By Katie Griffiths

From peak shopping times to e-commerce events, every retailer should keep a note of important dates.

A retail promotional calendar will ensure no opportunity is missed to drive footfall to your store, or increase traffic to your website.

Of course, running special offers for Mother’s Day or Christmas marketing campaigns may be obvious. But some of the best retail sales promotions come from industry-led events which should not be missed.

If you’re always looking at how to increase sales in retail, think outside of the box. Any unusual date or charity event could present an opportunity for a retail sales conversion.

Keeping a marketing campaign calendar is the best way to plan retail promotion strategies ahead of time. Don’t miss out on the opportunities to enhance sales performance and engage customers by showing an awareness of what they may be looking for at certain times of the year.

Here are 10 of the essential dates which you should be prepared for.

Valentine’s Day

February 14 can be a big day for sales if products are pitched towards the romantic. Bear in mind most shopping for this day is done about a week in advance – so ensure your marketing starts as early as possible.

World Book Day

Promotions on a literary theme should be considered for March 2 when lots of schools and organisations dress up as their favourite book characters to celebrate much-loved stories. Whether it’s Harry Potter or CS Lewis, this is a chance for a bit of creative thinking to pull in the punters.

Mother's Day

In 2017, Mother's Day will fall on March 26 in the UK and May 14 everywhere. If you’re online, take a look at customer analytics to see the country most of your business comes from and opt to market to their holiday. This event is second only to Christmas in generating sales for e-commerce businesses, so promote deals as much as possible.

Star Wars Day

May the 4th be with you. This is becoming an increasingly popular national day to celebrate the cult movies – especially since the saga continues, with The Last Jedi due to be released in December 2017. So strap on those Yoda ears and get creative.

Father's Day

Father's Day will fall on June 18 in 2017. Targeted marketing from early June will help see a spike in sales.

eCommerce Expo

From September 27-28, eCommerce Expo will be running its annual event for anyone connected to the industry. Happening at Olympia in London, it focuses on all areas of e-commerce, providing businesses with expert consultancy, and topical talks – as well as a chance to run a stall and promote themselves. 

Black Friday

This event was originally an American shopping holiday, though as e-commerce has risen in recent years, the phenomenon has spread. It is typically seen as the start of the Christmas shopping season and so is a good benchmark to run sales and prepare for festive shoppers. In 2017, Black Friday falls on November 24.

Cyber Monday

A by-product of America's Thanksgiving holiday, Cyber Monday came about after it was observed that millions of Americans took a weekend off after the holiday, and proceeded with their sales-hunting on the Monday. It will fall on November 27 this year.

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday occurs on the first Saturday of December. The event's organisers look for all kinds of small businesses to get involved every year - including e-commerce retailers - and give the whole way, including marketing and promotional assistance. Find out more here.

Free Shipping Day

Buying Christmas presents late has become part of the festive tradition. Gone are the days where people got organised early – customers will still be shopping for their gifts about 10 days before Christmas. So Free Shipping Day falls on December 16, when businesses guarantee to deliver for no charge before Christmas Eve.


For help and advice with retail marketing, call us on 0800 612 9890.