Know Your Dates: 2023 Retail Marketing Calendar

2022 was undoubtedly another year of plot twists – but this can be positive. If you flip the switch you’ll see the challenges as opportunities, and the Rakuten Advertising team is here to help. We've put in the groundwork to prepare you for the busiest shopping peaks of the year.

You’re probably familiar with the major shopping holidays (like Black Friday and Cyber Monday), but the rise of local events is also shaking things up thanks to globalisation. From religious holidays to regional retail events, we’ve collated a global retail marketing calendar to help you strategically plan for the new year. If you are looking for a calendar that focuses on the APAC region, we’ve also created retail marketing calendars for Oceania and Asia.

To help you make the most out of your affiliate program during shopping peaks, our experts have shared the strategies you need to drive success:

Stay ahead of the competition

It’s never too early to understand how your audience is shopping during key retail events. We’re seeing a trend of sales periods lasting longer than usual. In Asia, Singles’ Day has turned into a multi-day event. Sales across China rose by up to 57% in the days leading up to the shopping festival and dipped on Singles’ Day itself. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you can’t afford to wait until the last minute to share promotions.

In response to this shifting behaviour, brands who adopt an always-on strategy maintain visibility all year round. To further engage with customers regardless of where they are in the shopping journey, utilise a full-funnel approach and experiment with content, influencer and sub-network publishers to build awareness earlier in the year. When shopping events are around the corner, they’ll be familiar with your brand and ready to convert.

Use your publishers and network

Remember your publishers are a wealth of information. They know your audience inside and out, and it’s vital to communicate your brand’s commercial objectives with them at all times. Like Alex Short from PerformID (MyAmexShopping) said, “Partnerships are about sharing best practices.” Connect with publishers for real-time consumer trends and insights to stay agile in tweaking affiliate strategies, especially when you’re in a market that follows a different retail calendar.

Additionally, to exceed your performance goals, partner with your top 10 click and order active publishers to optimise your program through exposure opportunities. Make sure they’re aware of the events that are key to your brand to deliver the biggest wins in times of uncertainty.

Benchmark with better data

Being asked to do more with less is a challenge for marketers. Advertisers can better understand how to optimise campaigns using our industry-first On-demand Benchmarking tool to compare program performance to industry benchmarks. It also supports advertisers in advocating for more affiliate investment. Additionally, using affiliate forecasting tools means brands can make better strategic decisions. Based on the mix of publishers and commission rate changes, you can receive performance insights to further optimise results from last year.

To avoid the risk of testing new strategies during peak periods, identify the smaller events in your market and to test-and-learn. Taking the learnings from the data, you can make smarter campaign decisions and optimisations during the larger retail dates.

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and scribble down the events on your calendar. Subscribe to our blog to stay updated with insights and strategies from Rakuten Advertising.

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