Aktionstage im E-Commerce: Die wichtigsten Termine für Online-Händler
Tuesday, 8 February 2022
Latori GmbH

Action days in e-commerce: The most important dates for online retailers

For most retailers, Christmas is still the time of the year with the highest sales, and year after year, spending on Christmas gifts continues to increase. In 2018, sales in Germany exceeded the 100 billion euro mark for the first time. This is due to promotional days that make shopping even more attractive. Whether Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Singles' Day - companies generate record sales on such promotion days. Shopping junkies are hoping for endless bargains and are just waiting to pull out their credit cards. Particularly in the e-commerce sector, there are many reasons for every retailer to jump on this train.

Whether it is worth it for online retailers to participate in such promotional days, which dates you can take advantage of and tips on how to be well prepared for such discount campaigns, you can find out in this article.

On promotion days, your online store has to withstand a lot. There will be numerous visitors on the website who want to click on your products, add them to the shopping cart and order them. You need a stable e-commerce platform for this onslaught. At Latori, we have already migrated or relaunched numerous web stores for national and international companies. We would be happy to discuss your project and support you professionally as a Shopify Plus agency.

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What are promotion days in E-Commerce?

Promotion days exist all over the world. These are specific dates on which retailers often offer big discounts on their products or services. The goal is to further stimulate people's buying mood - usually very successful. For retailers, these days often mean record sales.

In most cases, promotion days are based on widespread holidays, on which it is common to give each other presents. Black Friday, for example, follows Thanksgiving every year. The idea behind this was that Thanksgiving, which is celebrated in the USA and Canada, is the last holiday before Christmas and people can concentrate on Christmas shopping from the Friday after. The situation is similar with Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and the others. Retailers also take advantage of the gift culture on these occasions and offer corresponding discounts.

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Is it worth participating in action days?

Big price cuts, huge discounts, special offers - paradise for bargain hunters. For example, 38.2% of Germans plan to spend up to 300 euros on Black Friday, and 10.3% said in the survey that they even want to buy for more than 1,000 euros. Consumers are therefore clearly prepared to spend a lot of money on promotion days.

Nevertheless, participation is quite controversial, because shoppers often specifically wait for the reduced prices and for this reason deliberately do not shop before or after the discount promotion, which can lead to lost sales. In addition, retailers are increasingly tempted to advertise artificial offers on promotion days in order to keep up with their competitors' mega-discounts. However, this is not difficult to see through and can result in immense damage to the company's image.

However, this mistake can be easily avoided and with reference to the possible loss of sales: In view of how many new customers are approached on such promotion days and therefore in the best case to win them over to long term, even a lower margin is worthwhile once in a while. In addition, the economic risk is mitigated by the fact that considerably more is sold on promotion days than on regular days. In the following, we have summarized the 15 most important promotion days and their backgrounds for you.

Reading tip: You can also increase your sales with Google Ads - we show you how.

The 15 most important promotion days in online trading

December 31 & January 1 - New Year's Deals: To ensure that the desire to buy continues after Christmas shopping, many web stores are tempting shoppers with special offers for the new year. The first discount campaigns are already available at the end of December.

February 14 - Valentines Day: For many people, Valentine's Day is about giving a gift to their loved one. But you don't have to offer flowers or chocolates to take part in Valentine's Day discount promotions. Here it is worthwhile namely also once to look beyond the edge of the plate. For example, men's gifts or gifts for the best friend are the latest trends for the festival of love.

In some cases, store credit points will be added after payment on the associated app.

March 8 - International Women's Day: Less than a month later, it's women's turn again. International Women's Day celebrates women's equality and their contribution to the world. For this purpose, they are usually presented with gifts by their male loved ones. You can participate in this day of action if you offer products or services that are suitable as gifts. However, Women's Day is also worthwhile as a day of action if you represent the same message with your brand as the one that this day is about.

