Seasonal spikes in consumer activity are expected, if not depended on, by online retailers throughout the calendar year. However, as shoppers rush to compete over door-buster deals and order holiday must-haves, web traffic escalates to levels standard resource allocation cannot easily sustain. This spike in traffic can lead to unresponsive checkouts, lost or abandoned carts, and slow-loading pages, ultimately resulting in thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
Thankfully, these kinds of performance issues are entirely preventable if you prepare ahead of time for upcoming holiday events. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive 2022 eCommerce Holiday Calendar. Now you’ll know exactly when to scale your infrastructure to meet upcoming demand.
January 1st: New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day typically features online deals for health and fitness-related items. These sales often last throughout the month, as businesses offload overstocked goods to make room for new and trendy inventory.
January 17th: Blue Monday
Some claim Blue Monday is the most depressing day of the year. In 2005, Sky Travel calculated how various factors, including miserable weather conditions and debt, come together on the third Monday of every January to drive consumers online to chase those blues away. This holiday is more popular outside the U.S. (inside the U.S., it usually coincides with the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day).
February 1: Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is a 15-day celebration that marks the beginning of a new year according to the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. In China and Chinese communities around the world, it’s traditional to purchase food, gifts, and clothes, making it a major eCommerce event. In 2021, online catering and food delivery sales during the Chinese New Year rose 135% compared to 2020, with online sales overall coming in just under $19 billion dollars. According to PCA Predict, 73% of consumers in China are making these purchases digitally.
February 4th-20th: Winter Olympics
The Winter Olympics, a major international sporting event, began in 1924 and occur every four years. During this event, close to 2 billion people tune in around the world. You can expect increased sales across travel, lodging, food, and alcohol--particularly in areas surrounding the hosting city.
February 6th - 24th: Fashion Week
Fashion Week is big news for fashion and associated industries, leading not only to high profile shows on the catwalk, but also increased interest in designers, fashion, and clothes shopping online. There are Fashion Weeks in New York, London, and Milan across the whole of February:
- February 10th - 14th: New York
- February 17th - 22st: London
- February 22st - 28th: Milan
February 13th: Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is a yearly event in the United States where NFL (National Football League) teams across the nation come together to compete. Advertising during the Super Bowl is almost as competitive as the championship itself. Expect a rise in spending across grocery apps, delivery apps, travel, and sports paraphernalia during the week of the Super Bowl, as U.S. shoppers meet up to celebrate this yearly event.
February 14th: Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day, or Saint Valentine’s Day, is a holiday for expressing affection. On this day, couples exchange gifts and children give each other Valentine’s Day cards (often with candy inside). Online shopping, increased email communications, and heightened social media presence can make this celebration of romance a buzzing day online. In 2021, the average shopper was estimated to have spent $165 each for Valentine's Day, totaling $21.8 billion. Online floral and candy shops especially should be prepared for this holiday.
February 20th: Love Your Pet Day
Love Your Pet Day is a U.S. national holiday where animal lovers celebrate their pets. In the U.S. alone, the pet industry is worth $103.6 billion dollars, making this a noteworthy holiday that’s sure to expand into a significant eCommerce event in the years to come. Online pet stores are likely to mirror sales events on this day from marketplace giants such as Amazon and Chewy.
March 8th: International Women’s Day
This is a day to “challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements,” according to IWD. 2022’s celebration is expected to have more participants than usual. While the majority of retailers shouldn’t expect high traffic spikes on this day, social media is expected to be busy as women take to Instagram, Facebook, and other channels to share their celebrations.
March 13th - April 4th: March Madness
March Madness is a NCAA basketball tournament in the U.S. that happens every spring. Sidecar, an eCommerce AI marketing company, estimates that during this tournament sports-themed stores see an average of 145% in increased sales. Betting sites around the world typically see an increased rate of traffic during sporting events like March Madness. You can also expect to see a spike in catering and delivery orders as restaurants advertise targeted meal deals.
March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day marks the death of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Although this holiday began with the Irish, it has spread across the world. People typically wear green on this day and get together in local bars and pubs. Billions of dollars are spent every year on St. Patrick’s day celebrations. In 2021, the average shopper was estimated to have spent $40.77 on the holiday. With the rise of alcohol and grocery delivery apps, we can only expect that total to grow in 2022. Taxi apps should also ensure they are prepared for the surge of requests from those who’ll need a ride home after a long day of bar crawling.
