Victoria Day (Fête de la Reine) is officially celebrated in Canada as the birthday of our sovereign (initially, in celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday). It falls on the last Monday before May 25th. While we do have a large number of royal fans in this country, more often than not they’re celebrating the federal holiday in general. The weather is starting to warm across Canada by then and we’re all ready for a party.
Of all the holidays celebrated in Canada, Victoria Day is the one most neglected by Canadian marketers. That could mean a competitive advantage for those who are clever enough to bring it into their Spring strategy.
One in three Canadians celebrate Victoria Day. In 2022, 42 percent of Canadians will buy products that are specifically related to Victoria Day, according to Caddle research. Forty percent of them will spend over $50.
What are Canadians buying for Victoria Day Celebrations?
The top five purchases for Victoria Day in Canada are:
- Food, alcohol, candy, restaurants (39.6%)
- Toys (14%)
- Cooking tools and small household items (7%)
- Clothing (6.4%)
- Home, décor, furniture and appliances (5.5%)
Most small businesses probably don’t sell a lot of holiday food or travel, but they certainly have related products. For example, it’s often the first camping weekend of the season, so one could cover road trip gear, outdoor cooking supplies, outdoor toys, and sun glasses. Everything from host gifts to party supplies can present an opportunity to target celebrating Canadians. Plus, royal angles can be applied to virtually anything. Use a royal slant to promote your products or services on social media or with themed sales & discounts.
Canadian consumer loyalty and dedication to supporting small, local businesses is strong this year. Almost 36 percent of Canadians would prefer to shop for Victoria Day in-store to support small businesses. Counter that by reminding consumers they can also support local businesses online. Make it clear that you are located in Canada and prominently label products made in Canada.
Canadians are more inclined to add Victoria Day purchases while doing their regular shopping, with 37.6 percent of those surveyed saying the don’t make a special trip. Start reminding your website visitors that Victoria Day is approaching several weeks before the holiday, so they can begin planning & buying.
10 Victoria Day Marketing Tips for Canadian Businesses
1. Discounts, discounts and more discounts! Inflation is out of control, which has left Canadian shoppers in defense mode. They’re stopping to think about their purchases and the price is one of their top objections. Canadian small businesses are also struggling and may feel they can’t cut prices. Strategic discounting can make it profitable, such as loss leaders, discounting stale or slow-moving inventory, and so on.
2. Offer free shipping on all purchases made on Victoria Day (or leading up to it). Learn how to slash Canadian shipping costs with these tips.
3. Use social media to share your blog content, alert shoppers to truly fantastic deals/coupons, and provide customer support. Popular tools like Shortstack make it super easy to have social contests and offer coupons via social media.
4. Social media contests, with strategic sharing incentives designed to bring traffic to your website, can really take off. Have a Victoria Day contest or giveaway featuring your products, or try a “win your purchase” angle to help convince shoppers to buy from you.
5. Use your blog to bring in shoppers with fun Victoria Day content, checklists, videos and infographics.
6. If your products would make a great gift, put together a gift guide for party hosts. You can promote it for other holidays too!
7. Get your products into online marketplaces, you’ll find lots of Canadians there.
8. Create special Victoria Day landing pages and digital sales funnels. It’s easy if you use marketing automation tools that lead you through the process, step-by-step. Thrive Themes Funnels offers lots of funnel functionality for small businesses on a tight budget, and the Systeme suite of tools has a free level.
9. Donate a portion of Victoria Day sales to a Canadian charity. Include a branded graphic that consumers can share on social media that says they helped.
10. Whether you sell online as an ecommerce merchant or as a blogger, email is still the most effective marketing tool. Bring the best of the above marketing ideas into your email campaigns. Keep email subject lines direct, so subscribers instantly realize there is a Victoria Day deal or other content they need to see right away.
Are you marketing to Victoria Day shoppers this year? Please share your tips or questions in the comments below. You can also give us a royal wave in the Online Business Canada Facebook group.
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.