As we step into the vibrant days of spring, it's time to prepare for a busy season ahead - the one we've come to call The Spring Holiday Season!

Spring Holiday Season is the second strongest quarter on Etsy for many stores when spring refresh, Mother's Day and Father's Day shopping align with a rise in wedding-themed orders.

Just as we saw during the Christmas-driven Holiday Season, Etsy will be running a series of spring sales events over the next 2-3 months which will most likely affect both search and overall performance. This is once again a highly-competitive period and good planning will help you make the most of the seasonal boost.

1. What are the main themes of Spring Holiday Season?

Easter and Spring Refresh - Mid-March until Mid-April

Spring shopping starts with Easter (March 30.) preparations and a rise in general home improvement orders. This is a great period for all home improvement and outdoor & garden categories.  

Mother's Day (May 12. in the US) - April until Mid-May

This is probably the strongest occasion in the coming quarter with Mother's Day shopping peaks performing close to Christmas levels in some stores. Key categories include personalized jewelry and accessories, self care, greeting cards and gift boxes, matching family outfits, home & garden decoration and clothing - everything capturing the essence of appreciation and love.

Father's Day (June 16. in the US) - Mid-May until Mid-June

Father's Day is often overlooked as most Etsy shoppers are women but it's important to note that the main shopping persona here is once again women. Strong categories include personalized clothing, wall decor and prints, personalized mugs, glasses and barware, personal and electronics accessories and of course greeting cards and gift boxes. Personalization options perform very strong across all categories.

Graduation Season - Mid-April - Mid June

High school and college graduations most commonly take place in May and June. It's usually best to put the focus on graduation-themed products (such as personalized gifts, graduation decorations, cards, and jewelry) by late March or early April. This timing allows you to capture the attention of early shoppers and continue to attract customers throughout the graduation season.

Wedding Season - May - October

Wedding-themed searches start to grow in March-April and peak during the summer. Wedding themes include invitations, hosting and wedding decor, personalized gifts, bridal accessories and lingerie, wedding favors and more. Wedding shopping rules over the summer period but many couples start their shopping and planning several months in advance.

2. How to make the most of Spring Holiday Season?

Seasonal and gifting SEO: Matching relevant products with occasion-specific and seasonal keywords and phrases is one of the core aspects of real-time SEO. SEO for April-May boosts starts this month so you can align with the SEO team on your marketing plans around the different occasions and key categories in the store.

And with all the gifting occasions that are coming up, it's no wonder why Etsy decided to add Gift Mode to the discovery experience. In February we still didn't have any notable boosts from Gift Mode and the Super Bowl ad brought mostly brand awareness. We are yet to see how Etsy will leverage Gift Mode over the coming months and it's important to keep a close eye there so we will let you know when we see movement.

Visual marketing around thematic products: Plan the right occasions for your store and bring your matching listings front and center. If you are offering personalized products, you can create specific listings targeting Mother's Day and Father's Day and even dedicated photoshoots if you see potential in the wedding theme.

Around this time of the year, a visual make over is really helpful to create a spring vibe and make it easy and enjoyable for gift-givers to shop from you. Make sure to check out the "dress your store" for the season article in our blog for tips and tricks, if you are still not familiar with the steps from Q4.

Email marketing: Gift-giving around strong sentimental occasions is the perfect timing for successful email campaigns. Sending your thematic listings together with your Etsy marketing message and running promotions to your past buyers is one of the best ways to bring returning orders and to build a loyal following and connection with your audience.

Etsy recently introduced changes to the API access to make it harder for sellers to connect with their audience. This decision has both an upside and a downside but it really shows how important email marketing is becoming to Etsy stores looking to strengthen their brand. If you are still not running email campaigns, spring holiday season is the perfect time to get going.

3. Etsy Sale Events

As I mentioned in the beginning, Etsy will be running a series of sale events to strengthen conversions over the next few months. You can find their schedule here and it's aligned with the major shopping periods we discussed above.

Just as we saw during Holiday Season 2023, Etsy recommends 25% off and they will very likely use sale filters in search like they did last quarter. These search filters had big impact on traffic in November and December - listings offering less than 25% off were excluded from the featured searches that Etsy promoted through their marketing channels.

Etsy sale search filters

Sale events remain an important marketing strategy this year - right now it's all about "saving" from the customer's perspective. If you already developed your sales plan for the year, you can adjust it to align with Etsy's sale events in your category.

We recommend running a 25% sale during one or more of the key periods when Etsy will be running the sitewide sale events. To make it easier, they even provide easy scheduling tools:

- Spring Refresh, March 11 - April 15 - schedule your sale here
- Mother’s Day, April 1 - May 12 - schedule your sale here
- Father’s Day, May 13 - June 16 - schedule your sale here

There is an opt-in deadline for each of the sales for a chance to have your listings featured in Etsy's marketing campaigns - for example Etsy can order one of your products and include it in their TV ads. If that's something you are interested in, you can go ahead and schedule the relevant sale events right now.

We usually recommend running daily sales to trigger the countdown timer in your listings so when the actual sale period closes in, you can cancel the long-term sale and schedule daily sale events instead.

The next months will be busy and as always at the start of a strong season, the big goal is to trigger seasonal boosts and to make the most of the activity in the marketplace.

In March we have a major shift towards spring-themed searches and seasonal and occasional products. Adapting to Etsy's plans and the seasonal behaviour from customers will be very helpful to make your shop and listings stand out and outperform the competition.

Keep going, improve every week, and celebrate your wins!

Have an amazing start of the year!

Iliyan Oprev
Founder & Managing Partner

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