The Ultimate Guide to Key Retail Dates in Australia: How to Maximise your Logistics & Supply Chain

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Who doesn’t love a good holiday sale or special sale days?

But, when you give people more reasons to buy, you also need to be mindful of the pressure this puts on the supply chain.

To gain a lot more support in these sales periods, with everything from inventory management to last-mile logistics, choose a reliable third-party logistics (3PL) partner like ShipBob.

In this article, we explore the popular Aussie sales days and discuss how to improve supply chain efficiency during these periods.

Key sales dates in Australia

To be prepared for the big sales, you need to first mark them in your calendar. Here is a handy list of all the big holiday/sales events in the year, celebrated in Australia:

Month/day in 2023HolidayDescription
January
22 January Chinese New YearThough commonly celebrated in China, the Lunar New Year festivities are now a reason for big sales in Australia too. 
26 JanuaryAustralia DayShoppers tend to be geared for a long weekend of retail and wholesale sales. This is a good time to offload the last of your summer stock.
January and FebruaryBack to School SaleThis is a good time to offer great discounts on electronics, school supplies, office equipment, and stationery.
In 2022, it was predicted that Australian parents would spend $2 billion on back to school shopping.
February
14 FebruaryValentine’s dayLove is in the air and in sales on this day. Stock up your storefront with perfumes, chocolates, jewelry, and other gifts as the demand peaks around a week before the 14 of Feb.
One study even shows that couples’ retail spending is increasing by 16.9 per cent year-on-year for V-day.
March
All MarchMarch Madness’ salesAll March, whether your customers are lovers of American sports or not, March Madness sales give you a good reason to offer deals and discounts.
April
9 AprilEasterYou don’t have to be a chocolatier to run Easter sales. It’s a good time to offer deals on clothes, decor or even groceries. Consider promoting your sales on social media, with cute creatives and copy, to get more traction.
May
14 May (second Sunday of May)Mother’s DayStart promoting Mother’s Day at least 2 weeks before the holiday to achieve maximum sales reach.
16 to 24 MayClick Frenzy MayhemDuring this week-long sales extravaganza, most beauty, fitness, and gadgets brands offer deals on this day in their ecommerce stores. 
Dates vary every yeareBay Plus WeekendThis is yet another online shipping festival, run on eBay for their Plus members. It runs for 7 days. 
June
30 JuneEOFY Sale Rid your old stock from the last season with this sale. Customers can shop for a range of last season’s goods, during this end of financial year sale.
July and August
12 to 14 July (Dates vary every year)Amazon Prime Day Most popular categories in this sale tend to be gaming, homewares and tech. If you wish to offer deals to Prime customers, participate in this 48 hour sale that runs in mid-July.
September
3 September Father’s Day salesOffer shoppers gifting options for their fathers, with discounts and offers on everything from comfy slippers to clothes and alcohol. 
October
31 OctoberHalloweenDo you retail candy, house party essentials, costumes or spooky decor? Make sure to promote your wares a lot to drum up online sales during Halloween. 
November
11 NovemberSingles’ DayWhile the iconic tradition of singles gifting each other started in China, it’s rapidly growing in popularity in Australia. 
In this multinational sale, you will find a lot more traction from Chinese buyers for Australian products. So, be prepared to bolster your cross-border shipping capabilities.
Last Friday of November to the Monday after Thanksgiving (dates vary every year)Black Friday and Cyber MondayBlack Friday starts on the last Friday of November and the sales usually go up to Cyber Monday (Monday after Thanksgiving). 
While Black Friday sales are mostly offline, Cyber Monday sales are digital-first. This is starting to be a bigger draw than even Boxing Day. 
Usually, shoppers in Australia wait for this period to buy their electronics, from Apple to Samsung Galaxy devices.
December
14 December (dates vary every year)Free Shipping DayThis one-day promotional holiday assures online shoppers that their orders will be delivered for free by Christmas Eve. 
This sale also gives you an opportunity to bag some new customers.
26 DecemberBoxing DayThis is one of the biggest sales in Australia, for both offline and online customers. 
The sales begin weeks before the main event, so start prepping for it at least a month in advance.

The impact of sales on logistics and supply chains

Top sales dates in Australia can be a major money maker for ecommerce businesses, however, they come with increased demand and logistics challenges. 

In this section, we discuss the potential impact that sales days could have on a business process. 

Increased order volume 

When you offer great deals, you can expect that a lot more people would buy from you. But a hike in order volumes can easily mean that goods stock out and you are left with disappointed customers.  As a result, your brand’s reputation might take a hit in the form of social media outcry or negative reviews.

