Important Global Ecommerce Dates for 2021

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For online stores that want to sell globally, it’s crucial to keep track of important ecommerce dates in different regions and countries around the world.

Being aware of important international ecommerce dates allows merchants to run marketing campaigns and promotions for various country-specific holidays as well as prepare for increased sales.

You'll already know that peak-selling periods, like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, have been providing golden opportunities for brick-and-mortar retailers to boost sales and drive revenue for years.

But when it comes to online, those opportunities are getting bigger with the likes of Black Friday and Cyber Monday now becoming staple dates in the marketing calendar. But there are even more occasions that are fast-becoming popular events around the world every year.

As a store owner, having these important international ecommerce dates in your own marketing calendar is the key to setting you up for success so that you can plan out your promotional sales initiatives for the year.

Keep track of key international holidays

Certain holidays or occasions will encourage people to buy certain products as well as put them off purchasing others. For example, if you're a merchant based in the northern hemisphere, you may see a dip in clothing sales at the start of the summer, but then a big spike just before September. That's often because consumers are trying to hold off for Labor Day or back to school sales.

If you're based in one part of the world and have consumers in another, it can be difficult to manage what’s going on internationally. But a comprehensive global ecommerce calendar will no doubt help you keep on top of key dates and make your life much easier when it comes to promotions.

From the types of products customers are more likely to buy at certain times of year to the kinds of sales or discounts people expect in a certain season, we've got you covered.

Here we have put together an international marketing calendar of the most important ecommerce dates month-by-month for 2021.

New Year’s Day

January 1
Global

Many consumers see the start of a new year is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start and to set goals. It means they won’t be buying junk food or expensive toys but they will buy items that will enhance their New Year’s resolutions.

So, kick off the new year with deals that promote ideas around health and wellness, as well as organization and security.

Blue Monday

January 18 - third Monday in January
Global

The third Monday in January is also known as Blue Monday because it's thought to be the most depressing day of the year. As an ecommerce merchant, you should utilize the day with marketing campaigns designed to spread cheer among your consumers who will be looking to indulge in online retail therapy or booking a vacation.

Shoppers will be looking for discounts though so be sure to promote offers like free shipping, discount codes and clearance sales.

Australia Day

January 26
Australia

Australia Day is the country's national day of celebration and treated much like a late summer festival with people heading to beaches and enjoying barbecues.

It is held on the same date Britain's First Fleet sailed into Sydney Harbor in 1788, beginning the European colonization which led to the modern nation of Australia. But the day has drawn much criticism by those who say it causes unfair hurt to indigenous people.

Super Bowl Sunday

February 7 - first Sunday in February
United States

The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL) and is the most-watched program on TV in America every year, resulting in big brands buying commercial airtime at a reported cost of about $150,000 per second.

But ecommerce merchants can get involved too - and it doesn't have to break the bank. Sports, food and beverage industries can offer promotions or discounts while others can jump on the hype on social media.

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Chinese New Year

February 12 - based on the Chinese lunar calendar
China

The Chinese New Year is a festival that marks the start of the new year in China. Each year is assigned a zodiac animal - 2021 is the Year of the Ox.

Chinese New Year (CNY), also known as Spring Festival in China, is seen as a time where family members come together, buy gifts for each other - and occasionally spoil themselves too.

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Valentine’s Day

February 14
Global

Whatever your industry, Valentine's Day is a big one to have in the calendar. A decade ago, more than 60% of adults said they celebrated the occasion, but today that's dropped to just over half. Despite that spending continues to rise with consumers expected to spend $20 million this year. It's often marked with flowers, candy, and jewelry - but don't worry if you're not in those industries as most products can be geared towards Valentine's Day shoppers.

International Women’s Day

March 8
Global

International Women’s Day celebrates women’s rights, achievements and helps to focus on issues such as gender equality.

Thousands of organizations around the world now mark the day - which started more than 100 years ago - and it's the perfect opportunity for you to show your appreciation to your female customers. Get involved by highlighting female employees on social media, offering special discounts especially for women and investing in giveaways to female customers.

