40+ Ecommerce Seasonal Trends and How to Work Them Into An Email Strategy
Every month throughout the year brings dozens of ecommerce seasonal trends for businesses to capitalize on.
In the United States alone, the entire ecommerce sector is expected to grow to nearly $600 million by 2024—and that’s without taking into consideration the surge in online spending due to coronavirus.
Since planning is the best way to make progress, we put together a list of a few top seasonal shopping trends ecommerce email marketers can use to plan out their calendar. We’ll also explain how to plan your email marketing to take advantage of the trends, along with a few examples of brands that nailed their timely email campaigns.
Ecommerce seasonal trends to watch
As an ecommerce business, you rely on digital engagement to drive your revenue. By looking at Pinterest Business Seasonal Insights, we can get an idea of which holidays and events people get hyped for throughout the year.
Below, we’ve broken them down by season (along with a few others) to give you an idea of what your audience might find interesting.
Winter gives you the ecommerce seasonal trends with some of the biggest spending potential throughout the year. In 2018, U.S. online shoppers spent a whopping $123.39 billion during the winter holiday season—up from $106.14 billion in 2017.
Here are some of the biggest trends throughout the winter season.
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
- Giving Tuesday
- New Year
- Valentine’s Day
- Snow days
- Winter isolation
Spring is a smart time to freshen up your email marketing with some ecommerce seasonal trends. Think of bright colors, new experiences, warm weather excitement, and some of these trends:
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Spring break
- Mardi gras
- Memorial Day
- Mother’s Day
- Warmer days
- Outdoor activities
- Rainy days
Put yourself in your customers’ state of mind during summer. Are they on family vacations? Planning BBQs? Working and unable to take time off? Summer is different for everyone, but here are a few trends to think about:
- Memorial day
- Father’s day
- Independence day (4th of July)
- Road trips
- Beach time
- Family vacation
- Working full time with summer vacation envy
- Barbecues and grill-outs
- Keeping kids busy at home
Fall brings another surge of ecommerce seasonal trends and spending: Halloween. Pinterest has noticed that autumn also serves as a second New Year when people try to form new habits, improve their lives, and boost personal productivity.
- Labor day
- Back to school
- Dorm room décor
- Pumpkin spice
- Home renovation
- Fall colors
- Personal improvement
- Personal planning
- Career development
Other trends to watch throughout the year
You can also do keyword research to find other ecommerce seasonal trends in your niche.
Consider your audience and what you sell. What searches do your audience members perform at distinct times of the year?
If you sell exercise equipment, for example, searches for outdoor bikes will likely surge during the spring and summer months. Meanwhile, in winter, you could run promotions for stationary bikes and other indoor equipment.
How to prepare for ecommerce seasonal trends
Email is the perfect tool for connecting with your ecommerce customers because you don’t have to fight against organic search results or social media algorithms.
Plus, research shows that 59% of customers prefer communicating through brands with email over other methods like text or face-to-face.
To make sure your email marketing is as effective as possible, keep a few things in mind as you plan your ecommerce seasonal trends.
Start planning your ecommerce seasonal trends early.
According to Pinterest Seasonal Insights, people start planning their seasonal events about six months in advance. Keep in mind that, with Pinterest, these are just the initial planning stages where people are only beginning to think about their seasonal plans—not necessarily act.
For email marketing, you’ll still want to start planning early, but sending closer to the action phases (sometimes months out if it’s a larger holiday or trend).
Start planning your campaigns about six months in advance, if possible. That’ll give you plenty of time to research upcoming trends, write copy, design your layouts, and run plenty of tests before you send.
Do some keyword research and audience reconnaissance.
Running some keyword research can help give you an idea of what your audience is searching and trying to learn for each season or holiday.
Look at trends month over month to see how your audience’s interests change over time.
You can also follow the same Pinterest boards, hashtags, and Facebook pages as your audience to find ecommerce seasonal trends before they happen.
Subscribe to your competitors’ email lists.
