Holiday Marketing Calendar 2018: Global Events for Ecommerce, Social & Sales

Holiday Marketing Calendar 2018: Global Events for Ecommerce, Social & Sales

We’ve scoured the globe to come up with a comprehensive list of the most popular and profitable dates for the 2018 holiday season.

Why? Because taking the time to plan out your holiday marketing calendar with hard deadlines will help you save time for when you really need it … during the rush.

Even better, you and your team may have overlooked golden holiday ecommerce marketing opportunities depending on your niche — like International Coffee Day, Pickle Day, or Boss’ Day.

Wanna skip ahead? Feel free to jump to any month for a pre-loaded holiday marketing calendar …
  1. October: Getting Ready 🎃
  2. November: “Black” All Month 🦃
  3. December: Shipping and Returns 🎁

A thorough holiday marketing calendar helps to keep you organized as well as able ahead of promotions, ads, social media, and more. Plus, including the fun holidays, well that’s just a bonus to help you connect with your customers in a human and relevant way.


Keep reading to grab all the calendars and dates

But if you’d like to find out the secret weapon thousands of high-growth brands are using to launch more campaigns this Black Friday, download our exclusive ebook for a behind-the-scenes look …

Sample pages on using automation as a holiday ecommerce strategy

Sample pages from the new guide Black Friday on Autopilot

October: Getting Ready

It’s down to the wire for holiday execution … almost. October is a busy time for online retailers — particularly for marketing collateral and inventory preparation — but it’s also chock-full of opportunities and some fun holidays before the big sales month.

October holiday marketing calendar 2018

October 1

▢  International Coffee Day

Java? Yes, please! It’s gonna be a long quarter. Some of Shopify Plus’ most successful merchants are crushing this space — including Death Wish Coffee, Bulletproof, and Nestlé’s Nescafé online store.

▢  National Day of the People’s Republic of China

The National Day of the PRC commemorates the founding of the PRC in 1949. It is the start of the Golden Week in China with government-organized festivities across the country.

▢  Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day in Australia

Celebrating the current Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Long live the queen, and royalty-related social promotions!

October 8

▢  Thanksgiving in Canada

Originally, Thanksgiving was a time to celebrate the past harvest season. Today, it marks the unofficial start of holiday shopping in North America.

October 10

▢  World Mental Health Day

Raising awareness about mental health issues, dispelling mental health myths, and reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues.

October 11

▢  National Coming Out Day

Take time to show your support to everyone.

Image via The Human Rights Campaign

October 16

▢  Boss’ Day

To all the bosses, lady or otherwise, today is your day!

October 17

▢  Double Ninth Festival in China

On the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, this folk holiday celebrates the elderly. Its activities often include climbing a mountain and drinking chrysanthemum tea or liquor.

October 22

▢  Caps Lock Day

Great for social media and email marketing … IT'S NOT YELLING WHEN IT'S CAPS LOCK DAY!

October 29

▢  Internet Day

Where would we be without the internet?

October 31

▢  Halloween and Día de Muertos

A time for friends and family to remember those who have passed and help their spiritual journey and transition into the afterlife.

November: “Black” All Month

The busiest and most profitable shopping days of the year, November is an impressive sales month for merchants everywhere. November 2017 notched 23 consecutive days of over $1 billion in online holiday sales even before Black Friday arrived.

It’s a trend known as “Black November.”

November holiday marketing calendar 2018

November 7

▢  Diwali (or, Deepavali)

The Hindu festival of lights, celebrating the victory of light over darkness.

November 11

▢  Singles Day in China

Not just the biggest shopping day in Asia, literally the biggest shopping day the globe over.

2017-2018 biggest online shopping days

November 13

▢  World Kindness Day

Be kind. You never know who needs a smile.

November 14

▢  Pickle Day

Sometimes a pickle is more than just a pickle. Here’s a great reminder of that. Give ‘em the pickle, Bob!

November 15

▢  America Recycles Day

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. If your brand or products are green … don’t miss this opportunity to shine.

November 22

▢  U.S. Thanksgiving

A time to spend with friends and family and to be thankful for the abundance we enjoy in North America. While lucrative, make sure you understand how your market celebrates Thanksgiving before pushing too hard on pre-Black-Friday promotions.