White Day

March 14
Japan, Korea, China

On Valentine's Day in Japan and some other Asian countries, women traditionally give handmade gifts and chocolates to their family, friends, and of course their romantic interests. A month later, on March 14, it's the men's turn to return the gesture - known as White Day.

It's less common for men to make gifts, so they will look for custom-made apparel, accessories or jewelry. If you sell any of these White Day is a great opportunity.

St. Patrick’s Day

March 17
Global

St. Patrick’s Day is a religious and cultural celebration of Ireland’s heritage marked all around the world - not just in Ireland.

The celebration is named after the patron saint of Ireland St Patrick who is famously said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland and established Christianity on the emerald isle during the 5th century. Today, it's a chance for some light-hearted fun with public parades, parties and lots of shamrock-shaped accessories.

Holi Festival

March 29 - based on Hindu lunar calendar
India

Holi is the traditional Hindu ‘Festival of Colors’ and celebrates love, fertility, and the start of spring. People spend the day smearing colored powder all over each other, having parties, and dancing under water sprinklers.

It's one of the most popular festivals in India with people often exchanging gifts and items such as clothing, jewelry, electronics and footwear are in hot demand at this time.

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April Fools’ Day

April 1
US, EU, UK, Canada, Australia

In western cultures, the first day of April is also seen as an opportunity to play a mischievous prank on someone.

Known as April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day, historians don't actually know how it started, but the day is a bit of fun and as a store owner it's the chance to show you've got a sense of humor. You could share a joke or GIF on social media to build up brand awareness and drive engagement.

Easter Sunday

April 4 - the first Sunday following the first full moon
US, EU, UK, Canada, Australia

Easter is the biggest date in the Christian calendar and traditionally marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But for many, the occasion is also a time to mark the end of winter and the start of spring.

Although the most popular items tend to be food and candy, any industry can utilize the upcoming holiday in their marketing. For online stores, it's a great opportunity to offer one-off deals or bargains.

Earth Day

April 22
Global

Earth Day, celebrated every year on April 22, is the global day of environmental action and thought to be the largest secular observance in the world.

If our planet and environmental issues are something you care about as a business then this is the prime chance to let your customers know. Put great emphasis on your eco-friendly, reusable and recycled products, share your thoughts or a personal story and introduce people to a product that supports the movement.

Cinco De Mayo

May 5
Mexico, US

Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday to honor the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France.

While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the US it has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage and seen as a chance to get together and eat tacos or drink tequila. For online merchants, it can be a great chance to generate publicity, build brand recognition and enhance customer loyalty.

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Mother’s Day

May 9 - second Sunday in May
US, Mexico, Australia, Canada and most of EU

Mother's Day is a chance to showing our mother how much she means to us. It's the third biggest date in the retail calendar with consumers looking to treat their moms - whether that's a book, her favorite perfume or a monthly flower subscription.

Most shopping is done immediately before the holiday, so it's important to keep those deals going until the day. And remember Mother's Day celebrated in March in the UK.

Best Friend Day

June 8
Global

National Best Friend Day is a time to show someone special how you cherish their friendship.

It's not a day known for traditionally exchanging gifts, but as a store owner you could use it as a marketing opportunity to get your brand more widely known. Encourage your customers to tag their best friend in social media posts with giveaways or competitions.

If you sell friends-themed products like matching bracelets or t-shirts, this is the perfect opportunity to promote those items.

Father’s Day

June 20 - third Sunday in June
Global

Father’s day has been celebrated in Europe since the middle ages and is a chance to remind your dad how much you appreciate him.

Last year, Father's Day spending was expected to hit about $15 billion, with 29% of purchases made online - and it's likely both those figures will be even higher this year. So make sure you've promoted gifts tailored to dads, such as electronics, personal care items, and gift cards - and consider special discounts.

Canada Day

July 1
Canada

Canada Day marks the day the nation was officially born - on July 1, 1867 - and celebrated with parades, barbecues, firework displays and concerts.

The event is the perfect time for people to come together and commemorate the country. So if you're a Canadian company it's a great chance to engage with your customers and say thanks with discounts or offers.

If you're a seller outside of Canada, you could offer free shipping to your Canadian customers to mark the celebration.