Of course, you don’t want to copy your competitors’ email campaigns. However, you can follow them for inspiration and insight into what your audience may enjoy for your ecommerce seasonal trends.
Branch out a bit too—don’t limit yourself to competitors. Follow brands outside your industry that your audience also follows. You never know what you might learn about your customers.
Use customer behavioral data to plan emails for your ecommerce seasonal trends.
Email marketing service providers like CM Commerce make it easy to link your on-site behavioral data. With customer browsing data, you can automate emails to send when a potential customer views your product multiple times, capturing demand from the inbox.
You have a few options here to address trends. For example, you could create seasonal cart abandonment reminders. Let’s say summer is coming up. A customer added some swimsuits to her cart but never checked out. Send her a reminder: She’ll need those bathing suits for her next weekend beach day.
You can also nudge subscribers towards a purchase even if they didn’t add items to their cart. Using behavioral data, you can send reminders about products they viewed. These emails are especially useful for hooking holiday shoppers with urgency about gifts they viewed.
Use automation tools to personalize every email campaign.
Automation provides a wide array of tools for you to reach your customers with ecommerce seasonal trends. Here are just a few examples:
Optimized receipts and transactional emails
Did you know transactional emails have eight times higher open rates than any other email? It makes sense. When a customer completes a purchase, they want to check the receipt details.
However, their higher open and click rates mean you can also generate six times more revenue from receipts than other campaigns as well. Take advantage of this with:
- Coupons for future purchases
- Thank you messages
- Ways to connect with your brand
Embedded reviews and user-generated photos
Ninety-one percent of people look at reviews before making a purchase. For 84% of them, reviews are as trustworthy as a personal recommendation.
With automation, you can embed reviews for relevant products into your emails seamlessly. User-generated photos and reviews help customers feel confident in their decisions and give them that extra nudge towards a purchase.
Customer feedback requests
If you want to embed reviews and user-generated photos in your email, you first need to acquire them.
Automation can help encourage customers to leave reviews with reminder emails post-purchase. Set up campaigns reminding customers that other people—just like them—rely on feedback to guide their purchase decisions.
Plan a multi-email series for each of your ecommerce seasonal trends.
Consumers receive an average of 57 emails in their inbox each week. About 25 of these emails are said to come from brands. Meanwhile, consumers say they only open about half of their emails each week.
For marketers, this means multi-email series are important for boosting engagement and conversions. It’s also important to use advanced segmentation to identify which subscribers opened campaigns and which didn’t. With that info, you can resend campaigns to subscribers who didn’t open them yet.
Examples of ecommerce seasonal trends in email
Now that we’ve gone over some ecommerce seasonal trends and how to plan, let’s have a look at some brands nailing trends with email.
1. Adidas: Stay Fit at Home
Coronavirus has forced many retailers to shift entirely to ecommerce. Adidas sent this email offering three months of free downloadable home workouts. At the bottom of the email, Adidas included personalized product recommendations.
2. Project Nursery: Spring Wallpapers
As part of their newsletter strategy, Project Nursery sends out product information that line up with seasonal trends. In this newsletter, they highlight spring floral patterns as not only a seasonal trend, but a style that fits within broader interior design trends as well.
3. Zenni: Celebrating Women Workers
Zenni sent a timely campaign celebrating the roots of International Working Women’s Day. The campaign highlighted women workers from different sectors wearing Zenni glasses. It also celebrated the women on their team and included a branded hashtag for other women to take part.
As an ecommerce store, you rely on digital engagement for all your revenue. To squeeze every dollar from your marketing efforts, plan campaigns around ecommerce seasonal trends. As you plan your seasonal email campaigns, keep a few things in mind:
- Start planning a few months ahead.
- Do keyword research and social media recon to understand your audience.
- Draw inspiration from competitors.
- Use customer behavior to send highly relevant campaigns.
- Automate your campaigns.
- Send multi-email series for each season.
Looking to grow your ecommerce sales through email marketing? Take advantage of these powerful automation features with CM Commerce.