2022 Marketing Calendar
Beginning of The Year
The first couple of months in the year are typically slow following the holiday shopping frenzy. But that doesn’t mean you have to let Q1 be a slow quarter–there’s plenty of opportunities to keep sales moving early in the year.
Seasonal Strategies – Beginning of the Year
As a retailer coming fresh off the holidays it’s time to start building relationships with newly acquired customers from last year. Not every holiday shopper will turn into a long-term customer, but using a personalized approach for outreach to build a rapport and encourage a second purchase through relevant, consistent email or SMS campaigns will go a long way. Target them with related items to what they bought, encourage reviews with double loyalty points, or offer a great deal on their next order by opting in to additional channels like SMS or push notifications.
For those who offered gift cards as a solution to shipping delays and supply chain woes during the holidays, targeting those who received your digital gift cards with a nurture series is key. If they haven’t yet spent their gift card, this is a great opportunity to show off your products and provide recommendations. If they have, keep your site top of mind and primed for a second purchase. This is a segment of potential long-term customers for your store if you can build a connection with them early on!
New Year, New You
The holiday season isn’t every industry’s busy time – some are actually at their peak during the beginning of the year. Most of us make New Years’ resolutions and are looking for products to help us stay committed to them: from workout equipment, athletic apparel, home organization, to productivity support and more are huge during this time. Help customers stick to their goals with useful tips and the products they need to succeed.
It’s almost guaranteed that most brands end up with a little extra inventory at the end of a season so use a clearance sale to empty out the shelves, and make room for new items. Plus, it’s a good excuse to reach out to your database with a great deal on last-chance products.
Weddings & Events
The first couple of months in the year are typically slow following the holiday shopping frenzy. But that doesn’t mean you have to let Q1 2022 is shaping up to be the year of the wedding, with over 2.5 million scheduled in the US alone. Peak wedding season is traditionally May through July, but event sales are not restricted to that time of year. With so many events, consumers are actively looking for gifts, clothing, accessories, and more months in advance. Not to mention they’re ready to spend to make up for delayed milestone events.
Seasonal Strategies – Weddings & Events
For weddings, this is what most people will be looking to buy gifts from. If your store does registries make sure they’re easy to shop and are optimized to encourage higher-order values with upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Extra add-ons like special delivery, customization/monograms, and gift-wrapping can help set your site apart from the competition, not to mention boosting profit margins.
Weddings and special events are often complex and demanding, so consumers are looking for inspiration and help every step of the way. Gift guides and product suggestions will have a big impact on these shoppers. Think of creating helpful product collections like “Summer wedding guest attire” or “best bridesmaids gifts” as a way to curate a personalized shopping experience. This type of organization will not only help get products in front of consumers but help them feel more confident in their choices, win-win!
Just because you don’t sell wedding decorations or accessories doesn’t mean you can’t get into this season. There are typically many events leading up to a wedding (group outings, bachelor/bachelorette parties, etc.)…everything from neon-colored clothes and fun wings to golf accessories and luggage is fair game making it investigating potential sales opportunities.
Avoiding The Summer Slump
July is historically the slowest month for e-commerce with sales dipping as low as 30% compared to other months. But don’t worry, there are ample opportunities to bolster your sales in Q3 and help you prepare for the coming holiday shopping season.
Seasonal Strategies – Avoiding The Summer Slump
Summer Came Early
As a retailer, you are well aware of the ongoing supply chain and shipping issues that have been plaguing almost every industry. This makes it even more important to start early before your seasonal items “prime time”, so to speak. This is so that customers can be guaranteed to get items before they need them. If you sell summer products you should be marketing them in February or March (while consumers are starting to look forward to warmer weather) to create demand and anticipation. Consumers are well-aware of the current shortages and not afraid to start shopping early to make sure they get what they want. Tease product launches with countdown timers or exclusive VIP-access signup lists for even more excitement. Spring Break is in March and while it may not be beach season everywhere–many are planning to travel to tropical destinations.
Focus on Your Databases
building up your email and SMS databases with ideal subscribers. Starting to collect these leads now will not only reduce acquisition costs but also give you time to build a relationship and collect behavioral data on them before the heavy-hitting holiday months. Their inboxes will be filled to the brim with deals in just a few months, so take the time to stand out from the crowd now and watch the rewards roll in this winter.