Independence Day

July 4
United States

Independence Day marks the date when Americans broke away from being ruled by the British back on the Fourth of July 1776.

It is one of the biggest holidays in the US with $7 billion spent on food, drink, and picnic items - making it an important marketing opportunity for store owners too.

Featuring red, white and blue products - or items with stars and stripes can look effective while it's a chance to promote anything made in America.

Bastille Day

July 14
France

Bastille Day is a national holiday in France which mark the start of the French Revolution and its ideals of liberté, égalité, fraternité - or liberty, equality and fraternity.

Celebrations include Europe's oldest military parade on Paris's iconic Champs-Elysees, plenty of tricolor flags and people singing “La Marseillaise”.

It can be a great marketing opportunity to engage with customers, whether that's promoting the friendly message of the French revolution with discount codes, free shipping or sales.

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Eid al-Adha

July 20 - based on the Islamic lunar calendar
Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, UAE and other Muslim countries

The Muslim festival Eid al-Adha - which means "feast of the sacrifice" - usually begins on the last day of the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.

It is the second Islamic festival of the year and commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son on the command of God.

As with other major religious holidays, it is becoming more of a commercial opportunity every year with a few particular industries performing exceptionally well, including food, jewelry and electronics.

India Independence Day

August 15
India

India's Independence Day is a national holiday which marks the end of British rule in 1947 as well as the anniversary of the partition of the subcontinent into two countries - India and Pakistan.

It is celebrated throughout India with flag-raising ceremonies, parades, and other cultural events. It's custom for the Indian prime minister to raise a flag and address the nation, while kite-flying has become another tradition, with various sizes, shapes, and colors filling the sky.

Labor Day

September 6 - first Monday in September
US, Canada

Labor Day marks the start of the American labor movement and was designed to give workers the day off.

For many it is seen as a chance to catch those last rays of the summer or enjoy one last barbecue before the fall season kicks in and kids go back to school.

But for retailers it’s the perfect chance to entice customers with a new season’s worth of outfits - whether that's for school, college or fall.

China National Day

October 1
China

The National Day of the People's Republic of China is a public holiday marking the establishment of the modern Chinese state.

Workers are also given three or four weekdays paid leave, meaning the public holiday surrounding the event usually lasts for seven or eight consecutive days, dubbed The Golden Week.

People will buy each other gifts, but also treat themselves, so many companies will focus on promotions on some of the biggest selling products, including jewelry, homewares, and appliances.

Halloween

October 31
US, Canada, Australia, UK and some EU countries

Halloween is celebrated in many countries around the world on October 31st.

It originated from an ancient Celtic festival in Ireland that marked the end of the annual harvest season and the coming of winter.

Today it's less serious with people more likely to dress up in fun or scary costumes and go trick-or-treating.

Use this day to breathe some spooky into social media campaigns, run a special promotion on costumes or decorations, or share how your brand celebrates Halloween.

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Diwali

November 4 - Based on lunar calendar
India

Diwali is the five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world.

During the month before Diwali it is considered favorable to make large purchases. Families will spend days cleaning and decorating their homes, as well as shopping for new clothes and accessories to wear during the festival.

The typical consumer spends 1.5 to 2 times their monthly salary during this month. However, competition is high, so marketing tactics must be in top form.

Singles Day

November 11
China, Japan

Single’s Day, or Double 11, is the single’s solution to Valentine’s day, and it’s huge in China.

Traditionally it's a time for single friends to spend together eating, going to movies, and shopping.

Bigger than Cyber Monday and Black Friday combined, the $25 billion shopping festival is the world’s biggest online shopping day, so it’s definitely not one to miss out on.

Shops and businesses geared to the young-adult market offer many attractive deals that their customers cannot resist.

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Thanksgiving Day

November 25 - last Thursday in November
United States

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November every year in the US and began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

As a national public holiday, most people are given the day off work or school and many see it as a day for spending time with their families.

Black Friday

November 26 - day after Thanksgiving
US, Canada, Australia, UK and most of Europe

Arguably the biggest retail date for your calendar and one you simply can't ignore. Black Friday was originally a shopping holiday in the US, though with the ecommerce boom in recent years, it has become an international event.

