Seasonality & ecommerce: What your brand might be missing

Tips CPG brands selling through direct-to-consumer, pure play, and retail ecommerce can leverage during peak holiday seasons and beyond.

For many ecommerce players, planning for seasonality and holiday marketing is a year-round endeavor. It’s a (chaotic but) crucial strategic undertaking, especially considering the following:


  • 67% of consumers plan to celebrate Halloween by purchasing seasonal candy.
  • The week leading up to Halloween accounts for over 10% of the entire year’s candy and chocolate sales, with October 28th topping the list (all of the top five days for candy sales are in October).
  • 2021 in-store Halloween candy sales were on par with 2019, but ecommerce sales soared by +430%.
  • Leading up to Halloween, costume-related beauty products also saw an increase in ecomm sales: lipstick (+129%), lip gloss (+47%), eyeliner (+327%), false eyelashes (+118%), eyeshadow (+192%) and mascara (+243%).

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, & Holiday

  • 2021 Cyber Monday was the heaviest online spending day, climbing 1.1% to $10.90 billion.
  • 2021 Black Friday sales inched up 0.3% to $9.03 billion.
  • 2021 Thanksgiving sales grew 2.3% to $5.17 billion.

Holiday season retail ecommerce sales in the U.S. from 2019 to 2021

Graph - Holiday season retail ecommerce sales in the U.S. from 2019 to 2021

Source: Statista

  • Last year, 93% of US holiday shoppers said they planned to purchase holiday gifts on Amazon.
  • 2022 total holiday retail sales are expected to increase 3.3% to $1.262 trillion, with brick-and-mortar increasing 0.9% to $1.026 trillion and ecommerce increasing 15.5% to $235.86 billion.

Valentine’s Day

  • In 2022, the seven-week Valentine’s Day selling season saw record total candy, mint and gum sales of $4.1 billion, according to IRI multi-outlet channel sales (the first time the holiday broke the $4 billion mark).
  • Ecommerce sales were up 22.7% to reach $495 million. More people bought online and they bought online more frequently during the pre-Valentine’s Day period.
  • Chocolate made up $2.5 billion of the total 2022 Valentine's Day sales, growing 8.7% from 2021.
  • Shoppers shifted some of their purchases to larger pack sizes, with volume for total candy, mints, and gum sales up 3.3%.

Every brand is competing during seasonal peaks to get their products into shoppers’ carts.

The best way to stand out?

Make the shopping experience as straightforward and easy as possible by meeting your customers where they’re at. This means supporting paths to purchase through your website, pure play (e.g. Amazon), and retail ecommerce.

The challenge?

Understanding and balancing your marketing strategies between these three ecommerce channels to make the most of the high-impact seasonal months.

Pear Commerce provides CPG brands with the shoppability and insights needed to achieve and win at seasonal sales, particularly through retail ecommerce.

Inventory scanning

Brands typically know when inventory is available for direct-to-consumer sales through their own websites, but it’s not as straightforward when selling through other channels.

The retailers stocking products change rapidly. The exact date and time a retailer updates their inventory is hard to predict, and brands working with distributors (e.g. beer, wine, and spirit brands) may not even be aware of the full list of locations with their SKUs in stock.

It doesn’t make sense for a brand to start marketing pushes for seasonal products before they’ve hit the shelves, but it’s been nearly impossible to plan for these variants. This results in wasted marketing dollars on campaigns that may not even link to a purchasable product in some consumer areas.

Every product on the Pear platform–including shoppable landing pages, store locators, PDPs, and direct to cart links–utilizes real-time inventory scanning.

Other tools rely on inventory data that is two or more weeks old–a turnaround time that’s useless during high-volume seasonal months and shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With Pear, marketing teams gain clarity into the exact moment products become available at retailers so they can plan campaign launches and geo-targeting accordingly.

Performance marketing

Instead of waiting for a seasonal campaign to end before analyzing its performance, brands can now capture insights mid-campaign to make decisions that improve ROAS.

Pear ties page loads, retailer visits, add to carts, and purchases to conversion events and sends them to any ad platform brands choose (e.g. Meta, TikTok, Snap, and Pinterest).

This unlocks the same performance marketing tactics used on DTC sales for retail ecommerce. Brands can build lookalike audiences based on site visitors, optimize campaigns from actual add-to-carts and purchases, and retarget to every stage of the funnel.

Implementing tactics like the following can help brands capture seasonal shoppers and gain a competitive edge through each ecommerce channel:

  1. Create holiday-specific shopping experiences
    The digital landscape is flooded with seasonal products and promotions. To reduce shopper fatigue and ensure consumers are adding their products to your cart over competitors, your brand needs to stand out from the rest.

    Create customized holiday shopping experiences and make it as easy as possible to find and buy your products.

    Pear tip: Use your shoppable media to drive seasonal or holiday sales like this example from American Licorice.

    The brand designed a Halloween-specific landing page with everything a customer could need to properly celebrate. Check out the Products section to see how they integrated retail ecommerce purchasing options directly into the experience, giving customers an easy way to find and buy their candy through their own local retailers.
  2. Use urgency to drive sales
    Urgency and time-sensitivity can encourage customers to make impulse purchases, especially when items are on sale or offer 2-day shipping.

    Pear tip: The Pear dashboard provides brands with shopper insights - including geolocation - for building targeted audience lists. Keep an eye on FedEx/UPS/USPS delivery time frames during the holidays and target last-minute marketing campaigns to customers in areas where orders will still arrive on time.

    Brands selling through Amazon can also take advantage of their quick shipping times. Check out how Liquid Death pushes sales through both Amazon and retail ecommerce using Pear’s shoppable PDP on their product pages.
  3. Enable simple paths to purchase
    Being forced to create an account at checkout is the second highest reason for shoppers to abandon carts.

    For direct-to-consumer sales, account creation for new customers is mostly unavoidable. This becomes a perk for sales through retail ecommerce, however.

    Pear tip: Use shoppable product pages or store locators as landing pages for seasonal campaigns.

    Pear’s shoppable tools display every available retailer with products in-stock (down to the regional level) and can also include DTC and Amazon options. Dynamic shoppability lets customers add products to their preferred retail ecommerce carts right from the product page or store locator, eliminating account creation frustration or drop-off.

Implementing any of these tactics lays the groundwork for brand awareness, trial, and repeat purchases through holiday and beyond. Premium shoppability, actionable insights, and real-time inventory scanning makes Pear uniquely positioned to support your brand’s seasonal marketing efforts.

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The Retail Ecommerce Playbook by Pear Commerce

Your guide to capturing greater share of wallet at retail.

Five years ago, retail ecommerce didn’t exist. Today, supporting the channel is table stakes for consumer packaged goods brands.

This playbook is designed to guide CPG brands from the stages of awareness to purchase at retail. Whether you’re interested in retail ecommerce as a new channel opportunity or looking to level up existing efforts, The Retail Ecommerce Playbook covers tools, tips, and examples to help your brand succeed.