Retail Marketing Calendar 2023: Key Dates, Campaign Ideas & Ready-to-Use Templates
Successful marketing campaigns don’t happen overnight. They take in-depth planning ahead of time to ensure each one drives the best results.
The first step to all of this? Knowing the key retail dates.
To help, we put together this retail marketing calendar 2023 to give you the lowdown on all the important ecommerce dates. Use it to plan out:
- Special discounts
- Engaging contests
- Interesting giveaways
- Well-timed product launches
All centered around holiday dates that are important and relevant to your business.
Let’s start with a one-page ecommerce marketing calendar featuring all the dates. We’ll then dive into each month in detail—covering an example holiday campaign for an idea of how other brands have been celebrating essential holidays lately. We've also thrown in marketing templates so you can get ahead of your campaign planning.
Your retail marketing calendar 2023
Before we dive deeper into the dates for each month and share some useful examples and templates, here's a quick one-page overview of your ecommerce marketing calendar for 2023:
January key retail and ecommerce dates
January doesn’t have a specific theme, although there are tons of important dates you can celebrate. These include:
- Jan 1st: New Year’s Day
- Jan 2nd: National Science Fiction Day
- Jan 15th: National Bagel Day
- Jan 16th: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Jan 16th: Religious Freedom Day
- Jan 16th: Blue Monday
- Jan 19th: Get to Know Your Customer Day
- Jan 21st: National Hugging Day
- Jan 22nd: Chinese New Year
- Jan 26th: Australia Day
- Jan 31st: National Hot Chocolate Day
Campaign example: Kismet Bagel’s golden bagel hunt for National Bagel Day
Kismet Bagel launched a special bagel, “the golden bagel,” for National Bagel Day. They gave away the limited edition bagel for free and gamified the whole process to make it more engaging.
To this end, they made a live video announcement on Instagram to reveal the Golden Bagel Hunt, where people were supposed to go to pre-disclosed locations to find the free bagel and send Kismet Bagel a picture as proof of finding the golden bagel:
The winners enjoyed the free bagel and earned more free bagels for the next month.
You can always steal this campaign idea (or parts of it) for planning a holiday campaign relevant to your business. In fact, you can create a games-based contest for Blue Monday (the most depressing day of the year) to cheer up your followers.
February key retail and ecommerce dates
The US and Canada commemorate Black History Month in February. On the other hand, this month is LGBTQ month in the UK and some parts of Europe.
Other important dates include:
- Feb 2nd: Groundhog Day
- Feb 4th: World Cancer Awareness Day
- Feb 9th: National Pizza Day (US)
- Feb 12th: Super Bowl Sunday
- Feb 13th: Galentine’s Day
- Feb 14th: Valentine’s Day
- Feb 15th: Single’s Awareness Day
- Feb 17th: World Random Acts of Kindness Day
- Feb 20th: Presidents’ Day (US)
- Feb 21st: Pancake Day (UK)
- Feb 22nd: World Thinking Day
Campaign example: Hint Water donates for Black History Month
Hint Water commemorated Black History Month by donating $50,000 to two leading NGOs fighting for Black people.
They announced this move using an easy-to-read website notification bar at the bottom of the screen:
Campaigns like these do a great job of showing off a brand’s values and what it stands for. But, they also encourage sales as people realize money from their wallets is going to a good cause.
You can always replicate such a campaign or create a different one—for example, telling customers X% of sales from their purchase would go to an NGO.
Be sure to be loud about your donation efforts, though—for example, use a sticky bar to get the message out to all your site visitors.
March key retail and ecommerce dates
March marks the beginning of spring for the northern hemisphere. It celebrates women’s history and sleep awareness too. The college basketball event, March Madness, also kicks off during this month.