November 23

▢  Black Friday

The biggest shopping day of the year in the West. Originally started in the U.S., it’s now an international phenomenon to get retail businesses “back in the black.” For some of our best Black Friday resources, take a look at:

November 24

▢  Small Business Saturday in the U.S.

Sandwiched between in-store sales on Black Friday and online discounts on Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to support local brick-and-mortar stores.

November 26

▢  Cyber Monday

A day for online retailers to offer the best deals of the year, encouraging ecommerce sales around the globe.

November 27

▢  Giving Tuesday

After all that shopping, it’s time to give back to your favorite charities and causes.

December: Shipping and Returns

Black November might be over, but you haven’t reached the finish line yet. With Christmas fast-approaching, December is still about sales, but — even more importantly — expedited shipping to meet under-the-tree wishes.

Also, make sure your customer service teams are geared up to manage holiday returns and maintain post-holiday loyalty.

December holiday marketing calendar 2018

December 1

▢  Small Business Saturday U.K.

A grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to shop locally and support small businesses in their communities.

December 2-10

▢  Hannukah

The Jewish festival of lights — also known as, Feast of Dedication and Feast of the Maccabees — is celebrated the world over. Menorahs, candles lit by a Shamsh, dreidels, and traditional Hanukkah foods, like latkes (or potato pancakes) are all symbols of this annual event.

Oh, and someone wrote a song about it a few years ago …

December 5

▢  Krampusnacht in Europe

In Central European folklore, Krampus is a half-goat, half-demon who punishes children who have misbehaved during the holidays.

December 10

▢  Green Monday

Coined by eBay in 2007, the second Monday in December is traditionally the best sales day of the month. ComScore defines Green Monday more specifically as the “Monday that is at least 10 days before Christmas.”

December 14

▢  Free Shipping Day

Exactly what it sounds like. Because no one likes to fight the mall crowds in the weeks leading up to Christmas, this is a way to encourage online shoppers to buy from the comfort of their couch.

December 21

▢  Ugly Sweater Day

We’ve all been given one as a gift. Today’s the day you wear it. Shout out to 2 Chainz who sold $2.1 million of “Ugly Santa Sweaters” in 30 days.

▢  Winter Solstice

The day with the shortest amount of daylight and the longest night of the year (in the northern hemisphere).

December 22

▢  Super Saturday

Also known as “Panic Saturday,” this is the last Saturday before Christmas. For online retailers, 2017’s Super Saturday marked the final billion-dollar day of the month until Dec 26th.

December 23

▢  Festivus

A parody holiday created by Daniel O'Keefe and made popular by Seinfeld as an alternative to Christmas.

December 24

▢  Christmas Eve

The day before Christmas. Whether you celebrate it or not, you deserve to take a load off and enjoy a few days with friends and family.

December 25

▢  Christmas

Your work here is done. Go home, unplug, enjoy your friends and family. You can review your holiday sales reports tomorrow.

▢  Newtonmas

Isaac Newton’s birthday and an alternative to celebrating Christmas for atheists and skeptics.

December 26

▢  Boxing Day

It originated in the U.K. as the day where postmen and errand boys would receive a “Christmas box” (present or gratuity for their hard work. It later evolved to become a shopping sales craze, until Black Friday took over the (unofficial) title of biggest sale day of the year.

▢  Kwanzaa

Extending from the 26th to January 1st, this pan-African festival is celebrated predominantly in the U.S.

December 31

▢  New Year’s Eve

The day before the new year. Goodbye, 2018; hello, 2019. 

Final Thoughts ...

Remember, holiday marketing isn’t always about promoting your products, but celebrating (especially the silly ones).

And, when you plan the work and create a robust calendar (like the one we’ve prepared for you), you make time for what truly matters.

About the Author

Karine Bengualid is a freelance copywriter (and Sesame Street enthusiast) at Brought to you by the letter K. She writes audience-specific stories to connect brands with their ideal customers. Karine brings her special spice blend (2 cups of research, 1 tbsp of detail, and a dash of chutzpah) to her style of copywriting. When she’s not busy stringing your perfect words together, she’s building her animal rescue, Maison Misha. Connect with Karine on LinkedIn and let her bring your story to life.

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