Supply chain disruptions 

Around times of seasonal demand, suppliers and even couriers are stretched thin. Thus, there can be disruptions in the supply chain, where a supplier misses a restocking request from a retailer or a courier misplaces an order in the last mile delivery.

You need to anticipate such supply chain bottlenecks and build contingency plans to better deal with them. 

High customer expectations

In today’s convenience economy, customers are expecting orders to be delivered more quickly and reliably than ever before. Same-day delivery is no more a luxury, but a norm. Meeting these demands during the high-pressure sale season requires that you build supply chain resilience and agility.

Last-mile delivery challenges

Fast shipping is non-negotiable, especially through big promotions and holiday sales. But, with more and more packages being delivered to customers through last-mile couriers during sales, delivery inefficiencies also rise. 

How to get prepared for sales in Australia?

To manage all these challenges listed above, you need to be ready to invest time and effort into supply chain management. Here are steps business owners can take to optimise their logistics and get ready for upcoming sales:

Consider storage and warehousing

It helps to have some requisite stock stored in a warehouse, to meet demand, close to your customers so that the last-mile can be faster and you don’t stock out that often. 

And the picking, packing, storage, and shipping of goods within this storage space should also be seamlessly managed. This is where it helps to secure ecommerce warehousing support from a third party logistics partner like ShipBob.

ShipBob also offer tailored inventory storage systems that help you manage your SKUs even when sales order volumes peak, to avoid gluts or out-of-stock situations.

Forecast your products’ demand

If you know how many orders you will receive of each SKU, it becomes easier to plan your supply chain accordingly. This is the benefit of investing in demand forecasting

Predict your sales order volumes, based on historical data, with a smart supply chain management system and you can also better plan safety stock.

Stock up on inventory 

When a sale happens, and your order numbers go through the roof, you want to have stock availability. Hence, pay a lot more attention to having the right number of SKUs in stock, with intelligent inventory replenishment.

Review your inventory management

Find out if you have a lot of end-of-life or outdated goods from last season, or if you fall short of stock every time a promotional holiday rolls by. With efficient inventory management, you can not only identify such gaps but also remedy them by considering future sales trends and other related factors.

Be sure to increase your stock of high demand products so that you are not taken by surprise when orders for the same SKUs keep pouring in. Whether you are selling t-shirts, children’s toys, laptops, or gift cards, ShipBob can help you optimise your inventory. And our dashboard can be used to track days sales inventory and other supply chain KPIs.

Invest in reliable partners for shipping and logistics

Logistics and shipping have a lot of moving elements, from the management of inventory, suppliers, and couriers to warehousing. Already overworked with building your online shopping brand, organising the sales, marketing, and so on? 

Leave the supply chain management to a 3PL like ShipBob. Outsource it to a logistics service provider so that you are free to concentrate on what really matters, growing your business.

How ShipBob can help you manage increased order volume

Sale days equal increased demand, which can lead to supply chain setbacks and logistics challenges. However, with the right partner like ShipBob, these risks and challenges can be mitigated and avoided.

We help with inventory management so that you do not have to worry about stock outs or excess stock during the sales periods.

“It’s really easy to create new SKUs and restock existing ones using ShipBob’s technology, which is especially important with high inventory turnover.”

– Carl Protsch, Co-founder, FLEO Shorts

We also undertake end-to-end order management, so that the business stays profitable and customers are happy.

“I love that you can view orders based on when they are processing, completed, on hold, and in other stages. It is super helpful for us to have that and track the order every step of the way.”

– Ines Guien, Vice President of Operations at Dossier

ShipBob also helps with forecasting demand, supporting storage and warehousing, and liaising with suppliers and couriers to streamline logistics and transport.

No matter your ecommerce niche, with a properly functioning supply chain, you can plug a lot of losses and make much more money during these sales periods. 

Get started with ShipBob

Interested in partnering with ShipBob for fulfilment? Connect with our team to learn more and get started.

Australia sales FAQs

Below are answers to the most common questions about key retail and sales days in Australia. 

What are the biggest sale days of the year?

Boxing Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday sales are some of the biggest sale days/weeks of the year. After payday sales, winter sales are also other popular online shopping sale days. During these frenzy sales periods, keep your supply chain moving by outsourcing your logistics and transport to a 3PL. 

Is Black Friday big in Australia?

Yes, Black Friday (along with Cyber Mondays) is one of the biggest promotional holidays in Australia. Big discounts and offers are up for grabs, from big brands and smaller retailers, during this period.

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Written By:

Meredith is a Content Marketing Specialist at ShipBob, where she writes articles, eGuides, and other resources to help growing ecommerce businesses master their logistics and fulfillment.

Read all posts written by Meredith Flora