Commerce Marketing Themes Calendar: Drive more sales with these key dates for ad & content planning
A marketing calendar makes it easy for stores to plan advertising, promotional events and do content planning. But to get the most out of your marketing efforts, you should take advantage of consumers' propensity to spend more during promotions tied to 'special days' compared to regular days not associated with any special theme.
Customers are 2X more engaged on 'special days'
For example, there's recent research showing that customers are 2X more likely to engaged with special day themed promotions.
Lucky for you, there are over 100 special-themed days throughout the year and key themes for every month to help you take advantage of this marketing opportunity.
Bet before we dig in, here's an overview of what we'll cover so you can jump around if you like.
TABLE OF CONTENTS 📙
What is a marketing calendar for?
Marketing calendars help you organize, structure and schedule your marketing planning. This is particularly helpful because we're all busy, so having a planned aout schedule of marketing activities mean you don't have to think about it every couple of weeks. Here are the different ways you can use it:
- Monthly marketing planning calendar
- Sample marketing calendar to give your agency in a generic format
- Ad & marketing content planner
- Social media planning calendar
- Advertising calendar
- Content marketing calendar
- Event planning calendar
- Promo campiagn planning
- Lifecycle marketing content planner
- Social media giveaway calendar (promotional)
The sample marketing calendar below gives you tons of marketing opportunities to start with and narrow down to the perfect ones for your business. The marketing calendar format is a standard list for to make it easy to review month by month while keeping it generic enough to be applicable year to year.
How to use a marketing calendar
There are over 100 days in the marketing calendar below, but don't feel the need to use all of them. Here's what to do:
- Review the themes and days in the marketing calendar lists below
- Pick the ones that best align with your brand and customer base
- Add/remove as necessary to space them out appropriately
- Update your marketing calendar as needed each year
Sounds like a plan? Let's dive in!
Marketing Calendar 📅
Below we've compiled a list of commerce marketing dates and themes for brands serving US audiences to help boost your marketing efforts year round.
Note: We've genericized the dates where necessary to make this work for every year. For example, Thanksgiving falls on a different date every year, so instead of using a specific date tied to a calendar year, we used "Fourth Thursday in November" so you can continue to use this list every year.
The start of a new year is exciting and gives you the opportunity to help your customers embrace a "new year, new you" perspective.
There's often price sensitivity following the holidays, so focus on value, frame things as investments when focusing on health and find ways to also engage customers who may need to delay purchases.
January commerce marketing themes
- New Year's resolutions
- "New year, new you" attitude
- Self improvement, healthy habits
January commerce marketing dates
- All month: Dry January, Ginuary, Veganuary
- 1st: New Year’s Day
- 3rd Monday: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Chinese New Year (Date varies based on the lunar calendar)
With Valentine's Day, February is the most romantic of months. But this also extends to celebrating friendship, particularly among those why aren't in romantic relationships. So, expand or narrow your messaging as appropriate based on your products and your customer base.
Late January and early February also bring the Superbowl, the only time of the year where people actually look forward to ads, so take advantage of it with your own!
February commerce marketing themes
- Romance & gifts for loved ones
- Celebrating Black history
- Superbowl & football themes
February commerce marketing dates
- All month: Black History Month
- 2nd: Groundhog Day
- 4th: World Cancer Day
- Grammy Awards (Date varies, usually in February)
- 5th: World Nutella Day
- National Pizza Day (9th February annually)
- Super Bowl Sunday (Date varies, typically the first Sunday in February)
- Day before Valentine's Day: Galentine’s Day
- 14th: Valentine’s Day
- Day after Valentine's Day: Singles Awareness Day
- Random Act of Kindness Day (17th February annually)
- 3rd Monday: Presidents' Day, Love Your Pet Day
- Pancake Day (Date varies, based on Easter)
- Ash Wednesday (Date varies, based on Easter)
St. Patrick's Day and March Madness dominate the month of March, along with Women's history month.
Women's history month is especially powerful for brands serving women to tie into empowerment.
