar trend for terms like “yearly planner”, as many people begin the new year with new goals and resolutions.
14th February – Valentine’s Day
Everyone knows Valentine’s Day is big for retail. Whilst many last minute shoppers have traditionally popped to brick and mortar stores to grab a box of chocolates or bunch of flowers for their significant other, with the pandemic still very much in full swing, there will likely be more online orders next year. Retailers should begin to plan which products they will push as part of their Valentine’s Day campaign, and ensure stock levels are able to meet demand, whether it be food, jewellery, wine, flowers or less traditional gifts.
With Covid-19 restrictions set to be in place in some capacity until at least spring, which is when we can currently expect the majority of the UK population to be vaccinated, many couples wanting to celebrate the day of love will likely opt to stay at home as opposed to going out to a restaurant or jetting off on a mini break. This means that the food and beverage industry will likely receive a high volume of orders in the days leading up to the 14 February.
14th March – Mother’s Day
With Mother’s Day landing mid March in 2021, ecommerce brands should expect a surge in orders throughout the first half of the month. Social media is flooded with touching posts each year as people share their favourite photos with their Mum accompanied by thoughtful captions. All of this engagement offers ecommerce stores the perfect opportunity to increase marketing activities and visibility.
4th April – Easter Sunday
Easter Sunday means big business for the confectionery sector. Those wanting to avoid the battle for Easter eggs in the supermarkets may opt to purchase online this year, which offers great opportunities to upsell all kinds of sweet treats. Many parents also like to do craft activities with their children around this time, such as making easter bonnets and entering the egg decorating contest that most primary schools hold, meaning ecommerce stores selling craft supplies could very well have a good month in April if they market these products in the right way.
20th June – Father’s Day
Father’s Day arrives in June and like Mother’s Day, the majority of the UK will be looking to purchase the perfect gift for the father figures in their life. Businesses specialising in men’s clothing and cosmetics will find plenty of opportunities to increase awareness of their brand, but many industries can tap into the Father’s Day surge, especially if they specialise in particular hobbies or interests popular with men.
20th July – Start of the school summer holidays
The 20th July 2021 is the beginning of a six week long holiday for school children and staff. Hopefully life will have returned to some level of humanity by summer, and if this is the case, many families will be planning holidays whilst their children have the time off. This means a surge in sales across various industries – clothing, cosmetics, toiletries and other accessories. Plus, the annual rush to buy school uniforms for the next academic year will see the relevant businesses benefit.
31st October – Halloween
Halloween has always been a big event for ecommerce, and businesses are getting more and more creative with their campaigns each year. Besides the obvious fancy dress attire, the cosmetics and fashion industries, as well as food and beverage and party equipment companies tend to fare well in October, with more creative industries taking advantage of the chance to stand out on social media. Take a look at some of the best Halloween campaigns 2020 for some inspiration.
26th November – Black Friday
We probably don’t need to tell you that Black Friday is the biggest event in retail. We always recommend that merchants plan as far ahead as they can, to ensure things run smoothly on the day and over Cyber Weekend. The last thing an ecommerce business needs is delayed stock deliveries or a faulty checkout on Black Friday, so be sure to perform regular website tests in the run up to the big day. See our tips for building a successful Black Friday ecommerce strategy to find out how you can best prepare for arguably the most important day of the year for retail.
29th November – Cyber Monday
Black Friday may have begun as a one-day event, but over the years it’s evolved into Cyber Weekend, and nowadays Cyber Week is the norm. Many brands, particularly those in the fast fashion sector, even have Cyber Month, with sales and discounts running throughout the whole of November. In order to keep up with your competition, you should consider your plans for Cyber Monday, as consumers will no doubt expect some great deals and discounts to drop on your website on 29th November next year.
25th December – Christmas Day
The Christmas season is typically the busiest for the majority of retailers as the country gears up for Christmas Day. With gifts to buy, houses to decorate, parties to attend and food to serve, business is booming across the board throughout December. It’ll come as no surprise that in the run up to Christmas, our spending habits change dramatically. The Bank of England predicts that generally, households spend an additional £800 in December – this is the time to increase AOV and revenue.
26th December – Boxing Day
Boxing Day is a similar situation to Black Friday, though its American counterpart may have become a bigger deal since being introduced to the UK in 2010. Boxing Day, which also doubles as a national bank holiday, has always been a day for retailers to sell off remaining Christmas stock, and for consumers to bag a bargain with their Christmas money and gift vouchers.
Whilst Boxing Day may be steeped in tradition, it’s clear it’s not going anywhere any time soon, with the term ‘boxing day sales’ generating approx. 31,000 searches per month. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be spending the majority of the day on the sofa, which means plenty of scrolling on smartphones, tablets and laptops. Make sure you’ve got marketing emails featuring all of your best deals scheduled in advance and refresh your website banners and messaging – people want to see something new once Christmas day is over.
31st December – New Year’s Eve
With parties of any kind a no-go this year, it’s likely that the UK will be even more keen to celebrate New Year’s Eve next year. Party wear, alcohol and food sales are expected to soar in preparation for welcoming a brand new year. Make sure you push the products that will really make the event a one to remember. January also means it’s time to go back to work and school, meaning many people are likely to be on the lookout for new outfits/uniforms, stationary, bags etc.
If you’re looking for some guidance and advice on how to devise an ecommerce strategy that delivers the results you want, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with a member of our team to see how we can drive performance for your business in 2021 and beyond. In the meantime, you can take a look at some of our award-winning work here.