holiday 2016

Key Shopping Dates for Holiday 2016

As the holiday season rolls around, shoppers have already started gearing up for the biggest shopping days of the year. That means retailers and brands need to get their acts together and figure out exactly what tactics will attract the most shoppers and, more importantly, what dates do these tactics need to be amplified.

Research from Cardlytics shows that holiday shopping starts much earlier than Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The accompanying infographic showcases the three key shopper categories referenced in this report:

  • Early Bird Shoppers
  • Black Friday Deal Hunters
  • Last-Minute Shoppers

While the Early Birds spent the most per transaction ($74.76), it’s the last minute shoppers that account for the largest chunk of online holiday sales.

With diligent holiday shoppers starting in early November, here are the top shopping dates that should matter to retailers and brands this year.

holiday 2016


Nov 11, 2016 – Singles Day

With one in every six people on the planet being Chinese, it’s no wonder that China’s Single’s Day has been dwarfing all other shopping holidays in terms of revenues. Consider this:

In 2015, Single’s Day accounted for $14.3 billion in online sales. Black Friday 2015 pales in comparison, despite online sales of $2.7 billion in the US.

holiday 2016


Nov 24 2016, Thanksgiving Day

Traditionally not a shopping holiday, in recent years, turkey day has seen shoppers favor their retail instincts over gourmand ones. Last year, Americans spent $1.73 billion online, a 25% growth YoY on 2014 numbers.


Nov 25 2016, Black Friday

Amazon is the place to be on Black Friday. With over a third of all online sales on Black Friday going to Amazon, it would serve you well to step on the gas with your promotions on Black Friday this year.


Nov 28 2016, Cyber Monday

While Black Friday may be a brick-and-mortar darling, Cyber Monday is the biggest day of the year for e-commerce. In 2015, US shoppers spent $3 billion on Cyber Monday.


Nov 29 2016, Giving Tuesday

A relatively new shopping holiday, Giving Tuesday infuses a spirit of philanthropy into our pursuit of retail therapy. Retailers from Toys’R’Us to JC Penney and eBay have pitched in with their support over the years. In 2015 alone, Giving Tuesday raised $116 million for charities through 700,000 shoppers across  70 countries.


Dec 12 2016, Green Monday

A relatively new shopping holiday, Green Monday is usually the second Monday in December and probably the last big “sale day” for the year. Last minute shoppers, who may have missed out on the deals and bargains on Cyber Monday in November, grab their last chance for big discounts on their holiday shopping.


Dec 18 2016, Free Shipping Day

While many big retailers like Best Buy and Target offer free shipping throughout the holiday season, the majority of free shipping offers usually come with a minimum purchase requirement. Free Shipping Day is that one day on the calendar when online shoppers can get stuff shipped for free from many retailers, no strings attached.


Dec 19 2016, Standard Shipping Deadline for Delivery by Christmas

December 19 is the last day for online shoppers to place online orders to receive their deliveries via standard, ground shipping before Christmas Day. It’s important to note two things here. First, standard shipping is the cheapest shipping option offered by most retailers. Second, relatively few shoppers pay extra for faster shipping. This means online shoppers try and make the most of their last chance to get cheap, yet on-time holiday deliveries on this day.

Expect competition on Amazon and other marketplaces to really heat up on this day. Invest in aggressive pricing strategies to make the most of this key date.


Bonus: Read about this billion-dollar retailer that managed to pull off their holiday deliveries in 2015 with nearly 60% of their packages being delivered through cost-effective standard shipping.


Dec 22 2016, 2-Day Shipping Deadline for Delivery by Christmas

Amazon Prime has set the expectation of free 2-day shipping as a must-have for online shoppers over the last few years. Retailers across the board have followed suit by including 2-day shipping as one of their shipping options.

If you’re an Amazon seller, your deadline for 2-day shipping is one day earlier, i.e. December 21. Watch out for a BIG bump in traffic for Prime-eligible products, with last minute Prime members scrambling to place their holiday orders.


Dec 23 2016, Next-Day Shipping Deadline for Delivery by Christmas

It’s Christmas Eve-Eve. Prime members willing to spend extra to somehow get their items on Christmas Eve will be inundating Amazon. Use this opportunity to price your products competitively and try to move as much inventory as possible. Don’t expect as much shopping after Christmas.


Dec 24 & 25 2016, Hanukkah, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

For obvious reasons, Christmas shoppers head over to brick-and-mortar stores instead of shopping online on Dec 24 and 25.

In the last couple of years, Hanukkah preceded Christmas by a couple of weeks. Consequently, Hanukkah-related online shopping would have to be delivered much ahead of the Christmas deadline. This year however, the beginning of Hanukkah coincides with Christmas Eve; thus doubling pressure on retailers and brands to ensure deliveries make it to shoppers’ homes by Dec 24.


Dec 26 2016 Boxing Day

Don’t be confused. This is for our friends across the pond, north of the border and down under! Boxing Day – the day after Christmas – has been the British equivalent of the American Black Friday for years. A high-street retail phenomenon, Boxing Day in 2015 gave Selfridges in London its “most profitable hour” in its 100-year history!