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The Most Important E-Commerce Dates for College Students

By collegemktgrp | February 1, 2022 | Brands/Advertisers

Savvy marketers and business owners understand that effective marketing is driven by seasonality, trends, and popular events. There are national and global holidays for nearly everything.

You understand popular marketing holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the days leading up to the reopening of campuses. But there are other important e-commerce dates you need to add to your calendar in order to leverage your digital marketing strategies this school year.

We’ve rounded up the most important e-commerce dates for students, how to market to college students during each holiday, and how to authentically connect to students all year long.

2/14/2022: Valentine’s Day

This is a lucrative time to connect with your audience by sharing love and positive vibes. This could mean encouraging students to check in with friends or to give a meaningful gift to a partner. 

Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas: 

  • If you sell products that make nice gifts — like jewelry or electronic gadgets — this is the time to create promotions and share them in your email campaigns and social posts.
  • Design your website and social posts with vibrant colors (like red and pink) and let your social media followers and mailing list know how much you appreciate them with a special Valentine’s Day discount.

3/17/2022: St. Patrick’s Day 

Americans spent about $5.14 billion to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day last year, making it an important holiday to highlight in your marketing strategy. In college towns, students are always walking down the strip to collect their share of green beers.

St. Patrick’s Day Marketing Ideas:

  • Come up with a St. Patrick’s Day promotion to engage shoppers and drive traffic to your website. For more sales, you can sweeten your deals with offers, like a discount or free delivery.
  • Remember to create relevant and engaging content for your email campaigns, social media posts, and on-site promotions. Traditionally, people wear green on this day, so create a bright green festive design for your marketing assets.

4/1/2022: April Fools’ Day

April Fool’s Day isn’t a major holiday, but it is a chance to have some fun. Incoming first-year college students usually start their back-to-school shopping as early as April, as they choose a college this month. This is a great opportunity to welcome them with a little bit of humor. 

April Fool’s Day Marketing Ideas: 

  • Entertain your audience with appropriate humor, like this outdoor brand that posted an edited photo of their rooftop tent.
  • Take this chance to engage with your audience in a lighthearted way.

4/17/2022: Easter

In addition to being an important religious holiday, Easter weekend is a celebration of spring, exchanging gifts, and indulging in sweet treats. Everyone loves an Easter egg hunt, so give college students something to look forward to with hidden content and deals. 

Easter Marketing Ideas:

  • During the Easter weekend, offer “Easter egg hunts” on your website by hiding egg icons with deals and offers for visitors to find and click on.
  • In your email promotions, customize your list with spring-centric designs, deals, and merchandise.

4/22/2022: Earth Day 

One of the most important days in April, Earth Day is a big promotional date for outdoor stores and brands. Gen Z is very environmentally conscious and cares about preserving the planet’s resources. Even if you don’t sell outdoor products, this is an excellent day to partner with environmental organizations to encourage “going green” with your audience.

Earth Day Marketing Ideas: 

  • Consider partnering and donating a portion of your Earth Day sales to an environmental organization whose mission aligns with your company.
  • Generate buzz around your partnership through social platforms while also creating brand awareness with relevant promotional banners that speak to protecting the environment.

5/8/2022: Mother’s Day 

Everyone loves moms — Mother’s Day is the third-largest retail holiday in the U.S. Americans usually spend over $20 billion to celebrate moms and important women in their life.

While they may already be home from finals and kicking off summer break, this is a great time to offer them something special for their moms to prepare for this holiday. 

Mother’s Day Marketing Ideas: 

  • Start early with social and email campaigns to offer targeted promotions for Mother’s Day shoppers — offer promotions that allow mothers to treat themselves with a spa day, a family hike, or self-care items.
  • Employ student ambassadors and social media influencers to promote your Mother’s Day deals. You can also create a unique gift guide for moms including some of your products and services.

6/19/2022: Father’s Day and Juneteenth

This year Father’s Day falls on June 19th, which is also our newest national holiday, Juneteenth, which celebrates African-American culture and the end of slavery in America.

These two different holidays give you multiple opportunities to connect with parents as well as your diverse students.

Father’s Day and Juneteenth Marketing Ideas: 

  • Offer students relevant and engaging blog content — from the best gifts for dads to the history of Juneteenth.
  • Consider partnering with student ambassadors and influencers to build brand awareness. You can showcase a local BIPOC creator, or hire them to take over your social media for a day!
  • Create a unique gift guide for dads with everything from outdoor equipment to kitchen gadgets.

6/30/2022: Social Media Day 

While every day is technically Social Media Day, on June 30th, you can celebrate the powerful relationships you and your audience have created through social media and technology. 

By acknowledging the power of social media, you can become even more connected to your audience on this marketing holiday.

Social Media Day Marketing Ideas: 

  • Come up with something different from your everyday social media content. For instance, host an Instagram Live session with your audience, engage them in the comment section, or create quizzes and contests.
  • If you have a marketing intern or in-house team member running your social media channel, invite them to create a “Day in the Life” video of your brand. Show off the personality of your brand and the amazing people that work for you!
  • Cross-promote with your email list and encourage them to follow you on social media.

7/4/2022: Independence Day

In July, many students are enjoying their summer break at home, which is sometimes one of the slowest months for e-commerce. But this is also an excellent time to capture the interest and loyalty of new and incoming students.

4th of July Marketing Ideas: 

  • Drive traffic and generate more leads for your email list through retargeting and consistently producing highly engaging content for your blog.
  • Through email and other channels, keep reaching out to students to keep your brand top of mind until it’s time to come back to campus. Consider planning out your back-to-school sale at this time.

