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Promotional Planning for Canadian E-commerce

The fundamental discipline in creating a well-developed promotional calendar is well known to most retailers. When developing a promotional strategy for Canada, it will be critical to collaborate with your marketing team, as methods of reaching e-commerce customers in Canada may be less robust than in the U.S., and the timing and promo- tions will need to be adjusted for the Canadian holiday and seasonal calendar.

Ample lead time should be allowed for unique Canadian creative assets to be devel- oped if needed. If you have brick-and-mortar stores in Canada, it will be critical to involve the store merchandising and marketing teams to coordinate the effort and gain valuable cross-channel synergy.

Used effectively, your promotional calendar and supporting tools can provide the foun- dation for the collection of sales history data and future sales forecasts, which will be important as you establish your Canadian e-commerce business.

We recommend that two calendar tools be developed for planning promotions and recording results:

The quarterly promotional calendar: This calendar shows major milestones (holiday dates, start and end dates of sales and events, floor set dates, home page changes, etc.). It also allows for components for the calendar to be filled in as they become available as different channels/ media require different lead times. Using the calendar enables an “at a glance” view of what has been decided and what can still be impacted

  • this is especially helpful for contingency planning. It also reveals promotional

conflicts. The calendar is typically managed/maintained by the head merchant or the head of the creative team.


Average order size

The daily calendar: This calendar provides daily promotional informational along with dashboard metrics versus the previous year’s plan and forecast

  • Visits

  • Orders

  • Conversions

It also:

  • Shows time of key promotions, holidays, shipping cut-off dates, etc., that impact business.

  • Services a critical business review tool, helping to guide discussions and decision making for contingency planning.

  • Allows for the business team to “see what’s coming” in terms of high-volume days from last year to create promotional activity to mitigate risk.

  • It is the starting point for the creative team to plan their workflow and publishing schedule (start and end dates, etc.).

  • This calendar is typically managed/maintained by an analyst who is responsible for reporting and forecasting.

It is important to get into the habit of forecasting business performance based on current trends. We suggest doing this on a weekly basis. Such forecasting requires discipline and resources, but can provide significant payback through the business intelligence gained.

Visa e-commerce cross-border handbook for U.S. retailers

Copyright 2010 Visa. All rights reserved.


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