Every business – especially retailers – will have some obvious major trading dates in their calendar but there are some overlooked ones that savvy businesses should also be aware of. Tim Holton, Marketing Manager at Uniq Systems, shares his advice and top 10 dates to add to your calendar.
The dates that will spring to mind when you think about the annual retail sales calendar will no doubt include Christmas, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Valentine’s Day amongst others. These are all dates when checkout tills and ecommerce sites alike will expect to see a spike in sales.
Even if your product offering isn’t directly associated with one of these events, most smart marketing will include some reference to the season. The list of traditionally overlooked dates though will depend on your target audience, business type and even your geographic location.
In the past the FA Cup and the Budget were considered major “national” events. With the level of live football coverage and the leaking of Budget proposals these days no longer hold the imagination of the public as they once did. It doesn’t mean that your potential customers feel the same way though.
Recognising that these dates are important can give extra credibility to your company when used in the correct way. For example, for the Budget you might produce a newsletter explaining the key changes that will affect your potential customers such as company car tax, changes to stamp duty or even the (albeit small) increases in alcohol costs. By positioning yourself as a knowledge expert and being able to communicate these changes to your audience you can improve your standing in your marketplace.
The FA Cup is an event that brings a great opportunity to be seen supporting your local team – especially if they are facing a larger opponent! It can improve your local credibility and if you support your local team the locals will be more inclined to support their local retailers too.
Thinking locally can bring an array of opportunities. Important calendar dates could even be your annual local carnival or musical festival. Think carefully about your target market and location. If you run the pub next to the local events field for example then festivals are dates not to be overlooked. On the larger scale, if you’re within the catchment area of major arenas like the NEC in Birmingham or London’s Wembley stadium, it’s important to be aware of any forthcoming events. Date changes for annual events can also be critical, for example with hotel bookings for exhibitors.
Focusing on the “overlooked” dates – especially by thinking locally – can mean that you’re not competing with larger businesses that have multi-million pound marketing budgets. The art of being successful is the ability to be flexible and to understand your market.
What are the major trading dates for your business? Have you taken a creative approach to boost retail sales? Let us know in the comments section below.
Top 10 overlooked retail dates
- The Budget
- FA Cup matches – especially if your local team is playing!
- Local festivals
- Local major music events
- Local conferences or trade shows
- The Grand National
- The Derby
- National Saints Days: St David’s Day (1st March), St Patrick’s Day (17th), St George’s Day (23rd April), St Andrew’s Day (30th November)
- Royal Anniversaries: The Queen’s birthday (21st April)