March commerce marketing themes
- Celebrating Women's history
- St. Patrick's day and shades of green
- March Madness
March commerce marketing dates
- All month: Women's History Month
- 8th: International Women’s Day
- Holi (Date varies based on the lunar calendar)
- Oscar Night (Date varies, usually in March)
- 2nd Sunday: Daylight Savings Time begins
- 14th: Pi Day, NCAA Basketball Tournament begins (Date varies)
- 17th: St Patrick’s Day
- International Day of Happiness (20th March annually)
- First day of Spring (20th or 21st March)
- Ramadan starts (Date varies based on the lunar calendar)
- International Transgender Day of Visibility (31st March annually)
Warmer weather as we move into Spring and religious holidays are the key themes in April. And don't forgt to have some fun on April Fool's Day!
April commerce marketing themes
- Spring vibes, warmer weather
- Sustainability with Earth Day
- Religious holidays
April commerce marketing dates
- 1st: April Fool’s Day
- Good Friday (Date varies, based on Easter)
- Easter Sunday (Date varies, based on the lunar calendar)
- Easter Monday (Date varies, based on Easter)
- 10th: Siblings Day, National Pet Day
- Coachella begins (Mid-April, exact dates vary)
- 20th: 420
- Eid al-Fitr (Date varies based on the lunar calendar)
- 22nd: Earth Day
Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer, so help your customers prepare for the summer months' vacations, summer travel and beach weather. And don't forget about mom on Mother's Day!
May commerce marketing themes
- Gearing up for summer
- The start of wedding season
- Celebrating moms on Mother's Day
- College graduations
May commerce marketing dates
- All month: Asian American Heritage Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, National Pet Month
- 4th: Star Wars Day
- 5th: Cinco de Mayo
- World Cocktail Day (13th May annually)
- Mother's Day (2nd Sunday in May)
- World Baking Day (17th May annually)
- World Bee Day (20th May annually)
- National Wine Day (25th May annually)
- Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
Summer is finally here, so take advantage of summer sales, beach themes or whatever is relevant for your brand. It's also Pride month.
Brands that serve men can take advantage of Father's Day to advertise gifts for dad and the father figures in our lives.
June commerce marketing themes
- Summer season
- Gifts for dad
- Pride month
- High school graduations
June commerce marketing dates
- All month: Pride Month
- Global Day of Parents (1st June annually)
- World Gin Day (2nd Saturday in June)
- Father’s Day (3rd Sunday in June)
- Juneteenth (19th June annually)
- International Day of Yoga, Beginning of Summer (21st June annually)
The 4th of July theme dominates July in the United States, so go heavy on the theme if it applies to your brand.
For online retail, July is also usually when Amazon's Prime Day happens, when consumers are more open to online deals.
July commerce marketing themes
- 4th of July with the red, white and blue theme
- Amazon Prime Day
July commerce marketing dates
- Wimbledon Starts (Date varies, usually in early July)
- 4th: Independence Day
- World Chocolate Day (7th July annually)
- World Emoji Day (17th July annually)
- Islamic New Year (Date varies based on the lunar calendar)
- International Day of Friendship (30th July annually)
- National Avocado Day (31st July annually)
- Amazon Prime Day (Date varies, usually in mid-July)
As summer draws to a close, help your customers make the most of the end of summer and prepare for the upcoming school year.
August commerce marketing themes
- End of summer
- Preparing for back to school
August commerce marketing dates
- International Beer Day (First Friday in August)
- International Cat Day (8th August annually)
- Book Lovers Day (9th August annually)
- National Burger Day (24th August annually)
- National Dog Day (26th August annually)
The summer is over, kids are back in school and Fall is just around the corner.
You know what that means? You should be preparing for the Black Friday season, so ensure that you're building your email and SMS lists ahead of time.
