Lovers and zombies: The other holiday seasons

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Everybody knows how big November and December are for commerce. Online sales records have been trumped on every Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and throughout December festivities over the past years. Most vendors seem to focus their energies, resources and planning on that hectic 6-week period. But could they be missing out on other opportunities during the year?

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s day is a commerce opportunity

Long gone are the days when a bunch of flowers hurriedly bought at a corner store on the way home was good enough for the uber-romantics of this world. Just as the noise from Valentine's Day haters has been growing over the past decade, so too has the holiday’s sales – and it’s not just flowers. The love-liest – or cheesiest if you’re a hater – day in the year, generated almost $22 billion in sales in 2021 and $27 billion in 2020.

As the lights of Turkey season were still blazing around the globe, some retailers were already preparing their product stock, product feeds, and digital assets for the ~~most romantic~~ earliest consumer holiday of the year. The opportunities are huge for businesses that can afford to wrap up next-year planning in December and invest time in the first weeks of the year to work out which channels to prepare in time for February 14.

Flowers, clothing, jewelry, events, and food are all big sellers, and that’s just what people gift their pets. In fact, Valentine's Day has long moved away from the traditions of romantic flames gifting one another. Children surprise parents and vice versa, friends and families express their love for friends and families, so there isn’t a given shortlist of products that have to be marketed.

The nature of the evergreen (or everpink?) Valentine's Day items, products, and experiences that sell – not to mention the short time frame – means that businesses must carefully select the channels, marketing places, and products they will push. If companies are not using a centralized P2C management platform to rapidly scale up then scale down specific product offerings and deals, firms may lose out to the opportunities which demand an agile and rapid adjustment to that year's trends.

If love is universal, go global!

Whether you are trading on just one sales market or not, Valentine’s is an excellent opportunity to consider extending your offerings to other markets. Valentine’s Day sales around the world have been growing by around 10% per year since 2017. With marketplaces like Amazon and eBay providing international fulfillment and the social commerce space implementing translation services, adding global channels has never been so easy. Valentine’s Day is now celebrated on every continent.

And it’s not just February 14, either. Many countries have traditions of Days of Love at other times of the year. In Brazil, Lovers' Day (Dia dos Namorados) usually happens around June 12 each year, whereas in southern China, the Sisters’ Meal festival happens on March 14. And if one pinky-gooey-lovey-sentimental day a year isn’t enough for you, consider moving to South Korea. Where the 14th is a day of love each and every month – for the traditionalists among you, that means 12 bunches of flowers from the local store.

From loving hearts to eating brains: Halloween ecommerce is boo(!)ming

What began as a voodoo Celtic party some 2,000 years ago in Ireland, Samhain has grown into big business for retailers and dentists alike. Coming a month before the peak trading season kicks off in Europe and Canada, and three weeks before the holiday season explodes in the US, Halloween is really making its mark on the retail calendar. It’s also growing globally into countries where the tradition existed only in Hollywood movies.

Who wants to tell kids they can’t dress up and collect outrageous amounts of candy from their neighbors? It may have its own party-pooper detractors, but for most people who like dressing up, Halloween is fun. For retailers, however, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to start prepping their sales machines for the even busier season ahead.

With over 10 billion US dollars being spent in 2021 in the US alone – a 29% jump on the 2020 figure – there is a monstrously big appetite out there for adult and kids costumes, spooky lighting, deadly decor, and creepy candy. Spider web decor topped the Amazon charts in England last year.

How P2C platforms can quickly add channels in time for Valentine’s Day and Halloween

From an ecommerce, offline retail, and omnichannel perspective, Valentine’s Day and Halloween share a lot of commonalities. They both come close to the biggest shopping season of the year, they are both growing globally, and they are both holidays that are very much centered on buying, selling, and exchanging consumable goods, gifts, and over-the-top clothing.

The key to commercial success for both days is the ability to react immediately to new trends, rapidly scale up and scale down promotions depending on the market, and perfectly tailor product information to the specific events. With the rise of social commerce, it's also crucial to quickly shift products to the channels where consumers are buying.

All of these points are nigh on impossible to do in a short space of time given the current commerce anarchy that’s overrunning the ecommerce space. Adding a new channel can take small businesses weeks and prove to be a drain on resources. Businesses lose precious momentum and they may even get those edible love hearts or dancing spider webs onto Instagram or TikTok too late.

A comprehensive product-to-consumer management platform deployed as part of a well-planned P2C strategy can reduce the time needed to prepare feeds, add channels, or syndicate new product ideas from weeks and days down to mere minutes.

Leaving you plenty of time to help spread more love in the world in February and then scare the hell out of them all again in October.

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