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Make the Most of Major Commercial Events

It’s that time again, another shopping holiday, how should your marketing team make the most of it? 

Here’s a handy calendar of some of the Shopping Holidays in Australia.

January February
1 New Year’s Day

20-30 Back to School 

26 Australia Day

14 Valentine’s Day
March April
Good Friday (varies)

Easter (varies)

May June
Mothers Day (varies) Queens Birthday (varies)

End of Financial Year

July August
 

 

 

 

September October
Father’s Day (varies)

 

31 Halloween

 

November December
Black Friday

Cyber Monday

24 Christmas Eve

26 Boxing Day

31 New Year’s Eve

Others
Labor day – varies by state
Fashion Week

 

There are other shopping events that are region or culture specific too, like the Melbourne Cup Carnival (November), which is very popular with many fashion brands, and Single’s Day (11 November), which is an important shopping holiday in Asian countries and for Asian customers.

 

It can be tricky to figure out how brands can capitalise on these events, brands need to be mindful not to overdo it by always discounting, since customers might dismiss it and not jump on the limited time offer, and the offers will become less effective over time.

 

Here are 5 things to remember: 

1. Decide if you’re having an offer and make it yours

While some events have an obvious theme, such as Thanksgiving, or Halloween, you can still figure out how to make it unique and special to you. For Halloween, a fashion brand might have a sale just on black items, or you could make a special collection to promote just for Spring Racing. Don’t feel that you always need to provide an offer. If a special event is brand aligned, you might instead decide to launch a specific product range or variant for the occasion. And if you do opt for an offer, you can avoid discounting by offering free or expedited shipping, extra items, or other promotions without necessarily discounting. If it’s right, and you need to clear stock, discounts are obviously very effective, just don’t feel like you always need to discount.

 

2. Have a plan

This might seem obvious, put together a sending calendar, add the content across channels, set a budget, and put it together. Once you’ve done that, also think about contingencies. If you see a competitor launch their sale a day early, will you respond in like, or stick to your calendar? If advertising prices triple (they often do), how will you adjust? So many things are happening on sale days, having a plan really helps to keep your head straight.  

 

3. Activate your customers early, and send reminders

From an Email perspective, it’s important to send an email early in the campaign, and reminders throughout. Brands will be competing for inbox space with many other brands just trying to take this opportunity to increase sales, so your open rates are likely to take a hit. Depending on the promotion offered, you may want to start early with your awareness tactics so when it comes to the event, you are established and don’t need to worry as much about cutting through.

 

4. Synchronise messaging across all channels

Multi-channel campaigns are more effective than single channel campaigns. Delivering consistent messaging and design across platforms increases mindshare. If a customer receives an email before they see an ad, they will be more likely to click, which brings down your per customer advertising cost, and if they see the ad first, they’re more likely to open and respond to the email. 

 

5. Get transient visitors to join the mailing list

Promotions and sales can be an effective way to convert would-be one-time shoppers to regular customers. While the goal of the campaigns should obviously be sales focused, it’s also an opportunity to encourage users to subscribe. Set up a specific sign-up form for new visitors during the event, and modify your welcome emails to take full advantage of the sale event. Promotions on the right channels such as social media, followed by a nurture series through email, can be a good incentive to convert a one-time customer into a loyal one.

 

Commercial events are great for businesses to boost sales and attract potential customers if you use the right tactics and get in at the right time. Planning ahead and being organised will always give businesses an advantage. You will have less to do when it comes to crunch time, have better allocated resources, and be better positioned to get ahead of other brands.

 

By Nhu Nguyen and Shaun Ernst