- Mar 2nd: World Book Day
- Mar 3rd: World Wildlife Day
- Mar 3rd-4th: National Day of Unplugging (US)
- Mar 8th: International Women’s Day
- Mar 17th: St. Patrick’s Day
- Mar 18th: Global Recycling Day
- Mar 19th: Mother’s Day (UK)
- Mar 19th: World Sleep Day
- Mar 20th: First Day of Spring
- Mar 20th: International Day of Happiness
- Mar 21st: World Poetry Day
- Mar 22nd: Ramadan begins
- Mar 23rd: World Puppy Day
- Mar 25th: Earth Hour
- Mar 29th: Mom & Pop Business Owners’ Day
Campaign example: Casper educates on sleeping better and hosts a giveaway
The mattress brand took to educating its audience on sleeping better in two ways. Firstly, the team paired up with Gallop to do research on how well people were sleeping in the US:
Secondly, Casper invited people to join them for short online classes to help them sleep better—for instance, bedtime yoga and meditation:
Casper also hosted a giveaway.
To maximize the value offered, though, the brand paired with obé Fitness to gift the winner not only a mattress but also an annual fitness class subscription:
If running a month-long campaign isn’t in your budget, pick a celebratory date, such as Mother’s Day, and plan a giveaway, discount, or buy one, get one free deal.
April key retail and ecommerce dates
April is Diversity Month, which celebrates different cultures. April is also the month that celebrates the accomplishments of people with hearing impairments. What’s more, both Easter and Passover start in April, too.
Other key dates in the month include:
- Apr 1st: April Fool’s Day
- Apr 2nd: World Autism Awareness Day
- Apr 2nd: International Children’s Book Day
- Apr 5th: Passover Begins
- Apr 6th: National Burrito Day (US)
- Apr 7th: World Health Day
- Apr 7th: Good Friday (UK)
- Apr 9th: Easter Sunday
- Apr 10th: Easter Monday
- Apr 10th: National Siblings Day (US and Canada)
- Apr 11th: National Pet Day
- Apr 15th: World Art Day
- Apr 18th: World Heritage Day
- Apr 20th: 4/20
- Apr 22nd: Earth Day
- Apr 28th: National Superhero Day
Campaign example: Outdoor Voices gives an earthy challenge to its followers
The athletic apparel store, Outdoor Voices gave away annual passes to National parks to six winners:
However, instead of limiting the winner to one person, OV chose six winners across six weeks. Most of all, they didn’t plan the campaign to increase their sales or social engagement. Instead, they did it to get their followers to go outdoors—a message true to their brand mission.
May key retail and ecommerce dates
May is Mental Health Awareness month. It also sees the celebration of the Asian-Pacific American heritage.
- May 1st: Early May Bank Holiday (UK)
- May 2nd: World Teachers’ Day
- May 2nd: National Fitness Day
- May 2nd: International Harry Potter Day
- May 4th: Star Wars Day
- May 5th: Cinco de Mayo (US)
- May 5th: African World Heritage Day
- May 6th: Coronation of King Charles (UK)
- May 7th: World Laughter Day
- May 14th: Mother’s Day (US and most parts of the world)
- May 21st: World Baking Day
- May 25th: National Wine Day
- May 29th: Memorial Day
- May 30th: National Creativity Day
Campaign example: Pipette Baby gives tiered discounts
Instead of the usual X% off, Pipette Baby offered a specific discount for Memorial Day based on the amount shoppers spent.
Here’s what their tiered deal looked like:
- 15% on spending $30
- 20% off on spending $45
- 30% off on spending $60
Pipette promoted this discount across its socials and on its website with a dedicated ecommerce landing page:
Suppose you’re planning to run a Memorial Day campaign. In that case, you can try anything from offering a discount to launching a limited edition collection for Memorial day—even creating unique packaging with military colors.
June key retail and ecommerce dates
June marks the peak of summer in the northern hemisphere. It’s also Pride Month—something to commemorate yourself if you stand for diversity and inclusion.
- Jun 1st: Global Parents Day
- Jun 2nd: National Donut Day
- Jun 4th: National Cheese Day
- Jun 5th: World Environment Day
- Jun 11th: Global Wellness Day
- Jun 14th: Flag Day (US)
- Jun 18th: Father’s Day
- Jun 19th: Juneteenth
- Jun 21st: National Selfie Day (US)
- Jun 21st: World Music Day
- Jun 21st: First Day of Summer
- Jun 30th: World Social Media Day
Campaign example: obe Fitness’ Pride month celebrations with special content
The fitness subscription, obé Fitness, celebrated LGBTQ+ Pride month by creating content especially for celebrating the community.
