The Most Important Days of the 2014 Holiday Shopping Season

2014 Holiday Shopping Dates for E-commerce

The holiday shopping season will kick in to high gear this weekend. Every retailer is looking forward to Black Friday and Cyber Monday to push them into the black for 2014, but those aren’t the only important dates in the coming weeks!

This year promises to be busier than ever for e-commerce stores, with the National Retail Federation estimating that 44% of the average consumer’s holiday shopping will be done online. Make sure your marketing and fulfillment teams are ready for these all-important days!

Black Friday: November 28

The most obvious day comes first. The biggest shopping day of the year is expected to be bigger than ever, with 66% of consumers saying they’ll shop the deals (up 55% from last year). Of course many retailers are getting a jump on the big day by announcing their deals early (Amazon will even launch their Black Friday sale on November 1). Even if you don’t follow in Amazon’s footsteps, make sure you’re teasing your Black Friday deals long before the day arrives.

Cyber Monday: December 1

Cyber Monday continues to compete with Black Friday for the title of biggest shopping day of the year. And according to Consumer Reports retailers are hoping to extend it to a full-on “Cyber Week” this year. The first seven days in December will be crucial for all e-commerce retailers. Identify your deals now, build anticipation at the end of November, and make sure your website can handle the traffic!

Free Shipping Day: December 18

For the last five years, “Free Shipping Day” has brought customers a mid-December gift, when a coalition of retailers all offer free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. Created to extend the holiday shopping season, you can expect a lot of consumers to be online this day. Even if your business doesn’t plan on joining in (and you probably should), be prepared for an influx of orders!

Busiest Delivery Days: December 15 & 22

USPS says it’s expecting a 14% surge in holiday deliveries over 2013 (remember how well that went?) and UPS & FedEx are trying to make up for last year’s failures by predicting which days will carry the highest volume. UPS is expecting to deliver the most packages on December 22, the Monday before Christmas, though they have advised retailers to avoid last-minute sales and free shipping offers or risk disappointing their customers. FedEx says their busiest day will be a week earlier, on December 15.

Christmas Day: December 25

After the busy holiday shopping season, you’d think consumers would take a break on Christmas, but in 2013 sales increased 16.5% over 2012! Over half the purchases were made on mobile devices. While most of the shops are closed, shoppers will open their laptops, tablets and smartphones to shop for all the gifts they wanted but didn’t receive, and to get an idea of what after-holiday sales are available. Make sure your store is ready to take advantage of Christmas Day shoppers with an offer or two!

Boxing Day: December 26

Even though Americans don’t celebrate Boxing Day, we sure love to shop on it! Continue the post-Christmas shopping frenzy with a sale or free shipping offer for all the gifts consumers want to buy themselves. You can also gain cross-border sales with offers targeted to customers in Canada and the UK.

New Year’s Eve: December 31

This is your last chance to lock in 2014 sales, so plan ahead and go out with a bang!

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