If you don’t already have an ecommerce retail calendar planned for your product sales and promotions, now is the time to create one. Brands that are succeeding in the ecommerce space act proactively to improve their performance in all aspects of the Ecommerce Equation: traffic x conversion x price x availability = revenue.
We recommend brands seriously consider a marketplace syndication strategy—making your products available and optimized on all online platforms that align with your brand. But as brands begin expanding their presence, it becomes increasingly complex to manage their online performance. Tools like a retail calendar can help immensely.
For many brands, getting the right strategy, technology, and resources means partnering with an ecommerce accelerator like Pattern. Pattern has experience with marketplaces worldwide, and we’ve successfully helped brands reach true profitability on Amazon, Walmart.com, Target +, Mercado Libre, and many more ecommerce channels.
If you’d like to build a retail calendar to strategize for sales and promotions across platforms, we can help. Learn why brands need an ecommerce retail calendar below.
What is an Ecommerce Retail Calendar?
An ecommerce retail calendar is a promotional plan for your products. Your calendar should take into account all of your online sales channels and be informed by your past promos’ performance data, all promotion opportunities you’re currently aware of for each channel, and any information you have about past sales run by your competing brands. For many brands, planning sales year by year is a great strategy.
Why Brands Need an Ecommerce Retail Calendar
Here are three key reasons most brands should be creating an ecommerce retail calendar:
1. Brands Can Fully Participate in Their Platform Relationships
With a retail calendar in place, brands can take full advantage of large channel events throughout the year, like Amazon Prime Day(s), Walmart + Days, etc. They can understand when the platforms are likely to have a channel-specific promo opportunity and when they’ll have overlapping sales.
Having a calendar helps brands to choose exclusive sales (only discounting items on one platform) or engage in promo parity (discounting items on multiple platforms at the same time). If you’re not proactively planning your sales, you can experience suppressed or unpublished product listings and sour your relationship with the platforms you sell on.
Ultimately, thinking ahead and deciding how you’ll show up on each channel helps you to develop a great relationship with that platform, influence your perception there, and get the most value and brand exposure from your sales.
2. Consumers See a Unified Brand Image
Many brands don’t think of sales and promos as large factors influencing brand image among consumers. But where you’re showing up and how often means more than you think.
An increasingly common practice we’re noticing among consumers is “showrooming,” or comparing product prices online when deciding where to purchase a product. A consumer might find your product on Walmart.com and then search that product on Google to make sure the Walmart.com price is the best deal available to them.
For brands, this means being present and optimized on all relevant ecommerce channels is essential. It ensures sales are always benefiting you rather than unauthorized or counterfeit sellers. Without a retail calendar and complementary strategy, consumers begin to view one channel as more “official” than others, diminishing sales and performance on those other channels. A retail calendar gets you more engagement, more new customers, better brand authority, and a greater competitive advantage wherever you sell.
3. Leaders Can Budget for Success
One of the biggest advantages brands gain from an ecommerce retail calendar is the ability to budget and plan for promos and sales throughout the year.
Through Pattern’s 10 years’ experience working with brands, we know there are two ways to approach sales/promo events: proactively or reactively.
- Proactive brands make retail calendars based on upcoming events they know about and sales they ran the previous year. They use those calendars to decide how many sales they’ll participate in and run themselves, and then they can get together with all necessary internal stakeholders to figure out how to budget against those goals.
- Reactive brands deal with sales opportunities as they come throughout the year. Rather than having prior approval for the marketing costs associated with sales and promos, reactive brands get stuck in difficult conversations upstream trying to “take” budget from advertising or other areas of the business to be able to run their sales. These brands end up with fewer dollars to contribute to their sales events and may miss strict platform deadlines and damage marketplace relationships because of approval delays.
Create an Effective Retail Calendar with Pattern
Looking to get ahead of your retail strategy? Pattern is a global ecommerce accelerator that partners with hundreds of brands worldwide to provide the resources, data, technology, and expertise needed to sell products effectively online.
If you’re looking for guidance on how to approach promos or sell more profitably online, contact us here to learn more.