Holiday gifts central europe

2022 Holidays, gift giving and online sales in Germany, Netherlands and Poland

The most exciting and popular time of the year is around the corner. Holidays from Halloween to Christmas and New Year are the most profitable for businesses and are celebrated worldwide. For this reason, we share the most popular holidays in Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland. Mark these dates in your business calendar so you don’t miss the potential to increase your international sales.   

If you would also like to find out more tips to prepare your business for the holiday season, check out our blog, “6 Tips to Prepare Your E-commerce Store for Holiday Season.” 

Holidays in Germany, Netherlands, and Poland  

October 

31st Halloween: Halloween is celebrated pretty much as in the US, with parties, festivals, pumpkin carving, and trick or treat. The difference is that it is not as big as in the US, but it is a time when brands can use it to promote their products with related Halloween themes and create new discount offers. 

November  

25th Black Friday: This US holiday, a particular time to buy products at discounted prices, has become popular in many places worldwide. Consumers in these European countries are used to these holidays. This is an excellent opportunity for US brands to take on these markets.   

28th Cyber Monday: Cyber Monday is a popular time to find discounts and bundles from many online stores. For new brands that want to expand into these countries, it is the perfect time to get on the wagon and create brand awareness to enter any of these markets and start selling. 

December   

24th Christmas Eve: This day is celebrated with a traditional dinner with the family and the opening of presents. In Germany, families have traditional meals, for example, potato salad with sausages. Some people celebrate this day by decorating their homes and having ugly sweater parties; others attend church. It is an excellent time for US brands to market bundle products and Christmas-themed items, and they should prepare their online store so that their customers can receive their orders on time.    

25th Christmas Day & 26th Second Christmas / St Stephen’s Day: These days are spent with family and friends, especially the ones you did not meet on Christmas Eve. They are more laid back to continue celebrating and relaxing.   

31st New Year’s Eve: As in other Western countries, this day is celebrated with parties accompanied by their loved ones. It is the start of celebrating the year’s end and the start of a new one. After Christmas, your shop should be ready to promote the New Year with campaigns on how your products contribute to goals, aspirations, and new beginnings.    

January  

1st New Year’s Day: A day to relax. Most people stay at home or visit relatives to wish them a happy New Year.    

 

In addition to the holidays mentioned, do not forget the following, which are specific to each country. And they are essential for brands to boost their sales this holiday season.   

 

 

Germany  

October 

17th September – 3rd October Oktoberfest: A massive holiday for the Germans, where Bavarian culture is celebrated. The main things they do are the big Munich festival, wearing traditional Bavarian clothes, drinking beer, and eating traditional foods such as sausages and pretzels. Foreign brands focus on finding a way to connect their product with tradition and raise brand awareness. This is for brands to stay current and not miss out on the potential this holiday can have on sales.   

3rd German Unity Day: It is a national day on which Germans celebrate the unification of Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. On this day, there are festivals with music and food, such as Independence Day in the US. In marketing, brands tend to create marketing storytelling campaigns around the subject to connect with consumers.   

November  

1st All Saints’ Day: This holiday used to be celebrated mainly regionally in the south and west, but today more parts of Germany celebrate it. This is the celebration of people who have died; families visit the graves of their loved ones with unique flowers and candles.    

January  

25th – 5th February Winter sales: This is a time for brands to prepare, as it is one of the biggest sales seasons for winter clothes, and to introduce new products related to the new year’s goals, such as travel goods, gym clothes, and contemporary fashion styles.   

 

 

Netherlands  

November 

11th Sint-Maarten: This traditional holiday looks like Halloween, as children walk door-to-door singing songs and get candy in return. They also make lanterns and bonfire celebrations and parades in the main cities. This holiday is not as commercial as Halloween. However, you could use it to raise brand awareness by posting on social media and creating product offers.   

December 

5th Sinterklaas: This is a Dutch holiday that focuses primarily on children. Sinterklaas is a white, older man with a long white beard and hair, a red miter, and a red cloak. He rides a white horse and has many helpers, like Santa Claus. This day is celebrated with children leaving a shoe in front of the fireplace the day before, and on the fifth, children sing songs and open their gifts in the evening. Adults organize a fun night full of crafts, presents, and poems.   

Brands should be aware that this is the time for children to receive their presents. It is therefore essential to have everything ready and advertise their products for this holiday, as it is an important time in the Netherlands and an excellent opportunity for brands to enter or grow their sales in this market.   

27th start of Winter Sales: Right after Christmas, winter sales begin; this is a great time to prepare for the New Year and get all the old stock for sale.   

January 

The whole month of Winter Sales: Winter sales continue, and a time to market products related to New Year’s goals and expectations, such as travel, health and fitness, and a new look.  

  

 

Poland  

November 

1st All Saints’ Day: This day to remember the relatives who died. On this day, Poles gather in cemeteries and take flowers and candles to their loved one’s graves. This is a holiday spent with family, remembering stories of the ones who have left this earth.   

11th Independence Day: This day is celebrated like the Fourth of July in the US, with concerts, parades, fireworks, and parties. During this time, most shops are closed, and it is time for friends and family to enjoy themselves together and celebrate their Polish heritage.   

January 

2nd January till 13th February Winter Sales: Winter sales in Poland last up to February. During this time, brands have discounts and special offers on winter items, and as soon as January ends, it is a great time to prepare for the launch of new products for the New Year.   

 

As the holidays get closer, it is the perfect time for your brand to expand its international footprint and have a higher chance of successfully entering. The holiday season after the pandemic is more special than ever, so it is even more profitable, as consumers look forward to buying unique gifts for their loved ones and themselves.   