To do so, they included LGBTQ+ anthems in its workout sessions, choreographed dance classes for Pride, and created mini-makeup tutorials and pride brunch recipes:
To top it all, obé Fitness also encouraged its subscribers to create 30-second videos explaining what Pride meant to them for a chance to be featured on-screen in the class:
If you plan to leverage user-generated content (UGC) to engage your audience for a holiday campaign yourself, send out loud and clear participation invites to them—not only on your socials but also on your website using popups and site messages as invites.
July key retail and ecommerce dates
Both June and July are celebrated as ice cream months. July is also a potential sales-driving month for retailers, containing key dates such as Canada Day and US Independence Day. Amazon also schedules its Prime Day event in July.
All your July dates:
- Jul 1st: Canada Day
- Jul 2nd: Made in the USA Day
- Jul 3rd: Wimbledon Tennis Championship starts
- Jul 4th: Independence Day (US)
- Jul 6th: International Kissing day
- Jul 7th: Global Forgiveness Day
- Jul 7th: World Chocolate Day
- Jul 12th-13th: Amazon Prime Day*
- Jul 14th: Bastille Day (France)
- Jul 17th: World Emoji Day
- Jul 20th: FIFA Women’s World Cup starts
- Jul 30th: International Friendship Day
*Estimated based on dates in previous years
Campaign example: Chobani launches limited edition Fourth of July yogurt
Chobani celebrated US Independence Day with a limited edition yogurt—packaged in the US flag colors:
You can easily model this Fourth of July campaign idea for yourself with a themed edition or product packaging.
If you want something other than launching a themed collection, you can always use a discount paired with a quiz to drive sales. Not only do quizzes help you learn more about your audience, but they’re great for engaging them by making your discount deal playful.
August key retail and ecommerce dates
August is Black Business Month. Late August will also see parents start thinking about shopping for their children going back to school in September, which makes the month a great sales opportunity for retailers catering to them.
All your dates:
- Aug 4th: National Sisters’ Day (US)
- Aug 8th: International Cat Day
- Aug 9th: National Book Lovers’ Day (US)
- Aug 19th: World Photography Day
- Aug 19th: World Humanitarian Day
- Aug 21st: World Senior Citizens’ Day
- Aug 26th: International Dog Day
Campaign example: Homesick launches back to college candle collection
Turns out, even candle retailers can run a fantastic back-to-school campaign. Homesick, for example, launched its college towns collection—using a dedicated section on its home page (along with a sticky bar) to market it:
The interesting bit? Homesick named the new candles exciting names such as “smells like school spirit” and “there’s no place like home field” to pique its target buyers’ interest.
September key retail and ecommerce dates
September sees the end of summer in the northern hemisphere. It also celebrates self-improvement and friendships as the year’s Self Improvement and Friendship Month, respectively.
The National Hispanic Heritage month also starts on Sep 15th and goes on until Oct 15th.
Your September dates:
- Sep 4th: Labor Day (US)
- Sep 8th: International Literacy Date
- Sep 10th: Grandparents’ Day
- Sep 10th: World Suicide Prevention Day
- Sep 11th: Patriot Day
- Sep 13th: Positive Thinking Day
- Sep 17th: Oktoberfest Begins
- Sep 23rd: Last Day of Summer
- Sep 27th: World Tourism Day
- Sep 29th: Mid-Autumn Festival
- Sep 30th: International Podcast Day
Campaign example: Muddy Bites offers a summer-end promo code
To celebrate the end of summer, Muddy Bites offered 20% off using promo code ICECREAM20. But, Muddy Bites limited the promo code’s validity to only five days—a great way to instill FOMO among buyers and encourage sales.
The brand shared its code all over social:
Beside this, Muddy Bites also promoted it across its website using a banner with a clear “shop now” CTA button and sticky bar:
Like Muddy Bites, you can offer a summer farewell discount, an autumn welcome discount, or a Labor Day discount—whichever is more relevant to your business.
October key retail and ecommerce dates
October is another crucial month for retailers as it packs in critical events like Halloween and the start of autumn/fall. That said, it’s also celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Full dates list:
- Oct 1st: International Coffee Day
- Oct 4th: World Animal Day
- Oct 9th: Columbus Day (US)
- Oct 9th: Canadian Thanksgiving Day
- Oct 9th: Indigenous Peoples’ Day (US)
- Oct 10th: World Mental Health Day
- Oct 31st: Halloween
Campaign example: Chewy made Halloween special with themed pet products and a costume party
Chewy hosted a pet costume party using the hashtag #ChewyCostumeParty that tied in with a contest—share your pet’s pictures in their costume.