9/5/2022: Labor Day 

During this busy weekend, most students are back on campus but still in a shopping mood. Make the most of this marketing holiday with exciting new products and early-bird sales to generate buzz. 

Labor Day Marketing Ideas: 

  • Announce your new fall products and offer early-bird promotions.
  • Design fall banner ads and spread them on your site and social posts.

10/31/2022: Halloween 

It’s no secret that college students love Halloween. From the noisy and colorful parties to wearing fun costumes, they enjoy celebrating this holiday and are especially tuned into Halloween-themed events, products, and deals.

Halloween Marketing Ideas: 

  • Even if you don’t sell Halloween costumes or candy, be sure to celebrate the day with students. For example, create relevant blog content, like Halloween costume ideas, fun fall cocktails, or the best local Halloween events for students to attend.
  • Speak to what students want at this time — fun and spooky festivities! Add some Halloween-themed posts to your social media feed or engage your followers in a costume contest in-person or over social media.

11/24/2022: Thanksgiving 

In 2021, online sales hit over $200 billion on Black Friday. Thanksgiving itself has been folded into the marketing weekend, generating massive sales for brands. Students and their families tend to spend more money during this holiday thanks to promotions and the spirit of giving. 

That makes it even more important to get to students early to start building momentum for upcoming deals.

Thanksgiving Marketing Ideas:

  • Build your promotions, social media campaigns, and email blasts early for the entire weekend (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday)
  • Prior to Thanksgiving, customize your website with ads designed for the big sales weekend and create a sales landing page that will direct site visitors right to your featured products.
  • For those looking to give back to the community, offer up your favorite nonprofit organizations that they can donate to this year in a blog roundup or social media shoutout on Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday following Thanksgiving). 

11/25/2022: Black Friday 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday were still hot last year despite the pandemic and people continued to enjoy online sales. 

Take advantage of this eventful marketing weekend by tweaking your strategy and leaning into big deals and promotions. 

Black Friday Marketing Ideas: 

  • Keep in mind that many shoppers have started their holiday shopping early in the last few years due to fears of shipping delays. You can continue to appeal to them with free or rush shipping to ensure their items arrive in time for the holidays. 
  • Run an email campaign one month before with banner ads to promote your Black Friday deals.
  • Use plenty of hashtags and keywords in your social media posts to get your #BlackFridayDeals in front of as many college students as possible.

11/26/2022: Small Business Saturday 

Despite reduced spending during the year, the number of active shoppers during Small Business Saturday increased significantly in 2021. Over one-third of Americans were planning to shop on this day last year — mostly at local businesses in their communities.

Small Business Saturday Marketing Ideas: 

  • This is another excellent opportunity to partner with student ambassadors to promote your holiday promotions through word-of-mouth recommendations as well as their social networks.
  • If you identify as a small business, create and share a blog post about your journey as a small business (obstacles, successes) and be sure to share it on your social media. 

11/28/2022: Cyber Monday 

If you’re an e-commerce outlet, you can’t overlook Cyber Monday. Despite the pandemic, Americans still managed to spend $10.7 billion during Cyber Monday in 2021. 

Cyber Monday Marketing Ideas: 

  • Create a display and pop-up call-to-action that directs site visitors to your Cyber Monday sales page.
  • Think about extending Black Friday offers through Cyber week.
  • Place exit coupons on the cart page to drive more repeat visits.
  • Do a giveaway on social media, offering up one of your best-selling products.

12/13/2022: Green Monday

Green Monday falls on the second Monday in December and is the most prominent e-commerce date of the year. People spend the most on this day as they rush to finish their shopping to get things in time for Christmas.

Holiday Rush Marketing Ideas:

  • As people rush to complete their holiday shopping, retarget ads and emails to keep your holiday deals and promotions at the top of your audience’s radar.
  • Create fun, entertaining, and highly engaging holiday content for college students including gift guides and holiday-themed social media posts.
  • Remember to remind your shoppers of the last day of shipping before Christmas so that they get their gifts in time for the festivities. 

12/25/2022: Christmas 

As college students spend quality time with their families (and you spend time with yours), send warm greetings and wish them happy holidays. This is an essential way to build brand trust and ensure you stay top of mind when they return to campus.

There’s no need to push products on this day. Simply let your customers know you care!

12/26/2022: Boxing Day

The day after Christmas (traditionally called Boxing Day in the UK) is when most students enjoy time with friends and family and start looking forward to the new year. Give them ideas to recharge during the holiday break or exciting ways to prepare for the year ahead.

Boxing Day Marketing Ideas: 

  • Many people enjoy sales after Christmas. This is your time to offer the best customer service possible and build your brand reputation.
  • From email to social media, make sure to handle and address all customer inquiries and complaints, like shipping delays.
  • Offer up “New Year Challenges” and content geared to college students looking to make positive changes in their lives.

1/1/2022: New Year’s Day

Students are setting goals for the New Year. Be part of it by offering exclusive promotions, like a free week of yoga classes, gym memberships, and ways for them to take care of themselves in the new year.

You can also post “Year in Review” content like videos and photo collages of the highlights of the past year. Have college students submit their favorite memories of the year and showcase their responses in a post.

Get Expert Help with Your College Marketing Strategy

Making use of e-commerce dates helps you execute your college student marketing strategy. You can leverage each holiday with the power of social media marketing. 

Gen-Z students spend most of their time on their smartphones browsing the internet and social media for the latest updates, trends, and deals. So why not meet them on platforms where they’re already engaging?

We can help you grow your customer base and convert more college students. Elevate your brand this year with a competitive social media strategy.

Get a free quote today! >

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