U.S.-based online retailers know that the biggest holiday shopping season for Americans begins right after we’ve gobbled down some turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. But, it’s important for online businesses to keep in mind that countries around the world celebrate a wide range of consumer holidays throughout the year.
For instance, did you know that in China, Singles Day, the world’s biggest shopping holiday of the year, outsells Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined? With consumers looking for deals during these international holidays, small online businesses should consider marketing and promotional strategies around these dates in order to attract new markets.
Mark your calendar with these eight global holidays and start planning your international shipping strategy.
1. Singles Day
Date: November 11
[Source: Want China Times]
This Chinese shopping holiday started as an anti-Valentine’s Day in the 1990s by college students. It’s also known as the “bare sticks holiday,” because of how it looks numerically (11/11). The date has gained popularity in China, due to the country’s gender imbalance. China’s one-child policy, and pressures for that child to be a son, has led to a male surplus.
Singles Day has come a long way since its inception. American retailers including Costco, Tesla, American Eagle Outfitters and Calvin Klein participated last year. Small online businesses can also partake by selling products on Tmall, an online marketplace that sells goods to mainland China.
Date: Varies according to Hindu calendar, November 11 for 2015
This ancient Hindu festival of lights has been celebrated in India for hundreds of years. Those observing Diwali prepare by cleaning, renovating and decorating their homes, putting on their best outfits and exchanging gifts with family and friends. A survey by Assocham revealed that due to the convenience of shopping online for Diwali, Indian shopping malls will see a decline of 55.58 percent visitors during the Diwali season.
3. Click Frenzy
Date: November 17
One of the newer holidays to the ecommerce playing field, Click Frenzy is Australia’s 24-hour shopping event to jump-start holiday shopping. It was launched three years ago and had an impressive 310 participating retailers in 2014. Online retailers simply need to advertise on the Click Frenzy website, which will link shoppers to their websites.
4. Middle Cyber Monday
Date: Second Monday in December
Middle Cyber Monday is the holiday of choice for those in the U.K., Canada and Australia who want to wait a little longer to start their winter shopping. According to Experian, British Internet users made 120 million visits to all kinds of retail sites on Middle Cyber Monday and only 115 million visits on Cyber Monday.
5. Boxing Day
Date: December 26
[Source: Read Me Deadly]
Boxing Day originated as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys and other servants received a Christmas-box (similar to the now-popular Christmas bonus). Retailers interested in participating should run sales for several days before or after December 26. Boxing Day is celebrated in all of the commonwealth nations.
6. Epiphany (Three Kings Day)
Date: January 6
[Source: The Atlantic]
Latin American Christian families celebrate the Epiphany to mark the visiting of the Magi to Christ. Many people often buy gifts for their families in addition to or instead of buying Christmas gifts. Although shipping to countries like Brazil and Mexico was difficult in the past, Endicia Global Service™ removes these obstacles, so retailers can have peace-of-mind when offering Epiphany sales.
7. Chinese New Year
Date: Varies according to lunar calendar, February 8 for 2016
The week before the Chinese New Year is one of the heaviest shopping seasons in China. Many people clean their homes and buy gifts for friends and families during this time. Last year, Chinese consumers spent $97.4 billion within the first six days of the festival. If your small business wants to get in on the Chinese New Year action, planning is key because many shipping services are shut down on the day itself.
8. Valentine’s Day
Date: February 14 for U.S., June 12 for Brazil, July 7 for Taiwan
[Source: International Business Times]
People around the world celebrate this day of love at different times of the year. The 132 million Valentine’s Day cards that are sent all around the world are proof of its popularity. Online businesses selling greeting cards, chocolate, stuffed animals and jewelry should take note of all of the different dates.
Offering deals for these holidays is a great way to market your small business to international audiences. Be sure to stock up on supplies so that you are ready to accommodate all of those orders from your new international customers.
And if you’re celebrating this week, hope you have a happy Singles Day and/or happy Diwali!