Update: For the latest dates, see our 2020 retail calendar here. Crushing your sales goals in 2019 means you need to be prepared now. The top retail brands don’t leave it until the last minute. And know exactly what campaigns they’ll be rolling out months in advance. So identifying the essential retail dates ahead of time and planning your marketing activity around them is the key to success. That’s why we put together this 2019 Retail Marketing Calendar below. Get clear on all the dates and then read on to take a look at some amazing ‘occasions based’ marketing campaigns to help spark some ideas.
Your retail marketing calendar 2019
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You can also add all these key 2019 retail marketing dates to your online Google, Outlook or Apple calendar by importing this file.
Using these key 2019 retail dates
Knowing these dates is one thing. Taking advantage is another. Maybe you're thinking the products you sell don't align with a lot of the dates. But the truth is most businesses can use any of these events to boost ecommerce sales. So we hand-picked seven examples of amazing 'occasion based' marketing campaigns to help spark some ideas:
1) Super Bowl Sunday - Feb 3rd 2019
The Super Bowl is huge. But an estimated 30-50 million of its 165 million global viewers now come from outside the US. Meaning retailers all around the world can leverage this huge marketing opportunity. Spending millions for a few seconds of airtime isn't necessary either. This Super Bowl related video by Hyundai has been viewed over 20 million times - and continues to be shared months on:
Maybe you can't meet the production value of Hyundai, or actually pull off a stunt at the game itself. But how can you elicit this level of emotion in a video that promotes your brand and also ties together with the hot topic of Super Bowl Sunday?
2) St Patrick's Day - Mar 17th 2019
St Patrick's Day is much more than a quirky Irish holiday. In fact, NRF data found that planned US spending has increased dramatically in the last few years with a huge jump in 2017 to $5.3 billion: But taking advantage doesn't mean needing to just run a "St Patrick's Day sale". Doing something more creative can work brilliantly to make you stand out. Take a look at jewellery brand ShanOre's special St Patrick's Day collection: Yes, they already have an Irish theme to their store all year round. But a dedicated collection or marketing campaign could work well if it fits with your brand.
3) Mother's Day - Mar 31st 2019 (May 12th in US)
Mother's Day is a massive opportunity for retailers to boost sales. Especially when NRF found that 86% of Americans planned to celebrate it in 2018 by spending $23.1 billion. With another £510 million spent in the UK. Barneys do a great job marketing for this key date in the retail calendar. Sharing blogs and social media posts from their female designers and influencers on what motherhood means to them: And paper towel brand Brawny ran this great video ad looking at a mother from a child's point-of-view:
4) US Independence Day - Jul 4th 2019
Independence Day is a huge date in the US calendar - and pretty well-known everywhere else too. Meaning it's a great opportunity to boost sales, regardless of your location. Nothing overly complex is needed (unless your brand really ties in well with the celebrations). Take a look at the Fourth of July party theme Brit + Co came up with in this email campaign: It looks great, is topical and showcases their Fourth of July related products with some high-quality imagery.
5) Halloween - Oct 31st 2019
Halloween marketing doesn't need to be cheesy. Nor do you need to sell sweets, candy or costumes in order to take advantage. In fact: It's a fantastic opportunity to create something topical and different that's likely to get shared all over social - while still staying on-brand. Outdoor clothing brand REI did this perfectly with their infographic covering 13 tools for surviving a zombie apocalypse: It's a really well made graphic with useful info presented in a humorous way. All while centering around products that REI actually sell: And they even go on to give survival skills using the items mentioned: All-in-all, this was a perfect piece of Halloween marketing that's highly shareable, aligned with REI's branding and relevant to their products.
6) Black Friday - Nov 29th 2019
Black Friday will always be hyped up in the retail industry. And some retailers do make a tonne of sales over that whole weekend. But the heavy discounting and focus on price can see giants like Amazon and Walmart squeeze everyone else out. For many retail brands, it may even be best to avoid Black Friday altogether. Or at least utilize it in a very different way. REI - again - do an amazing job with this. Playing on their outdoor theme to encourage people to get out into nature instead of Black Friday shopping: They even refuse to take any orders entirely over the Black Friday weekend. Promoting their #optoutside hashtag to help people get outdoors instead: Maybe this seems counter-productive at first. But REI know their audience - and this stance against Black Friday helps gain media exposure as well as a legion of loyal followers who love what the brand is about. The first year of closing on Black Friday even saw the company post its largest ever membership growth with revenue increasing 9.3% to $2.4 billion.
7) Christmas - Dec 25th 2019
There's only one thing on retailers' minds after Black Friday Weekend - the run up to Christmas. This is a period that can make or break annual sales success for most brands. So it's imperative to get your marketing absolutely perfect. Simple things can work if you do them well. Like West Elm running a 24 days of deals email campaign: Or Bed Bath & Beyond churning out highly relevant and shareable Christmas content. Like this blog on creating an 'Insta-worthy Christmas tree': Hobby Lobby even produced high-quality videos on subjects like how to wrap awesome looking gifts:
But it's also key to make sure you stand out from the crowd of competitors vying for consumer attention. And a great way to do this is by evoking some sort of emotion with your Christmas marketing. UK supermarket chain Iceland did this brilliantly using humor. Putting together some super short, low-budget videos like this:
Of course, there a plenty more dates in the 2019 retail marketing calendar for you to utilize. But hopefully these examples can help spark some ideas for how you can use them in your own marketing. Whether it's a huge campaign or just a slight twist on an email. Which key retail dates do you use in your marketing each year? Let us know by sharing some of your most effective campaigns in the comments below.