May and June are filled with school graduations meaning that some shoppers will be buying gifts from a large number of friends and family. Close high-value shoppers by offering a volume discount on certain products perfect for the graduating senior or college students in their life. Want to drive up order values even more? Product customization is a great option to offer as an add-on for these gifts just like in wedding season.
Back to School
Did you know that some consumers start back to school shopping as early as April? While the bulk of your B2S sales will be in August–make sure you’ve done your homework and finished your B2S strategy before the school year’s out.
Seasonal Strategies – Back to School
Make it as easy as possible for shoppers to get everything they need from you (if possible) so they don’t get distracted and abandon their cart to go to a competitor. Use special collections for your core customer segments, intelligent product recommendations, and strategic page links to keep them moving through your site and adding to their cart.
Know Your Shoppers
Not everyone going back to school has the same shopping list. From teachers and college students to kindergarteners and student-athletes–the audience here is huge. Target specifically those in charge of shopping, i.e. parents of school-aged kids, teachers, college students. These consumers are looking for everything from art supplies, sporting gear, and backpacks to laptops, bedding, and appliances. Narrow in on your target audience and show them how you can help.
Back to school can be stressful for many consumers, so help them stay organized and confident with a shopping checklist of what they need; “Starting Kindergarten” to “Freshman dorm checklist” and everything in between–this makes you more likely to close the sale and even boost order value in the process by helping them stay on track.
B2S is home to both procrastinators and planners, make sure you’re prepared to cater to both with promotions, specially timed offers, and shipping timelines to keep everyone on track.
Between B2S and the start of the winter holidays is the prime time to focus on prepping for Q4 and Cyber Five. Focus on your lead captures now to grow your subscriber base for the winter holidays for strong email and SMS lists plus, ad costs are lower now which can be a game-changer for your holiday profitability.
Last year the winter holidays seemed to start earlier than ever and last longer through the season, having crept into October and going strong into the New Year. It’s natural to focus on Black Friday/Cyber Monday but we saw last year they weren’t the blockbuster spending days of the past. Shoppers shopped slow and steady through Q4 instead as a result of increased in-store opportunities, supply chain woes, and other external factors. Brand outside the BFCM box and meet customers when and where they’re wanting to shop!
Seasonal Strategies – Winter Holidays
Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store
This has continued to be a mainstay of the natural evolution of brick-and-mortar stores as their e-commerce presence grew and in-person shopping became difficult due to the pandemic. Plus, more shoppers are putting an emphasis on shopping local, making this a great way to connect with customers in your community. This is also an ideal way to appeal to last-minute shoppers who ran out of time for shipping. Not to mention reducing the last-mile fulfillment strain on your store, improving profit margins, and reducing stress.
Beyond The Discount
We all think of BFCM traditionally as the weekend of deep discounts and flash sales but that doesn’t work for every brand. Bundles, exclusive products/gifts, early access and more can help take your offer outside the box. Collect emails/phone numbers in exchange for VIP access to deals beforehand, offer limited-time products for certain cart values, or donate a percentage of sales to a shopper’s charity of choice. Find your differentiator and center your messaging around what appeals to your target audience.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday typically dominate the conversation around Q4 sales opportunities but Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday, Giving Tuesday, Boxing Day, etc. are all examples of how you can use outside the box messaging during this season and showcase more personality than just deep discounts or crazy doorbusters.
More than 10% of U.S consumers surveyed by Justuno said they didn’t plan to start their holiday shopping until December last year.
We all know how hard it can be to shop for some people on our gifting list, so make it easier for customers to find the perfect present. Whether it’s first-time visitors unsure of what they’re looking for or loyal customers shopping for someone new, gift guides work for all segments.
The holidays involve shopping for gifts that are usually needed by a specific date. Use countdown banners to keep visitors informed about deadlines and encourage procrastinators to convert. Being transparent from the start builds trust and keeps expectations in check. Use geo-targeting to make sure that shoppers who can still get their orders in time are aware vs. those outside the shipping radius who you can push towards gift cards or other electronically gifted pr
Gift cards are a great way to help out those last-minute shoppers plus give you a double segment to market to in the new year both the gifter and the giftee!
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