The first month of the year holds space for new beginnings and new year’s resolutions, both for consumers and retailers alike. In the world of e-commerce, which means ample opportunity for sales on items to help people hit the ground running – literally and figuratively speaking.
January 1st marks New Year’s Day, a public holiday for the general population, schools and most businesses.
In many parts of the world, January 6th is Epiphany day or the 12th Day of Christmas. It commemorates how a bright star led the three Wise Men to baby Jesus to bring him gifts. In Spain, Día de Los Reyes (Three Kings Day) is also the primary day of gift giving.
The Russian, Greek and Serbian Orthodox Churches celebrate their own ‘belated Christmas’ on January 7th. Like Christmas in western cultures, this time is also dedicated to going to church, spending time with family and exchanging small gifts, especially amongst children.
Other January gems
Ever since the 1980s, National Hugging Day (January 21st) celebrates love and closeness, which has been made difficult due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in recent years. While this day isn’t a public holiday, it is recognized by the United States Copyright Office. The benefits of hugs and physical contact have been scientifically proven. #NationalHuggingDay also makes for great heartfelt social media or email newsletter campaigns.
The 3rd Monday in January is Martin Luther King Day, which is especially big in the United States. This year, it coincides with Dr. King’s birthday, January 15th. Martin Luther King was a Baptist minister and prominent leader in the American civil rights movement. To celebrate his life’s work, people are encouraged to use this day to reflect on racial (in)equality and nonviolent social change.
January also marks Chinese New Year, celebrated in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea and Singapore. The Chinese New Year 2023 is the year of the Rabbit and lasts from January 22nd, 2023, until February 9th, 2024. Also known as “Spring Festival”, Chinese New Year festivities usher out the old year and bring good luck and prosperity into the new one with family banquets and outdoor spectacles, such as fireworks, dancing dragons and loud drums.
A lesser-known day in January is International Lego Day, which takes place every year on the 28th. Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, a Danish carpenter, first submitted his patent for the original Lego brick in 1958. The LEGO company itself was founded in 1932 and started off by making wooden toys. It took the name Lego from the Danish words “LEg GOdt” which translates to “play well”. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Popular products in January
As people are looking to start the new year with a clean slate, the entire month of January is all about new beginnings and growth.
The 2022 SaleCycle report shows that online spending in recent years was slightly higher in January than in the e-commerce “mega month” of November. That’s because of a combination of Christmas gift returns and resolution-related purchases.
According to Deal News, popular products bought online in January include:
- exercise equipment (e.g., weights, running shoes)
- household supplies (e.g., antibacterial wipes, even more so since Covid-19)
- health products to combat flu season (e.g., zinc caplets, forehead thermometers)
- smaller, less expensive electronics (e.g., charging cables, phone cases)
Creating promotions around resolutions for the new year could be a worthwhile strategy for boosting sales in January.
The post-Christmas season doesn’t mean a slowdown in online shopping. In fact, it’s quite the contrary: January poses great opportunities for e-commerce marketers, ranging from recirculating returned Christmas gifts to promoting products for a healthier, happier and more successful new year.