- Halloween: Wednesday, October 31
The average American plans to spend $185.50 on Halloween* in 2018, shelling out for costumes, candy, and decorations. This is a very profitable season if you carry those products, so make sure to review all of your Halloween-themed items. If any items are considered offensive or not compliant with marketplace policies they will most likely be removed. Walmart and Jet sellers should review the Prohibited Products Policy, and remove or unpublish any offending products. If the marketplace identifies them first, your account could be suspended or terminated.
- Diwali: Wednesday, November 7
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights. It has a significant impact on e-commerce and other retail numbers in India, but there is very little data on it’s impact on U.S. retail
- Veterans Day: Sunday and Monday, November 11 & 12
Veterans Day 2018 is on November 11, because Veterans Day is always on November 11. However, because November 11 falls on a Sunday this year, Veterans Day will be observed on Monday, November 12, so that schools and workplaces have the opportunity to take a day off. Many retailers offer discounts to current and former service members during this long weekend. Offering promotions during this time could encourage pre-Black Friday shoppers and inspire brand loyalty among more patriotic buyers.
- Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 22
- Black Friday: Friday, November 23
- Small Business Saturday: November 24
This day is like Black Friday for smaller players. Supporting small/local businesses is becoming more and more important to consumers, so if you fall into this category don’t be afraid to create some kind of promotion for this occasion.
- Cyber Monday 2018: Monday, November 26
Last year, Thanksgiving e-commerce sales hit a record $2.87B, up 18.3% year-over-year. With current e-commerce trends in mind, 2018 will most likely be even better. Plan your promotions and discounts ahead.
- Hanukkah: December 3 – 10
Contrary to popular belief, Hanukka is not traditionally a gift-centered holiday. If you want to expand your business to cater to Hanukka shoppers, you may want to source Hanukka centered items or Kosher foods.
- Christmas Eve: Monday, December 24
- Christmas Day: Tuesday, December 25
Most of your online store’s visitors during November and December will be shopping for a gift. Their orders need to be delivered before December 24 — a hard deadline. In addition to holiday cut-off dates, you should be aware of carrier holiday surcharges. UPS and FedEx often surcharge for packages sent to residential addresses between November 19th and December 23rd. Buying Christmas presents late has become part of the festive tradition. Gone are the days where people had finished buying presents before they had flipped their calendar to December – your customers will still be shopping for their gifts about 10 days before Christmas.
- New Year’s Eve: Monday, December 31
Holiday returns season officially begins.
Important things to keep in mind
Marketplaces may limit listing updates
Some marketplaces limit product updates in order to keep their systems running at optimal speed during peak shopping times. Last year Walmart prevented sellers from creating new items and updating existing items between November 22 and November 27. Sellers were still able to update prices and quantities, create promotions, and update lag times for shipping and order processing. We can expect the same this year.
Publish more products and review your inventory
Do you have products that you want to publish, but haven’t had a chance to yet? Marketplaces like Jet and Walmart perform a detailed overview of your submission before making a listing public, so now is the time to publish new listings and perfect existing ones.
Check the statuses of your products (the GeekSeller Product Management panel displays an overview of your listings across the platform), some marketplaces such as Jet and Walmart may unpublish your products due to high pricing, listing quality, violation of terms, or sometimes by mistake. If you spot an issue early enough, you should be able to fix it and publish the product before the holidays. Do not wait; Republishing products can take just as long as creating them for the first time.
What else can you do?
- Compare your pricing to that of your competitors. Price is still one of the most important factors in winning the buy box.
- Offer free shipping, even if this means increasing the price of your products to cover the shipping cost.
- Offer fast shipping, this is crucial to win the last minute shoppers. Remember to manage expectations, since shipping companies will be very busy.
- Consider getting insurance for more expensive products. The holiday rush is a crazy time for logistic companies, things may get lost or break.
- Consider expanding to new marketplaces today. The application process can take weeks.
- Think back on what mistakes were made in 2017. Can you avoid them in 2018? Collect data about your holiday season, your sales, refunds, the issues you faced, spot trends; learn from mistakes so you can avoid them in 2019.
Need help? Contact GeekSeller support, we can review your account and help to optimize it for the holidays.
*Updated from “$169.81 in 2017” to “$185.50 in 2018” on 10/25/2018