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Your 2024 retail and ecommerce marketing calendar.

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Advanced SMS guides 10 min read | Amanda Ranville wrote in blog on June 2, 2022

Last updated November 2023

Struggling to keep track of all the big sales events throughout the year? You’re not alone – it’s hard work. But it’s worth it. From Mother’s Day to Black Friday, Valentine’s Day to EOFY, there’s a new opportunity to cash in on the sales almost every month.

To help you plan your 2024 sales to perfection, we’ve created this handy calendar of key dates – along with helpful tips, ideas and inspo to help your campaigns stand out. Explore it all or jump straight to a particular quarter:

TOP TIP : Plan your campaigns a few months in advance. This way, you’ve got plenty of time to prepare your content, put out any fires if things go wrong, and embrace any new opportunities that arise.

Q1: January to March.

Hit the ground running in 2024 by making the most of those summer holiday, feel-good vibes. Here’s how you can connect with your customers at this time of year.

New year’s day: 1 January.

Who can’t resist a good resolution? The new year is the ideal time to reach out to customers who are resetting their goals or setting a new intention for the year ahead. Put these ideas to work to help boost your sales:

Focus on a theme.

Think family, togetherness, resolutions, positivity, reflection, and planning for the future. 

Have a new year’s sale.

Just because the holidays are over, it doesn’t mean deals and discounts are off the table. A fresh sale could help drive more revenue. 

Launch a new product or service.

The new year can be a great time to get customers excited about something new.   

Celebrate resolutions.

Goal-setting is a big part of the new year. Have conversations with your customers on social media, provide encouragement and support, and deepen your relationships.   

Share valuable content.

Engage with all those customers who bought or received something from you over the festive season by sharing key tips and tricks about products.

Start the year on a positive note.

Host a competition or giveaway to spread the positive vibes.

TOP TIP : Start out right with the perfect SMS campaign. See how you can improve customer engagement with SMS in the new year.

Back to school: throughout January.

Parents always want to give their kids the best start to the new school year. During January, they’re likely to spend a little more on their precious charges as they stock up on school supplies, clothes, lunch boxes, and more.

So if you sell anything relating to kids or education, now’s the time to ramp up your marketing. Start in early January and keep it up until the first bell rings.

Here are some things to consider: 

  • Kids influence back-to-school purchasing decisions. So use language, images, and campaigns that appeal to both kids and parents. 
  • School-age children aren’t the only students heading back to the classroom. Uni students may also be on the lookout for new supplies.
  • Parents find this time of year a drain on the budget. Offering special promotional offers and savings are likely to grab their attention.
  • Parents love convenience. Make it easy for them to shop by creating checklists and shopping guides.

Chinese New Year, 10 February.

In 2024, Chinese New Year falls on Saturday, February 10, marking the start of the Year of the Dragon. Or, more specifically, the Wood Dragon. During this festive period, Chinese consumers spend up big – and, if you play your campaign cards right, you could get a slice of this pie. 

Like Christmas and Ramadan, the Chinese New Year is about connection, community, and returning home. Focus on these values in your campaigns and ads – perhaps weaving in a nod to the ‘wood’ element, which symbolises creativity and imagination, and of course the dragon.

Valentine’s Day, 14 February.

In 2023, it was predicted that Australians would spend $485 million on Valentine’s Day, with the average Aussie forking out $118 on their one true love.

To make the most of this romantic sales event, you need to get your best-selling Valentine’s Day gifts into the hearts and minds of consumers early. Start promoting your offers in mid- to late-January – using our five best Valentine’s Day SMS campaign ideas as inspiration.

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Q2: April to June.

As everyone settles into the rhythm of 2024, you’ve got a little more room to really connect with your customers. From Easter egg hunts to EOFY, here are the key dates where consumers are more likely to spend up big.

Easter: 29 March – 1 April

It feels like Easter eggs hit the shelves earlier every year, right? By the time you spot those foil-wrapped eggs and hot cross buns in your local supermarket, you should have your Easter marketing campaign lined up and ready to go. 

No matter what your retail or ecommerce business specialises in, think about how you can capitalise on this big holiday event.  Here are some tips to keep in mind: 

  • Not everyone celebrates Easter, but most will get to enjoy a day or weekend off. Your campaign could focus on taking a break or connecting with family.
  • Engage customers with innovative campaigns like mystery gift bags or ‘Easter baskets’ of items from your store for customers to bid on, win, or buy.

Mother’s Day: 12 May.

Celebrating mothers, motherhood, and maternal bonds, Mother’s Day is a huge sales opportunity. In 2023, Aussies spent an average of $92 each on their mums, with flowers, alcohol, food and gift cards topping the list of most popular gifts. 