The last couple of Black Friday events have seen a major shift towards online and in 2017 online revenue jumped to $2.36 billion — up from $1.97 billion in 2016 - making it a great opportunity for ecommerce.

Small Business Saturday

November 27 - Saturday after Black Friday
US, UK

Small Business Saturday usually takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and is designed to encourage shoppers to support small and local businesses, rather than industry giants who tend to cash in on the BFCM.

The event is a massive opportunity for participating businesses - not just brick-and-mortars - but small, online retailers too. In fact, in 2018, ecommerce sales made up $3 billion of total spending on Small Business Saturday.

Hanukkah

November 28 - Based on Jewish lunar calendar
Global

Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights lasting for more than eight days and is traditionally a time for gift giving

Children receive gifts and Hanukkah money, while some families give each other a small present each of the eight nights of the festival. Other traditions include lighting the menorah each night, playing dreidel games and eating foods cooked in oil.

Whether you're Jewish or not, there are easy ways you can say “Chag Sameach!” to your customers.

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Cyber Monday

November 29 - Monday after Thanksgiving
US, Canada, Australia, UK and most of Europe

Cyber Monday was created more than a decade ago as an online counterpoint to the brick-and-mortar-heavy Black Friday event.

It was seen as a way of giving online retailers a chance to offer their customers deals and a more convenient shopping option.

Since then, the lines between the two big shopping events have become a little more blurred but either way, it's a massive retail event that gets bigger every year with spending reaching $7.8 billion in 2019.

Green Monday

December 13 - Second Monday in December
US, Canada and UK

Green Monday takes place on the second Monday in December and is the last Monday with at least 10 shipping days until Christmas.

It was actually a concept coined by eBay in 2007 as a way to advertise their biggest sales day of the month. Since then, other retailers have followed suit and adapted it as a way to guarantee customers they'll get their gifts in time for the holidays.

Free Shipping Day

December 15
US, Canada, Australia, UK and most of Europe

With 55% of online shoppers citing free shipping as the most important checkout option, could there be a better holiday day for the retail calendar than Free Shipping Day?

It's an excellent opportunity to entice shoppers and an even better way for your customers to avoid busy stores and expensive shipping fees - just in time for Christmas. Best of all, retailers who participate in Free Shipping Day promise to have your products delivered by Christmas Eve.

Christmas

December 25
Global

Christmas marks the religious holiday for Christians around the world but for many, it's a time for giving gifts and spending time with family.

Every year it seems to get bigger, with consumers spending billions in the run up to the main day on December 25. Ecommerce sales grew by 11% in 2018, compared with the previous year. So anticipate that it could be one of the busiest times of the year for your store.

Boxing Day

December 26
UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, South Africa and parts of Europe

Boxing Day is a national holiday the day after Christmas in the UK and some other countries. The name is said to have come about in the Victorian era when the rich would give servants the day off and a Christmas box.

It is a day for family and eating leftovers. For some it's time to hit the sales and with the rise in online shopping, plenty of consumers are keen to shop from the comfort of their homes.

New Year’s Eve

December 31
Global

You'd think by New Year consumers will be fed up with online shopping over the festive season - but ecommerce daily traffic volume was up 15 percent on New Year’s Eve 2017, compared with 2016. Analysts say it's down to incentives from retailers, promotions, and even the cold weather.

Whatever the reason, it's clearly a good opportunity to keep the momentum going - so consider offering an end of year discount, flash sale or limited free shipping deal.

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Prepare your marketing calendar

Now you’re up to speed on all of the important international ecommerce dates happening this year, you can start preparing your marketing calendar.

Every major holiday could be an opportunity for you to drive sales and build brand awareness, so make you don’t let it pass you by.

You certainly don’t need a promotional campaign for every date we’ve covered here as not all them will be a fit for your company. But it’s good to be aware so that when you spot an opportunity to capitalize on an event, whether that’s in the same country you are based or internationally, you can make sure to begin strategizing ahead of time.

Once you’ve filled up your promotional calendar, you can start working on a plan of action.

Remember, there is likely to be a lot of competition - seasonal sales are certainly nothing new, and you’ll need to make sure your brand stands out from the crowd if you’re going to fully reap the rewards on offer.