March/April – Easter: Easter is one of the most important holidays in Christianity. But also non-religious people give each other presents during this time. Of course, the focus is usually on children, but the holiday is also worthwhile as a promotion day for the grown-ups. Discounts on clothing, Easter decorations and household goods are especially worthwhile for Easter sales.

2nd Sunday in May - Mother's Day: Almost all Germans spend money on Mother's Day. The recipients are mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers. In most cases, they get flowers, chocolate, perfume or cosmetics. Here it is worthwhile too as an online retailer to go one step further and take gift-giving to a more personal level; this works particularly well if you sell handmade or customizable items.

In some cases, store credit points will be added after payment on the associated app.

May (on Ascension Day) - Father's Day: For most people, finding a gift for dad, grandpa or great-grandpa is much more difficult than for the women in the family. So here too it pays off to inspire potential customers a bit and stand out from the competition with discounts. If you have something in your assortment that men might be happy about, you should take your chance and participate in this action day.

June 1-30.– Pride Month: Pride Month is now also celebrated in Germany in June. This month also includes Christopher Street Day, for example, when large parades take place. The focus is on the LGBTQ+ community and it's about standing confidently for one's own sexual identity. Symbolic of the community and therefore also for Pride Month is the rainbow flag. Similar to International Women's Day, as an online retailer you don't have to have products in your assortment that match the occasion. You can also participate in these days of action if the values conveyed are reflected in your corporate philosophy.<>

July/August/September - Back to school: Depending on the federal state, the school year in Germany begins either at the end of July, August or September. This is a very special time, especially for children starting school. But for the others the joy of reuniting and looking forward to the new school year is great too. So-called back-to-school promotions are very popular at this time of year. In addition to classic school utensils, clothing and technology, for example, are also in great demand.

In some cases, store credit points will be added after payment on the associated app.

October 31 - Halloween: The origins of this celebration actually go back to the Celts, who dressed up to scare away the dead. As the tradition evolved over the years and spread to the United States, it gained more and more commercial significance over time. Today, Halloween is a great way to draw attention to your online store and brand before the shopping chaos begins in November. For example, lingerie, makeup items, and spooky bakeware are popular at this time, in addition to classic costumes.

November 11 – Singles Day: Just a few months after Valentine's Day, single people celebrate their Singles Day. This idea originated in China, where singles met on this day to celebrate together exuberantly. The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba then took advantage of this event and generated a whopping 27.3 billion euros in sales as a result. Singles Day is also being celebrated more and more in this country and corresponding offers are being advertised.

End of November - Grey Thursday: More and more online retailers are now participating in "Grey Thursday" in addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This means that the shopping madness already starts on Thursday with targeted marketing campaigns, such as email campaigns, social media postings and flash sales.

End of November - Black Friday: Probably the most famous action day, Black Friday, initially heralded the Christmas business in America. Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving and many Americans even get time off from their employers on this day to do their first Christmas shopping. To Germany, this action day was brought by none other than the software giant Apple. The cult brand doesn't normally lower its prices, but on Black Friday 2006 the iPhone manufacturer also offered big discounts in Germany. Over the years, the campaign day was adopted by other providers and was able to establish itself. Although Black Friday was initially held in retail stores, it has become established in Germany primarily online.

To make sure you are well prepared for the three promotion days Grey Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, we have some more useful tips & tricks for you:

End of November/Begin of December - Cyber Monday: Grey Thursday and Black Friday are always followed by Cyber Monday. These three promotion days usually fall on the last week in November or the first week in December. The marketing term Cyber Monday has also become established in Germany. As the name suggests, Cyber Monday - in contrast to Black Friday - was originally designed more for online retail. This campaign day is promoted particularly strongly by Amazon in Germany. However, study results from 2016 show that less is spent on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday, despite larger discounts. In order to be well prepared for the promotion days Grey Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday (or "BFCM" for short) as an online retailer, a sophisticated "BFCM marketing strategy" is required, which should be developed at an early stage.

In some cases, store credit points will be added after payment on the associated app.