The best part? They didn’t have one winner but two, with the first one getting a free resort vacation and the runner-up getting a $100 gift card:
What’s more, Chewy created Halloween-themed pet products, including:
And to sweeten the deal further, the brand threw in discounted deals on all products:
One thing to note here is that Chewy arranged all Halloween products in product categories and by pets (cats and dogs). Such a product categorization makes it easy for buyers to find and shop for the products they’re looking for.
Take inspiration from Chewy by creating a Halloween-specific landing page for your campaign.
November key retail and ecommerce dates
Because writers participate in the National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this month, there are lots of sales-growing opportunities for retailers selling stationery and journals. There are many other campaigns to plan this month as well, given it features key holidays like Thanksgiving and Black Friday 🦃
Here's all your November retail dates:
- Nov 1st: World Vegan Day
- Nov 6th: National Nachos Day (US)
- Nov 11th: Veterans Day
- Nov 12th: Diwali
- Nov 13th: World Kindness Day
- Nov 19th: International Men’s Day
- Nov 23rd: Thanksgiving (US)
- Nov 24th: Black Friday
- Nov 25th: Small Business Saturday
- Nov 27th: Cyber Monday
- Nov 28th: Giving Tuesday
Campaign example: Nectar Sleep’s early Black Friday sale
Where most brands offer a Black Friday discount a week before the actual date, Nectar Sleep kicked off its 33% off campaign in early November:
What stands out the most in this campaign, though, is the way Nectar Sleep caught its site visitors’ attention with two elements:
Secondly, Nectar also added a countdown timer in the sticky bar and on the main website banner to show the time left to claim the discount—triggering FOMO and encouraging action:
Whether you’re planning a sale or any other Black Friday marketing campaign, make sure you use site messages, popups, and sticky bars to announce it. This way, potential buyers would be less likely to miss your offer.
December key retail and ecommerce dates
Between Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year, there's lots to celebrate and shop for in December. Be sure to plan your Holiday campaigns for both the early shoppers and the last-minute ones.
December dates below:
- Dec 1st: World AIDS Day
- Dec 3rd: Make a Gift Day
- Dec 7th: Hanukkah Begins
- Dec 11th: Green Monday
- Dec 14th: National Free Shipping Day (US)
- Dec 22nd: First Day of Winter
- Dec 24th: Christmas Eve
- Dec 25th: Christmas
- Dec 26th: Boxing Day (UK)
- Dec 26th: Kwanzaa
- Dec 31st: New Year’s Eve
Campaign example: Long Wknd offers a bundle & save offer and a holiday collection
Long Wknd made the most of Cyber Monday by extending its day-long offer into a week-long one (taking it into December).
The brand called it “bundle & save,” which gave shoppers a discount when they bought five products. Plus, the sustainable self-care retailer added free shipping as a cherry on top of the deal.
Long Wknd also marketed its campaign brilliantly by using an announcement in the home page hero and via a sticky bar:
What's great about this offer, though, is that it's clearly rooted in finding a balance between:
- Value for the customer
- Solid unit economics for the brand
Long Wknd packages up something that's great for the customer, but also drives higher order values than a simple X% off flash sale.
Here's a great thread from Long Wknd owner, Nik Sharma, on how to structure BFCM offers and promo:
The brand didn’t stop there, though. They also launched a special holiday collection for December:
You can easily replicate these campaign ideas with a holiday collection or a bundle and save discount. Don’t forget to design a holiday collection landing page for marketing your campaign. And add in the option to shop gift cards for those who want to gift your holiday collection to their loved ones.
Start planning your 2023 retail calendar campaigns today
And that’s a wrap. Here’s hoping this retail calendar and marketing examples sparked many creative campaign ideas.
Before planning, revisit precisely who your target buyer is and where they’re based to decide which holidays are important for them. You can also launch surveys on your site and polls for your buyers on social media to learn which campaign ideas resonate most with them.