The dates of big gift-giving holidays vary from one country to the next. Here is a calendar of key events from translation firm Webinterpret.

Karolina Kulach, content marketing manager, Webinterpret

Karolina Kulach, content marketing manager, Webinterpret

As the new year has just begun, e-commerce merchants large or small are looking for ways that will help them make the most out of the boom in online shopping. With the worldwide online sales expected to hit $3.4 billion in 2019, e-commerce has definitely got much in store for the year ahead. To help you stay ahead of the game here are some useful tips on e-commerce global and local events, that will help you maximize your sales potential on the domestic and international online markets too.

Slow but steady wins the race

When planning your e-commerce activities and campaigns for 2019, you may think that you should concentrate most of your efforts towards the end of the coming year. After all, the biggest sales events take place in the last quarter, right?

Add an Advent Calendar to your online store to encourage visits and purchases throughout the Christmas period.

Granted that Q4 is jam-packed with events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Singles Day and Christmas. Thus, Q4 looks like a sprint from the planning perspective. However, as they say… Slow but steady wins the race.

Your e-commerce race is no exception. Sometimes you may have to speed up, but you don’t have to sprint in the last three months of the year. In other words, your e-commerce activities and marketing campaigns should be consistent and spread across 12 months.

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January

For many buyers, January is a hot month (winter sales season north of the Equator) with many sales and irresistible deals expected. Thus, retarget your Christmas customers, especially if you have
post-Christmas deals in store. Put your product offers in front of potential buyers; e.g. use apps to notify buyers of special offers and discounts.

Don’t forget to start (or finalize) preparations for the upcoming festive periods: Chinese New Year, Valentine’s, St Patrick’s Day and Easter. Keep in mind merchandise that is expected to sell well around those times, e.g. jewelry around Valentine’s Day or green outfits and gadgets around St Patrick’s Day.

February

In the retail calendar, Valentine’s Day has a prominent position this month so expect a huge amount of traffic around Feb. 14. Remember that a lot of your website visitors will come from smartphones and tablets so optimize your websites accordingly

Get ready for International Women’s Day (March 8) and target the ladies in your database. Offering the products that will speak to their feminine side, e.g. from the Health & Beauty category, or offering discounts should increase your conversion rates.

March

On March 17 the world celebrates St Patrick’s Day. Over 80 million people worldwide claim their ancestral connection to Ireland. This is quite a large number of consumers you can market your offers to. Of course … using green and Ireland-related elements. Note that in some countries Mother’s and/or Father’s Day may be celebrated this month.

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Get ready for April Fools’ Day. It’s yet another opportunity to use your creativity, show the uniqueness of your brand and make customers love you. Thus, you can create a funny story with viral potential, release a bogus, mind-boggling product, or use humor in your marketing strategies. Don’t forget to share your creativity on social media … when the time is right!

April

April 1 gives you a chance to generate unusual and fun content with a big sharing potential. Be funny, but also helpful and innovative.

April is the month of Easter and spring so expect a soar in demand for seasonal products. These can be trendy consumer electronics, toys and health, and beauty products. Many people also like to put more focus on home improvements and furniture in springtime and make purchases accordingly.

The festive time of San Jordi in Catalunya (the area of Spain known as Catalonia in English) also presents many opportunities for international online sellers. It’s the time of exchanging gifts, books, and roses so think of making some extra sales around that time.

May

Don’t forget Mother’s Day. Come up with great gift ideas and offer your buyers a deal (free delivery, free gift with their order when they spend a certain amount, etc.). In some countries, Mother’s Day is celebrated at another time, e.g. in March in the UK.

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June

The summer’s coming (at least in the Northern Hemisphere)! It’s a good time to take advantage of the market’s need for items from the following categories: clothes, shoes, vehicle parts and sporting goods.

Don’t forget Father’s Day. Come up with great gift ideas and offer your buyers a deal (free delivery, free gift with their order when they spend a certain amount, etc.). In some countries, Father’s Day is celebrated at another time, e.g. on March 19 in Italy or Spain.

July

Summer is in full swing. If this time is less hectic for you, consider spending some time on starting or optimizing your online store’s blog. First, you can increase your traffic and sales. Second, 61% of Internet users made a purchase after reading a blog article.

Get ready for Amazon Prime Day, the biggest shopping event on Amazon. For 30 hours only, thousands of offers are available on the Amazon marketplace. If you sell your products on this platform, ensure your product pages are optimized. Be ready to dispatch many orders!

Plan ahead and get your autumn deals ready now. September and the back-to-school period are very often very busy times.

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August

The summer mode is still on. But don’t risk losing sales: Online shoppers have more time to compare prices and read reviews. So add your products to price comparison sites and encourage positive product reviews from your satisfied customers.

If you plan to target November (Black Friday/Cyber Monday) or Christmas shoppers, now may be a good time to start optimizing and planning your stock. It’ll get really busy towards the end of the year so don’t wait till November/December!

September

Back-to-school: this is the time for new beginnings. Encourage new visitors to explore your catalog. Promote your store, products, and deals on social media and in your newsletter.

As autumn is coming, the fashion category will experience a revival. Expect a big interest in autumn collections, e.g. clothes, shoes & accessories.

Additionally, Halloween is approaching so you may want to offer some spooky outfits and gadgets to enjoy the extra seasonal income.

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October

Big days are approaching: Singles’ Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas… Time to get prepared and start promotions and advertising campaigns: no excuses!

Consider supporting charity events. You can donate a small portion of your sales (or time) in the coming holiday time. This should be rewarding for you and your company, but it’ll also enhance the human side of your brand.

Almost half of the consumers will click away from a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. So unless your visitors are super motivated to stay on your site or buy your product, it can take just a few seconds to lose them with no return! For this reason, test your site and its various aspects to ensure your visitors can complete their actions as fast as possible.

November

The world’s biggest online shopping day is 11/11 (Singles Day, an annual online sales event in China). In 2017, consumers splurged on $25 billion of purchases within 24 hours. No wonder that China is predicted to account for about 60% of global e-commerce by 2020. It’s a big market with lots of e-commerce potential for both local and Western online sellers.

The sale is on. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or actually Cyber Week, finally arrive this month. Promote, share, advertise and sell. Do this prior to the holidays and don’t hesitate to build anticipation with your shoppers. Make them excited about all those products and deals they’re going to grab when the big day finally arrives.

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December

Add an Advent Calendar to your online store to encourage visits and purchases throughout the Christmas period. Starting Dec. 1, your visitors can see a pop-up presenting a special offer for each day. They may get genuinely addicted to this concept.

It’s Christmas time. Finalize all the preparations that you’ve been busy with for the last few months and don’t stop selling till you get enough!

Webinterpret provides translation and localization services for online retailers in over 60 countries.

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