April 2 - May 2: Ramadan
Ramadan is an Islamic holy month that represents the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. During Ramadan, people partake in prayer, fasting, and inward contemplation. In recent years, Ramadan has marked a spike in digital activity. During the holy month of 2020, grocery delivery apps increased 78% year-on-year and eCommerce app downloads increased 13% year-on-year. Package volumes also increased as much as 55% in some countries as Muslims prepared to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at the end of the month.
April 15th: Tax Day
In preparation for the final day to file taxes in the United States, many individuals and businesses spend money on equipment needs to lower their total taxable income. Expect a rise in hardware and service sales leading up to this deadline. Online car dealers should also prepare themselves during tax season, as business owners look to upgrade their company cars and trade in older models.
April 15th - 18th: Holy Week
Holy Week is a Christian holiday event that spans from Good Friday until Easter Monday. Shoppers in the United States spent $21.7 billion on Easter celebrations in 2021, with a reported average of $179.70 per shopper -- the highest spend recorded yet. (That’s a lot of Peeps and Cadbury Creme Eggs.)
May 4th: Star Wars Day
Star Wars Day is an informal holiday celebrated by sci-fi fans everywhere. In the Star Wars series, the expression “May the force be with you” is very popular and sounds very similar to the date “May the fourth (be with you).” This event may cause a spike in movie, book, and fandom-related sales.
May 5th: Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of victory when, in 1862, Mexico defeated the forces of the French Empire in the battle of Puebla. Similar to St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo triggers a spike in spending on food and alcohol brands, grocery apps, and food delivery apps. The Dos Equis brand alone sells roughly 30% of its product leading up to, and during, Cinco de Mayo.
May 8th: Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a yearly opportunity to express the love and appreciation you have for your mom. Expect a surge in sales leading up to one of the most important shopping events of the year, occurring on the second Sunday of May (or March 31st, for those in the U.K.). The average shopper in the U.S. spent about $220 for mother’s day in 2021, with greeting cards and flowers topping the list of purchases. Even if Mom says she doesn’t like flowers because they’re a “waste of money,” you can bet she’s probably getting a boquet on this day.
June 19th: Father’s Day
Father’s Day is a holiday centered around celebrating the father figures in your life. While people don’t splash out as much for this holiday as they do on Mother’s Day, you can still expect a major spike in traffic around this time. In 2020, Father’s Day spending landed at around $17 billion -- the average shopper spending about $150.
July 4th: U.S. Independence Day
July 4th is a holiday that marks the passage of the United State’s Declaration of Independence through Congress, which occurred on July 4th, 1776. Fireworks, food, alcohol, swimwear, and travel-related products surge in sales leading up to this early July holiday. U.S. shoppers spent $7.52 billion on July 4th celebrations in 2021, the average per-person spend totalling around $80.
July 6th-31st: UEFA Women’s Euro
The UEFA Women’s Euro is a football championship that occurs every four years that began in 1984. Like most sporting events, you can expect an increase in traffic to betting websites, sport-themed stores, and food delivery apps.
July 18th-19th: Amazon Prime Day
Amazon Prime Day is a relatively new holiday that began as a promotional sale for merchants participating in Amazon’s online marketplace. Shoppers spent just over $11 billion globally at Amazon in 2021 during Amazon Prime Day. If you’re in eCommerce, early July is a great time to improve your SEO. As online shopping becomes more competitive, you can expect savvy shoppers to take advantage of timely deals that compare with Amazon’s holiday blitz.
August 1-15th: Back to School
The back-to-school season for those living in the Northern Hemisphere typically falls between August and September. During these two weeks, parents and teachers alike scramble to procure supplies for the year. In 2021, U.S. families planned on spending $850 to prepare for the school year, totalling in just over $37 billion dollars for the season. That’s not even including the $71 billion spent in preparation for college! With remote learning on the rise, you can expect a growing percentage of these sales to be electronics like laptops, webcams, headphones, and similar items.
September 5th: Labor Day
Labor Day is a yearly celebration that honors workers and the labor movement. Still early in the school year, Labor Day sees a rise in sales for school supplies, clothes, and electronics. 44% of U.S. shoppers planned on celebrating the holiday in 2021. Grilling is popular during Labor Day, so you can also expect grocery and delivery app sales to increase during this time.
