The following is a rough guide to these key dates for UK eCommerce this holiday season.
November - Back Friday
By now we are already into the Christmas shopping period with sales starting to build and the key date in November is Black Friday which this year falls on 28th November 2014.
Black Friday started in the US in retail stores, but has rapidly found a hold in the UK with key retailers like Amazon and John Lewis all planning Black Friday events.
Black Friday is all about discounts and special promotions with that extra sense of urgency that these offers are only available for one day.
It’s not just the day on its own smart online retailers will have content on their website now and will be building anticipation through social media and email marketing.
Making the most of Black Friday can really help to give your Christmas sales a November boost.
December - Cyber Monday
Quick on the heels of Black Friday is Cyber Monday on 1st December 2014.
Another US marketing creation Cyber Monday is designed to encourage shopping online. Perhaps not as well known in the UK as Black Friday, Cyber Monday is growing in popularity with retailers like Tesco, Debenhams, ASDA and M&S all getting involved in 2013.
To be fair Cyber Monday is very similar for eCommerce retailers to Black Friday with shoppers expecting offers and discounts so needs to be promoted in the same way.
December Delivery Cut Offs
We all know with eCommerce we have to have cut off dates for Christmas delivery. These tend to start with anything needing personalisation, printing or made to measure details from the second week of December (Monday 8th December start of deliver cut off dates).
By the third week we hit most standard delivery cut off periods and this coincides with the start of the Christmas rush (15th December).
Be sure to clearly highlight any cut off dates and direct customers to the best delivery options to ensure Christmas delivery.
Boxing Day Sales
As if the run up the Christmas isn’t busy enough along comes December 26th and we need to launch our sales. Whether you go with the traditional Boxing Day or chose to start your sale a little later there is still plenty to do getting the online store ready with all the key discounts.
In addition you need to make sure your email and social media are ready to both announce and support your sale.
While automation can help you get organised in advance you still need someone to check everything is running to plan and that no transactions are being lost due to missed marketing or errors on the website.
So it’s going to be a busy, but also highly rewarding few weeks ahead and as always being prepared and organised is key. Know your key dates and maximise their use can help to make this a bumper Christmas for your eCommerce.