September commerce marketing themes
- Labor Day
- End of Summer / Start of Fall
- Back to school
September commerce marketing dates
- Labor Day (First Monday in September)
- National Grandparents' Day (First Sunday after Labor Day)
- Hispanic Heritage Month begins (15th September), Rosh Hashanah begins (Date varies, based on the Hebrew calendar)
- World Guacamole Day (16th September annually), Oktoberfest begins (Date varies, typically late September)
- Rosh Hashanah ends (Date varies, based on the Hebrew calendar)
- Autumn begins (22nd or 23rd September)
- Yom Kippur (Date varies, based on the Hebrew calendar)
- World Tourism Day (27th September annually)
Halloween dominates October, so take advantage of the spooky themes to have some fun.
But October is also the last month before Black Friday in November, so ensure that you're still building your list and warming it up if you haven't emailed your audience in a while.
October commerce marketing themes
October commerce marketing dates
- All month: Breast Cancer Awareness Month, LGBTQ History Month
- International Coffee Day (1st October), World Vegetarian Day (1st October)
- World Teachers' Day (5th October annually)
- World Mental Health Day (10th October annually)
- World Pasta Day (25th October annually)
- National Pumpkin Day (26th October annually)
- National Immigrants' Day (28th October annually)
- National Cat Day (29th October annually)
- 31st: Halloween
Black Friday dominates commerce in November, so this should be your focus to drive sales and have some of your best sales days of the year while people are in the shopping mood and on the hunt for deals.
Even if you don't run any specials, still give customers a reason to shop, whether it's a new product launch, an exclusing product, or a any other way to take advantage of the energy in the air.
Oh and there's also this holiday called Thanksgiving if it ties to your brand, but otherwise just focus on the three sale days starting, with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cymber Monday.
November commerce marketing themes
- Black Friday
- Thanksgiving (if appli-gobble 🦃)
November commerce marketing dates
- All month: Black Friday sales, Movember (Men’s Health Awareness Month), National Native American Heritage Month
- World Vegan Day (1st November annually)
- Daylight Savings Time ends (First Sunday in November)
- Singles Day (11th November annually), Veteran's Day (11th November annually)
- Diwali (Date varies, based on the Hindu calendar)
- Thanksgiving (Fourth Thursday in November)
- Black Friday (Day after Thanksgiving)
- Small Business Saturday (Saturday after Thanksgiving)
- Cyber Monday (Monday after Thanksgiving)
- Giving Tuesday (Tuesday after Thanksgiving)
Following Black Friday in November, December continues the shopping rush of the busiest shopping period of the year for most brands.
Since so many purchases are Christmas gifts, be extra clear about shipping and when gifts will arrive. In fact, it's worth sending an email or SMS campaign reminding folks when they need to order by to have gifts delivered by Christmas.
December commerce marketing themes
- Holiday season
- Gift giving
December commerce marketing dates
- International Day of Persons With Disabilities (3rd December annually)
- National Cookie Day (4th December annually)
- Hanukkah begins (Date varies, based on the Hebrew calendar)
- Hanukkah ends (Date varies, based on the Hebrew calendar)
And there you have it, a comprehensive list of marketing dates in the United States to make an epic marketing calendar!
How to make the most of your marketing campaigns
As you can see, you have over 100 special opportunities to market to your customers based on their preferences and your brand.
One novel way to take advantage of these special days to engage your customers while introducing them to your products is with a product recommendation quiz.
For example, if you're a beauty brand, in October you could share a Halloween-themed quiz like, "Lipstick Tricks or Eyeshadow Treats: What's your Halloween beat?"
This not only engages your customers and gets them to opt-in to your email or SMS list, but it also exposes customers to your products -- products they didn't even know they wanted thanks to personalized product recommendations based on their quiz responses.
So, make the most of your marketing with these key commerce marketing dates and help your customers find the perfect thing with personalized product recommendations using themed quizzes.
If you're using Shopify, you're in luck because our Shopify quiz app is the only app on the market that leverages AI to generate your quiz for your in just a few minutes.
That's a wrap!
We hope this marketing calendar helps you take your sales to new heights. Good luck!