December 6 - St. Nicholas day: December 6 is the memorial day of Nicholas of Myra and is celebrated in Christianity as St. Nicholas Day. At this time also the last ones start their Christmas business by advertising with targeted Christmas promotions.

Reading tip: Learn 13 tips for Christmas in e-commerce: How to prepare your online store for the Christmas season.

December 14 - Free Shipping Day: Free Shipping Day takes place ten days before Christmas. On this day, online retailers offer their customers free shipping and guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. For anyone who doesn't want to be empty-handed at Christmas, this is probably a convincing argument.

6 tips for online retailers: How to optimally prepare your webshop for the promotion days

Anyone who wants to participate in such promotion days must prepare their store well. After all, stock and shipping restrictions can be a challenge for retailers of any size. Nevertheless, the potential of these marketing campaigns should be exploited, since after all more than half of people react impulsively to such offers. We have collected for you the six aspects you should consider for successful participation in promotion days:

1. Plan enough preparation time

Good preparation is the key to properly exploiting the potential of promotional days. Let's take Black Friday as an example, which takes place every year at the end of November. In order to be prepared for this event, it is necessary to inform potential customers about the Black Friday offers two to three months in advance, i.e. around September.

Latori: We guarantee to get you through your e-commerce year!

On promotion days, your online store has to withstand a lot. There will be numerous visitors on the website who want to click on your products, move them to the shopping cart and order them. You need a stable e-commerce platform to handle this onslaught. At Latori, we have migrated or relaunched numerous webshops for national and international companies. We would be happy to discuss your project as well.

Contact us now

2. Create campaigns

In order to sell your planned discount campaigns, it is worth creating targeted campaigns. For this it is necessary to create a landing page and to plan and implement channels, advertising material and budget. It is also very useful to include tracking at this point. This allows you to measure the success of your campaign in order to optimize future advertising measures accordingly.

3. Prepare your website for the rush

If your campaign is successful, you can expect a big rush on your online store on the promotion day. Numerous customers will put various products in the shopping cart, which can mean a high load for the web store. For this reason, it is very important to test in advance whether the page can withstand the high number of users and how fast the loading time is.

4. Organize logistics and parcel services providers

In order to cope with a high order volume, it is important to provide the warehouse with sufficient staff and to optimize order preparation. In any case, delivery times and quantities must be coordinated and organized with the parcel service at an early stage. In order for online stores to benefit from rising sales, parcel service providers have to cope with the same increase in shipping volume. For delivery staff, the weeks before Christmas are pure stress. To be able to manage the workload, thousands of employees are needed and hired. This is one reason why some parcel service providers charge so-called peak surcharges.

5. Keeping an eye on competitors

If you keep an eye on your competitors' activities, you can not only draw inspiration for your own discount campaigns. Market observation also helps to evaluate one's own activities: Does the offer match consumer expectations? Can the offer keep up with that of the competitors?

6. Include good selling products

To convince consumers to buy, at least one bestseller must be in the focus of attention and attract attention. This is the only way to generate sales through upsells and cross-sells. Both are sales techniques that work well in an online store. Upsells suggest more expensive, newer or better products in the same category to customers. Cross-selling aims to sell additional products that match the selected item. For example, when buying a camera, it is recommended to purchase a replacement battery or a matching holster during the ordering process.

Frequently asked questions about promotion days in e-commerce

What are the most important promotion days in e-commerce?

The most important promotion days in online commerce are, for example, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Father's Day.

Does it make sense to participate in promotion days?

Participation in promotion days is quite controversial, as shoppers do show an increased interest in buying on these days, but also often only buy when prices fall due to discounts and offers. However, participation in promotion days also offers the opportunity to attract some new customers. In addition, promotion days usually generate significantly more sales than other sales days during the year.

How do I prepare for promotion days as a retailer?

A structured approach can be helpful here, the most important steps are:

  • Allow sufficient preparation time

  • Create campaigns

  • Prepare the website for the onslaught

  • Organize logistics/parcel service providers

  • Keep an eye on the competition

  • Include bestsellers.

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