Do you want to know how to expand successfully and without hurtles into Europe? We are the answer. BorderGuru, as part of the Otto Group, can offer you a service called Marketplace Partners Solution that provides your business with all the tools your brand needs to enter the most famous European marketplaces, such as Otto, Zalando, About You, Bol and others.    

Contact us now!   

cross-boder_e-commerce_

Top 10 Tips to Successfully Sell through Cross-border

As mentioned in our blog “Cross-Border eCommerce – The key to international growth,” e-commerce has been growing continuously. Sales have increased by US$1.57 trillion from 2019 to 2021, and this positive trend is expected to continue in the following years.  

As the lines between geographic borders in e-commerce get blurred, it gets easier for customers to purchase products from across the world, increasing the possibilities for US brands to broaden their international footprint.   

Considering the positive growth trend that cross-border e-Commerce has, we created a list of Top 10 tips to sell cross-border successfully.  

 

Does market research need to 'loosen up'?

1. Market research 

Before deciding on selling internationally, it is essential to research your potential customers to provide the best possible experience with your brand, products and website.   

These are three things to consider:   

    • Products: Research and look into the products your potential clients are most interested in, and also check if you need to make any changes to appeal more to their taste and cultural customs.   
    • Culture: Research the country your potential clients are from regarding their culture to avoid misunderstandings regarding your product or brand name, colors used, and communication style.   
    • Language: Although many international customers are bilingual and fluent in English, localizing your shop in terms of language, pricing, etc., can significantly benefit your business and differentiate you from your competitors. It also helps offer localized customer service, when possible, for a better customer experience.  

 

Is My Content Strategy Really Creating Brand Awareness? - Digital marketing agencies view

2. Brand awareness & trust  

Building brand awareness and trust is the key for your potential international customers to get to know your brand and your products.   

Here are some actions you can take to build awareness and trust:  

    • Create organic content using SEO and posting on social media  
    • Post reviews and testimonials  
    • Create videos of your product: how to use it, tips, features, and how your customers use it 
    • Paid ads on Google and social media to specifically target your intended market

 

The Competitive Pricing Strategy Guide (Covers B2B and B2C Businesses)

3. Pricing 

It is crucial to search the price of similar products from your competitors, from the country or countries to which you want to sell your products, and also to be aware of the additional costs that need to be added to the final price. This way, you can ensure that it is profitable to sell in the intended country/countries and if your prices are competitive.  

 

4 Lawyer Payment Methods Your Clients Want | Clio

4. Payment options  

Offering only the forms of payment popular in your local market is not enough to appeal to your international visitors. Our advice is to research the most commonly used payment methods by your target visitors or in the countries you are selling to. For example, in Europe, paying with Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayPal, or bank transfer is very common. It is, therefore, a matter of finding out what your visitors use for online payments and offering them to increase your chances of succeeding.  

 

Currency Vectors & Illustrations for Free Download | Freepik

5. Multi-currency account 

A multi-currency solution and offering the option to pay in local currency on your website can save you headaches and provide a better user experience. Being transparent with your customers regarding prices could help your business in the long run; customers appreciate localization even if exchange rates are not in your hands.   

 

Best Premium Packing and moving services Illustration download in PNG & Vector format

6. Packaging  

Another aspect to consider is the type of packaging that you will use to avoid higher shipping costs and be more cost-efficient and sustainable. For example, you can recycle old boxes, paper bags, or paper sheets as a protective material for packages and use mailer envelopes or poly bags for small non-fragile items like clothing.  

 

Hermes delivery staff filmed throwing parcels against wall | The Independent

7. Shipping  

Shipping costs and delivery times are crucial for the success of your online business. Finding a shipping service suitable for your company that can offer you competitive prices and excellent quality service can be your competitive advantage.  

Also, displaying clear and concise information will help you be transparent with your customers, build trust and avoid unsatisfied customers, misunderstandings about shipping fees and delivery times, and not miss repurchases.

 

Video - Hermes Parcels fleet rebrand delivered on time | Aura

8. Returns  

Regarding returns, it is important to learn and understand the return rate and legislation of the country or countries your business is selling to. Make sure to have a transparent process and policies to handle returns and communicate them clearly to customers.  

 

Shipping Insurance – ZeroWasteStore.com

9. Insurance 

Insurance is an aspect that is not necessarily needed. It depends on the value of the products you sell. It is crucial to consider evaluating if shipping insurance is necessary based on the product’s value and the loss/damage rate your business has experienced. If the rate of loss/damage is too low and the product’s value is not significantly high, then it is not worth spending on insurance. 

Some cross-border solutions like BorderGuru have less than a 1% loss/damage rate, making it possible for businesses to add that percentage to their loss/damage concept in their budget and save by not paying extra fees on insurance. 

 

Tax deduction Vectors & Illustrations for Free Download | Freepik

10. Taxes & duties  

Tax laws vary among countries. You should be aware of them, but trying to manage international taxation on your own is not recommended. Cross-border solutions such as BorderGuru can file taxes, making it easy for your business. It also provides your customers with accurate information about taxes and duties to be paid at checkout and customs-cleared orders, so they do not have to worry about additional fees at the delivery time. This will give your business and customers a better shipping experience.   

 

Selling international comes with some hurdles, but you don’t have to do it alone. BorderGuru, as a cross-border solution, can facilitate international shipping for your business and your customers.   

Our solution offers competitive shipping costs and calculates taxes, duties, delivery times, and guaranteed customs-cleared orders at checkout.

Contact us now and start growing your international reach!