There are many dates, events and festivals on the UK retail calendar that e-commerce and online marketplace sellers plan for. Whilst some of these are well known, many others are often overlooked.

To help small and medium-sized businesses plan for these potentially lucrative opportunities, global fintech and international payments provider WorldFirst has identified six key retail dates in 2022.

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Jeff Parker, CEO at WorldFirst, said: “Many marketplace sellers are aware of the more high-profile retail dates. However, throughout the year there are numerous festivals, events and seasonal dates that see a sharp rise in e-commerce transactions as consumers open up their wallets.

“We hope that by planning ahead and preparing for these dates in 2022, businesses are well placed to benefit from any uptick in sales activity.”

  1. Chinese New Year: 1st February

The Chinese New Year is a huge opportunity for marketplace sellers, with the holiday driving a $127 billion increase in sales in 2021.1 This holiday is celebrated across Asia, as well as in communities all over the world.

Jeff added: “E-commerce and marketplace sellers should focus on the key themes of the holiday – such as family, togetherness and gift-giving – to increase their chances of success. Animal imagery and products associated with each new year are also popular; it’s worth noting that 2022 is the Year of the Tiger.”

  1. Valentine’s Day: 14th February  

Valentine’s Day sees significant sales every year, with Brits spending over £850 million on the big day3.

Jeff added: “Romantic gifts like chocolates and flowers are a common choice, but it’s a good idea to add a variety of personable gifts to your marketplace for shoppers looking to add an extra sentimental touch.”

  1. Ramadan and Eid: 2nd April – 3rd May  

The holy month of Ramadan and the festival of Eid see large increases in e-commerce transactions and international money transfers from Muslim consumers. Online shopping and social media usage also increase during this time, particularly after daylight hours4.

Jeff added: “Ramadan and Eid open up a new shopping window for millions of Muslim customers across the world. Appealing discounts on popular gift products, clothes and food can capture the attention of impulsive buyers.”

  1. Amazon Prime Day: Mid-July (TBC) 

Despite being a new event and exclusively available to Prime users, Amazon Prime Day results in sharp sales increases thanks to its deals on tech, luxury items and other popular products. $11.2 billion was spent worldwide in 2021.5

The exact dates for this year’s Amazon Prime Day are still to be announced, but it’s expected to fall in the middle of July, so make sure you plan well in advance.

Jeff added: “Whilst Amazon marketplace sellers generally see the greatest benefit, the ‘halo effect’ of the event now means marketplace sellers on different platforms can also take advantage by offering parallel deals of their own.”

  1. Black Friday and Cyber Monday: 25th & 28th November  

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become an unmissable retail fixture in recent years. The sales period for many for e-commerce and marketplace sellers continues throughout November and peaks in the final week leading up to the 25th. It’s estimated that consumers spent £9.2 billion over the weekend in 20216.

Jeff added: “For businesses looking to take advantage of this shopping event, it’s important not to forget about Cyber Monday. Whilst generally overshadowed by Black Friday, Cyber Monday deals have become increasingly popular and provide another great opportunity for marketplace sellers to capitalise on strong consumer interest.”

  1. Christmas and Boxing Day: 25th & 26th December  

For retailers looking to capitalise on the last-minute shopping habits of many consumers, the final days before Christmas can be a huge opportunity for e-commerce businesses.

Similarly, whilst Boxing Day sales have been overshadowed by Black Friday in recent years, the post-Christmas shopping period can result in a huge sales boost for businesses.

Jeff added: “Marketplace sellers can take advantage of the festive period by offering deals and same-day delivery in the final days before Christmas, whilst Boxing Day offers the perfect opportunity to clear excess stock by introducing heavily discounted prices on products.”