The ultimate seasonal calendar to help plan for the year ahead

Caroline Leksell / June 2020 / Retail

Now more than ever, it’s important for retailers to have a roadmap for the year ahead. The coronavirus pandemic has presented unique challenges to retailers — altering consumer expectations, habits, and purchasing behaviour dramatically.

From Valentine’s Day, right up to the holiday season, this handy infographic uses the latest consumer trends, industry insights, and digital best practices to lay out the year’s key seasonal moments. Utilise this calendar to guide your approach, prioritise your next steps, and create a marketing strategy that meets your evolving business needs.

Uk retail - valentines Uk retail - mothers day PL_Easter3 Father’s Day Summer sales Back to school Singles’ Day UK V2 Black Friday The holiday season

Key takeaways

Understand your existing customers and find new ones

It’s important that customers know you are there for them, even in difficult circumstances. Make sure to stay updated on local market conditions and tune in to the challenges your customers face. Full-funnel audience solutions can identify shoppers with high purchase intent for each of the moments in our seasonal calendar. Optimise this information and expand your customer base by reaching undecided shoppers who are searching for products like yours.

Tell your brand story and plan accordingly

Whether you’re a small local business or a multi-channel retailer, it’s important to create real value to stand out during key seasonal moments. As consumers are turning online to do their research, video is becoming more important to drive brand awareness. Connect and inspire through excellent creatives, combined with robust demographic and affinity audience strategies. You can capture demand in the weeks and months leading up to the moment by identifying rising searches on Google Trends. And be ready to adjust your plans on a weekly basis as you assess the shifts in consumer behaviour patterns.

Listen intentently and be flexible

As the current situation evolves, it‘s vital to monitor campaign performance and continually reassess the context and tone of your marketing messages. Be prepared to reinvent your offering for certain moments and adapt to the times to keep customers on your website. Remaining flexible is key in these changing times, to stay connected with customers and support their specific needs during each of these important seasonal moments for retail.

Save or download your full seasonal retail calendar here.

Caroline Leksell,

Caroline Leksell

Retail Lead, Ads Marketing, EMEA, Google

Sources (29)

1 Google Trends Data, United Kingdom, 2019

2 Google Trends Data, United Kingdom, 2019 vs 2020

3 Google Trends Data, United Kingdom, 2019

4 McKinsey & Company COVID-19 United Kingdom Consumer Pulse Survey 4/30–5/3/2020, n = 1,003, sampled and weighted to match the U.K.’s general population 18+ years +39 +37 +34 +33 +30 +26 +25 +14 -1 -18 -25

5 Google Trends Data, United Kingdom, 2019

6 Google Trends Data, United Kingdom, 2019

7 Google Data, Global English, April 4 to the week of April 11, 2020, vs. March 29, 2020–April 4, 2020

8 Google Trends Data, United Kingdom, 2019

9 Google Trends Data, United Kingdom, 2019

10 Global YouTube Data, year on year 3/1/20 - 3/31/20 compared to 3/1/19 - 3/31/19

11 Google Trends Data, United Kingdom, 2019 vs 2020

12 Google Trends Data, United Kingdom, 2017 - 2020

13 Google Internal Data, United Kingdom 2018-2020

14 Google Internal Data, United Kingdom 2019 - 2020

15 Google Internal Data, United Kingdom, 2019

16 Google Trends Data, United Kingdom, Jan 2020 - May 2020

17 Google Trends Data, United Kingdom, 2019

18 Google Internal Data, United Kingdom, 2018 vs 2019

19 McKinsey China Digital Consumer Trends 2019

20 McKinsey & Company COVID-19 U.K. Consumer Pulse Survey 4/16–4/19/2020, n = 998, sampled and weighted to match U.K.'s general population 18+ years

21 McKinsey & Company 2018

22 McKinsey China Digital Consumer Trends 2019

23 McKinsey China Digital Consumer Trends 2019

24 Google Internal Data, United Kingdom 2018 vs. 2019

25 Google Internal Data, United Kingdom 2018 vs. 2019

26 Smart Shopper Research Kantar/Google 2019

27 Google/Ipsos, Christmas Shopping Study, Nov 2019 – Jan 2020, Online survey, Britons 18+ who conducted Christmas shopping activities in past two days (n=3,151)

28 Google Trends Data, United Kingdom, 2019

29 Google/Ipsos, Christmas Shopping Study, Nov 2019 – Jan 2020, Online survey, Britons 18+ who conducted Christmas shopping activities in past two days (n=3,151)

How the advertising industry across EMEA has adapted in a time of crisis