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Your 2024 retail and ecommerce marketing calendar.

Last updated November 2023

Struggling to keep track of all the big sales events throughout the year? You’re not alone – it can be 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 big 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: 

Running an ecommerce store in today’s world isn’t an easy job.

Get your seasonal campaign planning guide.

SMS Seasonal Planning Guide US Flatlay playbook

Q1: January to March.

Sure, the first few months of the year can feel slow (and cold). But there are still plenty of opportunities to connect with your customers and spread some sales sunshine. Here are a few of the key dates to keep in mind.

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 Christmas is done and dusted, 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.

Valentine’s Day: 14 February.

In 2023, a massive $25.9 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day, with the average American forking out $192 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.

Presidents’ Day: 19 February.

Kick off your Presidents’ Day campaign in early February, offering hard-to-resist deals and discounts. Shoppers often hold out for big sales at this time, particularly on home items and appliances — so if your brick-and-mortar or ecommerce store sells this sort of stuff, you’ll definitely want to be on board.

St. Patrick’s Day: 17 March.

Did you know that roughly 40 million Americas have Irish heritage? It’s why St. Patrick’s Day is so huge here — in 2023, $6.9 billion was spent on this shamrock-themed holiday. If you sell anything remotely Irish (think the color green, clovers, shamrocks, Guinness), then you’ll want to grab a piece of this pie.

Q2: April to June.

This quarter is full of opportunities to connect with customers and boost sales. Pick the events that are best suited to whatever you sell, and start planning.

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 specializes in, think about how you can capitalize 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. 

Cinco De Mayo: 5 May.

This holiday, which started in the 1960s, celebrates Mexican culture and heritage — and it truly comes alive with parades, music, food, and parties.  

It’s a great opportunity to boost sales of party decorations, apparel, and gifts. And, to cash in, you could come up with a campaign that plays on the literal translation of the event (5th of May). Think 5% discounts, 5-hour flash sales, or 5-item bundles.

Mother’s Day: 12 May.

Celebrating mothers, motherhood, and maternal bonds, Mother’s Day is a huge sales opportunity — with people keen to spoil their number one moms with everything from flowers and food, to alcohol and gift cards. 

To give your brand the best chance of success with this holiday, start promoting your Mother’s Day offers in early April. And remember:  

  • Offer services, not just products. Families often want to treat ‘mom’ 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 moms. Showcase the human side of your business by promoting your team’s moms or encouraging your community to enter a competition about what makes their mom 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.

Father’s Day: 16 June.

Dads do well on Father’s Day, with Americans setting a new record in spending $22.9 billion on dads in 2023. Like Mother’s Day, food and alcohol are popular pressies, along with clothes, shoes, books, music and games. 

Kick off your Father’s Day campaign in early May – but just remember that people tend to shop last-minute for dads compared to moms. 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.

Get your seasonal campaign planning guide.

SMS Seasonal Planning Guide US Flatlay playbook

Q3: July to September.

Summer days mean fresh campaigns that focus on family, sunshine, and the great outdoors, followed by your back-to-school campaigns. This quarter is also key for planning your Black Friday and Christmas campaigns – refining your SMS templates, polishing your content, checking your contact lists, and more.

Fourth of July: 4 July.

Fireworks. Family time. Flash sales. Fourth of July is a huge sales event, with shoppers actively hunting for bargains and looking for sweet deals. 

You could consider curating a special Fourth of July catalog of products on your website, which you could promote via SMS. Start your campaign in mid-June to give everyone plenty of time to buy.

Back to school: Late July.

Depending on your business, the start of the school year can be a lucrative time. In fact, in 2023, parents expected to spend an average of $597 on back-to-school clothes, school supplies, and accessories.  

To grab a slice of this spending, get your brand noticed with timely, helpful messages. Start in early July and keep it up until the first bell rings. 

Here are some things to keep in mind:  

  • 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. University 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.

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 maximize 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 candy.

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 November and 2 December.

In 2022, Black Friday sales in the United States hit $9.12 billion, with Cyber Monday peaking at $11.3 billion. This massive retail event sees 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, personalized, 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.

Small Business Saturday: 30 November.

Anything but small, this retail event for independent retailers and restaurants rakes in big bucks. $17.9 billion, in fact. Consumers clearly love to throw their support behind local stores — so if you’re one of them, then you’ll want to be a part of the action. 

Given that Small Business Saturday falls smack bang in the middle of BFCM, you’ll need to be ready to make some noise. Get the word out early about your deals, and ensure your brand is on local customers’ radars.

Free Shipping Day: 14 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.

Get your seasonal campaign planning guide.

SMS Seasonal Planning Guide US Flatlay playbook

Bring 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.