If you run an ecommerce business (or even a service based business) here are a collection of dates you’ll want to make note of for your 2017/18 marketing calendar.
Some of these dates are lesser know, but don’t dismiss them. If you can’t see a direct selling opportunity, then jumping on the hashtag bandwagon on social media channels can also be a great way to get more people looking at your brand.
March 17th – St Patrick’s Day
This Irish celebration of one of Ireland’s Patron Saints has attracted growing global attention and can be a boon for businesses. Millions of people get involved, spending on all things green, having office and private party events and outings to restaurants and bars. Think about how you could do something to engage with your visitors on this festival.
April 1st – April Fool’s Day
April Fool’s Day appears to stem back to a celebration of the turning of the seasons around springtime. It’s a day for general silliness and the celebration of the practical joke. Although it’s not a well-known ‘selling’ opportunity, there are opportunities to engage with your customers and create brand awareness with perhaps a few ‘well-considered’ jokes. A funny email marketing campaign perhaps?
April 2nd – Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race
This traditional rowing race taking place between Mortlake and Putney on the River Thames. Perhaps you could piggy-back the hashtag for this boat race on social media with a well-crafted offer to gain some serious eyeballs on your brand?
April 14th – April 16th – Good Friday – Easter Sunday
Easter, the first big holiday after Christmas has customers spending thousands on Easter-related merchandise. There are also opportunities for non-Easter related selling too, by using the occasion as a springboard for new lines and special ‘spring’ offers.
April 22nd – Earth Day
First celebrated in 1970, and now co-ordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, it’s celebrated in some 193 countries, with events to demonstrate support for environmental protection. A great opportunity for environmentally-friendly businesses to raise their awareness.
April 23rd – St George’s Day
St George’s Day, remembering England’s Patron Saint. A great celebration of English traditions and for selling all things English (…and for swords and dragons of course!).
May 1st – May Day Bank Holiday
The first Monday in May is a UK Bank Holiday. Originally, it was probably a Roman festival celebrating the beginning of Summer and still remains a celebration of the end of Winter. It’s a great time to launch summer products and promotions. It’s also a great time to dance around the Maypole or do some Morris dancing!
May 27th – FA Cup Final
If you’re a footie fan then this is probably one not to be missed. Use this opportunity to engage with your footballing and non-footballing customers with offers and promotions.
May 29th – Spring Bank Holiday
The spring holiday weekend coincides with the school summer half term – a couple of useful opportunities for engagement and selling.
June 11th – The Queen’s Official Birthday
Her Majesty the Queen has two birthdays each year – her actual birthday being April 21st, which she usually celebrates privately. Her official birthday is usually the second Saturday in June when (hopefully!) the weather is better for the festivities.
June 18th – Father’s Day
Father’s Day is worth only half of that spent on Mother’s Day, but millions of pounds will still be spent on this occasion. Remember it’s not just for dads, it’s for fathers-to-be, fathers-in-law, stepfathers, grandfathers and father figures…..
June 21st-25th – Glastonbury Festival
Something like 170,000 people attend this famous annual music festival, with many thousands more following it online, both in the UK and overseas. There isn’t going to be a festival in 2018 so 2017 is the last before a break.
June 28th-July 2nd – Henley Royal Regatta
Henley Royal Regatta was established in 1839. It’s a traditional event held each year on the River Thames ….. blazers and boaters all round!
July 3rd-16th – Wimbledon Tennis Championships
This world-famous Grand Slam tournament has been held, for 2 weeks every summer, for the last 125 years at the All England Club in Wimbledon. A glorious fortnight of strawberries and cream and more recently a British winner! Can Murray win it again this year?
July 21st – School Summer Holidays
Ahhh, the School Summer holidays, love or hate it research reported by Metro has shown that as much as £2000 per child is spent during the summer break. So there’s a possible 6 weeks, and more, of selling opportunities here.
July 30th – International Friendship Day
In 2011 the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 30 July as official International Friendship Day, with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, and cultures can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.
August 28th – Summer Bank Holiday
This late summer holiday long-weekend is the chance to make the most of the final weeks of summertime. It’s a great chance to create an offer tempting people to spend before they settle back into their usual routine.
September 4th – Back to School
New bags, clothes and stationery will all be on the shopping list for the annual return to school. Creating a ‘back to school’ feel good offer could boost your sales for this month.
September 15th-19th – London Fashion Week
All things British fashion-related are on the red carpet this week. What about offering some ‘stylish’, ‘red carpet’ promotions of your own, to make you stand out, this week?
October 31st – Halloween
Mintel, the world’s leading market intelligence agency, last year reported that UK consumers spend £310million on Halloween, seeing it overtake the spend for Valentine’s Day. 40% of Britain’s spent money on Halloween. So, even if your business doesn’t have a direct link to this event it might be worth adding some kind of Halloween-themed offers to your shop at this time. If all else fails, encourage your staff to dress up and snap some pictures for social media.
November 5th – Bonfire Night
Remember, remember the 5th of November – although the spend on bonfire night is relatively small, when compared to that of the US import Halloween, it’s clear that the spend on ‘Autumn’ events is growing.
November 23rd – Thanksgiving
In November 2015, the Independent newspaper reported that Waitrose said one in six Britain’s now celebrate the American ‘Thanksgiving’ tradition – time for turkey, sweet potato and pumpkin pie and perhaps some special autumn/winter promotions?
November 24th & November 27th – Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Last November the Telegraph reported that bargain hunters stayed away from the high street, preferring to shop for offers online, with sales over the entire weekend expected to top £5.76billion.
November 25th – Small Business Saturday
This is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, highlighting small business success, encouraging consumers to ‘shop local’. A concept promoted by American Express with their campaign called ‘Shop Small’. If local is important to your business this can be a great opportunity to create awareness for your local business.
December 16th – Free Shipping Day
This is a one-day event held annually in mid-December. The site lists both large and small online merchants that offer free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve.
December 25th – Christmas
Christmas, the busiest spending period of the year, with the trend for online spending increasing year-on-year.
January 1st – January Sales
Back to work after New Year’s and the start of the January sales.
February 5th – Superbowl Saturday (US)
The NFL annual championship game, between the winners of the AFC and NFC leagues. It’s another US import that has a growing following by Brits who are getting interested in it and some 180,000 Americans who live in the UK.
February 14th – Valentine’s Day
With its roots appearing to be both ancient Roman (with the festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration) and Christian (the feast to celebrate St Valentine’s Day). Britain’s are still very much in love with Valentine’s day, Mintel research last year predicted a spend of approx £470 million on this romantic day – so it’s definitely a significant selling opportunity not to be missed.
March 8th – International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day celebrating social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the world. #BeBoldForChange. Perhaps a great day to celebrate achievements of women in your business?