October 5th: Dusshera (Vijayadashami)
Dusshera is a Hindu celebration of Rama’s defeat of the 10-headed demon king Ravana. Shoppers in India spent nearly $5 billion online in 2021 during this festive week, 50% of that total coming from smartphones. Sales during this holiday week are only expected to climb in 2022.
October 24th: Diwali
Diwali is India’s biggest holiday and is celebrated across 5 days. Millions of people prepare by cleaning their homes, buying new kitchen utensils, and decorate their homes with clay lamps and rangoli designs. In 2020, India’s eCommerce stores saw just over $8 billion in sales during the festive sale season, which lasted from October 15th through November 15th.
October 31st: Halloween
Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a western holiday that has evolved from remembering the dead to wearing scary costumes and eating candy. Shoppers looking for costumes, candy, and ghoulish decor flock to stores throughout October in preparation for this spooky holiday. In 2021, it was estimated that shoppers spent $3 billion online for Halloween, with 55% of parents turning to eCommerce stores to find their children’s costumes. Online pet stores should also expect an uptick in costume sales. (Who doesn’t want an excuse to put bat wings on their furry best friend?)
November 11th: Single’s Day
Singles’ Day, also known as Bachelors’ Day, began at Nanjing University in 1993 and quickly spread to other universities. Today, the holiday has become a popular date for single people to celebrate by meeting and throwing parties. In just a few years, it has grown to become the largest offline and digital shopping day in the world. In 2020, Alibaba sold $38 billion worth of merchandise, breaking already impressive records. Retailers pulled all-nighters to keep pace with demand and high-speed trains were used to deliver packages.
November 18th-21st: El Buen Fin
El Buen Fin is a nationwide shopping event in Mexico that started in 2011. In 2020, shoppers spent over $11 billion during this event -- nearly doubling the amount spent in 2019. Almost $2 billion of that total was spent online.
November 24th: U.S. Thanksgiving Day
U.S. shoppers [spent $5 billion online](https://www.businessinsider.com/thanksgiving-weekend-saw-acceleration-in-online-sales-2020-12#:~:text=Thanksgiving Day ecommerce sales grew,capped off at %244.2 billion.) in 2020 on Thanksgiving Day, which was a 21.5% year-over-year increase from 2019. In addition to major spikes in food and alcohol spending, you can expect a rise in travel-related spend.
November 25th: Black Friday
Black Friday has historically been a brick-and-mortar store shopping holiday packed with “door-buster” deals. Thanks to the rise of eCommerce, Black Friday has spread from being an American phenomenon to an international shopping event. In 2020, online shopping during Black Friday hit a record $9.03 billion.
November 28th: Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday has become one of the largest eCommerce events of the year. In 2020, shoppers spent a record-breaking $10.8 billion. At first, Cyber Monday was more of an online afterparty for shoppers that were still looking for deals they might have missed out on from Black Friday (particularly regarding electronic devices). Today, it is a broad eCommerce event.
December 18th-26th: Hanukkah
Hanukkah is an 8-day Jewish winter holiday that celebrates the light of the menorah and rededication of the Holy Temple. While Hanukkah isn’t traditionally a major gift-giving holiday, parents do sometimes buy gifts for their children.
December 25th: Christmas Day
Christmas Day is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. On this holiday, families exchange gifts and cook a large dinner to share with family, friends, and neighbors. While many shoppers might typically begin their holiday shopping in November, you can expect heightened activity to extend through Good Friday, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
December 26th: Boxing Day
Boxing Day (and Boxing Week) has also become a major eCommerce shopping event across Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. In the U.K. alone, over $256 dollars per shopper was spent in 2020 on Boxing Day deals.
December 26th - January 1st: Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa, first celebrated in 1966, is a secular 7-day holiday created by Maulana Karenga based on traditional African harvests that occur around the southern solstice. The fourth day of Kwanzaa is focused on the idea of Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa), and during this day many participants shop at Black-owned businesses to support the community.
Looking Beyond These Events
This list of holidays and celebrations is not exhaustive. In fact, as the world becomes more connected thanks to social media and online marketplaces, these events spread and grow in popularity. New events like Amazon Prime Day and Cyber Monday will also continue to arise.
As you can see, the reasons for surges in online shopping come and go all year long. While it’s great to have prepared for the largest events, it is even better to stay prepared. The best way to anticipate resource strains, detect outages, and discover oncoming spikes in traffic is to continuously observe your digital ecosystem.