To get your brand and products noticed by all the people out there who want to spoil the mums in their lives, start promoting Mother’s Day in early April. And remember: 

  • Offer services, not just products. Families often want to treat ‘mum’ with a day off, spas, trips and all sorts of special occasions. Think outside the box. 
  • Be authentic. Emotional and authentic sentiment will make more of an impact in your campaigns than sales and promotional ads.  
  • Celebrate mums. Showcase the human side of your business by promoting your team’s mums or encouraging your community to enter a competition about what makes their mum so great. 
  • Consider an opt-out. Many businesses kick-start Mother’s Day campaigns with a considerate opt-out message for those who may find Mother’s Day a difficult time of year. Consider whether you want to do this, too.

Want more inspo? Check out our mother of all Mother’s Day SMS marketing guides.

EOFY/Winter sales: late June.

Who doesn’t love a good end of financial year sale? Customers often plan big purchases months in advance, in the hopes of snagging a bargain. So it’s your job to deliver, with discounts on winter clothes, apparel, homewares, experiences, and business equipment.

With so many brands trying to win customers’ wallets during EOFY sales, you need to think smart about your marketing campaigns. Leading brands use SMS to cut through the noise with great offers they can’t refuse – you can, too. Check out our SMS marketing tips and templates for EOFY.

Q3: July to September.

This is often the slowest time of year for retail and ecommerce businesses. You can use this time to plan out your Black Friday and Christmas campaigns – refining your SMS templates, polishing your content, checking your contact lists, and more. Then, by the time the big sales roll around, everything’s ready to go. 

In the meantime, though, don’t forget about all the dads out there.

Father’s Day: 1 September.

Dads do well on Father’s Day, with the average Aussie spending $112 on the father figures in their lives in 2023. Like Mother’s Day, food and alcohol are popular pressies, along with clothes, shoes, books, music and games.

With Father’s Day always falling on the first Sunday in September, you should start your campaign in early August – but just remember that people tend to shop last-minute for dads, compared to mums. To cash in on this trend, plan surprise offers and last-minute deals in the week before the big day. For more inspo, here are 8 Father’s Day SMS marketing ideas to boost sales.

Q4: October to December.

This is it. The quarter that regularly smashes sales records, with back-to-back sales events keeping all brands and marketers on their toes.  To maximise sales, make sure you’ve got a solid plan in place for moving through each campaign.

Halloween: 31 October.

Once upon a time, Halloween was a single night of trick-or-treating. These days, it’s become a festival of fun that gradually builds throughout October – with shoppers on the look-out for decorations, dress-ups, party supplies, and loads of lollies.

With this in mind, start advertising your Halloween campaigns at the start of October to cash in on all the people who start stocking up on Halloween supplies early on.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: 29 and 2 December.

In 2022, Australians spent a whopping $7.1 billion during the BFCM sales. This massive retail event now eclipses the Boxing Day sales, with every ecommerce retailer under the sun spruiking special deals. To make your brand stand out from the crowd, put the power of SMS to work during the sales events – it’s fast, personalised, and super-effective at cutting through the clutter.

To help you save time and nail your marketing campaign, here’s a complete checklist for BFCM marketing success.

Free Shipping Day: mid-December.

On Free Shipping Day, online retailers offer free shipping and guarantee items for delivery by Christmas Eve. It’s hugely popular with people looking to finish last-minute holiday shopping, save money, and steer clear of the crowds. 

Falling in mid-December, you should start promoting Free Shipping Day well before then. Don’t forget to make it clear that it’s only for local customers (unless you’re happy to wear the costs of international shipping). 

As well as promoting your products and services, Free Shipping Day is a great opportunity to remind customers about final shipping dates before Christmas.

Christmas Day: 25 December.

To make the most of the Christmas rush, you really need to start your holiday marketing as soon as Halloween is over.

Here are some tips to keep in mind: 

  • Start early. If you can, plan a 2-month campaign to take you from November and into December, making the most of the many sales dates along the way. 
  • Get in the spirit of Christmas. Dress up your shop, social media posts, and campaigns with festive branding. 

Focus on the customer experience. Make sure all your systems – in-store, online, and however else you interact with customers – can cope with heavier traffic. Plus, last-minute shoppers, early birds, and those wanting to catch a good deal or curated collection.

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Roll on next year.

Congratulations. You’ve made it to the end of the year. We hope your 2024 marketing campaigns are hugely successful. Don’t forget, we’re here to help with your SMS marketing along the way.

Ready to roll?

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