From Chinese New Year to International Women’s Day, brands have found plenty of reasons to celebrate. While the winter holiday season has historically seen sophisticated digital campaigns, brands now seek to drive e-commerce through more niche holidays: 44% of brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail had online Mother’s Day promotions this year.

To mark Mother’s Day, retailers doubled down on discount promotions, fulfillment innovation, and gift bundling. Overall, 13% of brands in Gartner L2’s study had some type of fulfillment innovation, such as free and discounted expedited shipping options.

Holiday specific

Beauty brands hoping to target mothers (and their families) gave gift bundling tools a prominent place on their sites. For example, Lush featured its Mother’s Day collection in the primary navigation, and category pages featured one-click add-to-gift functionality. The brand also incorporated image previews of gift wrapping options into product pages, allowing for a seamless gift shopping experience.

Holiday specific

Similarly, retailers rushed to produce Pride Month-centric collections in June and promote them through digital initiatives. J.Crew elevated its collection through a shoppable landing page, incorporating influencers like Girls star Zosia Mamet and lifestyle blogger Allison Graham. Most brands opted to produce cheaper items such as T-shirts and tote bags; the most expensive item produced by a brand in the study was a Kenneth Cole sneaker that cost $120.

For all holidays, particularly Pride Month, brands should be mindful of how marketing initiatives are perceived. Rather than simply adopting the images of Pride, a number of retailers partnered with LGBTQ* organizations. For example, American Eagle donated 100% of the proceeds to the It Gets Better Project. (A full list of brands that did this can be found here). This makes such initiatives both impactful and respectful.

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