How to Make an Shopify Calendar
Shopify

How To Create A Digital Advent Calendar For Your Shopify Store

Table of Contents

Shopify Advent Calendar Cheat Sheet

Brief:

  • Industry: eCommerce
  • Experience type: Calendar

Your Toolkit

  • Experience Builder: Odicci
  • eCommerce Platform: Shopify‍
  • Email/SMS integration: Klaviyo (or your integration of choice)
Alright, folks, it’s calendar time 👇

Today, we’re going to explore the festive world of digital advent calendars on Shopify.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have created and launched your very own digital advent calendar. 

Imagine, a charming little calendar, opening a new surprise each day – from exclusive offers to sneak peeks at new products, to fun facts about your products, or a story with cliffhangers that keeps customers coming back daily to keep reading.

But these calendars aren’t just for holiday fun. 

They’re a brilliant tool to engage customers, building anticipation and excitement every day.

With Shopify’s platform, your advent calendar can be a cornerstone of your seasonal marketing, helping customers navigate your product range with daily delights.

And there’s more!

Not only will your calendar bring joy, but it can also be a powerful marketing tool. 

Strategic offers and engaging content can skyrocket your sales and foster customer loyalty.

I’ll guide you through every step, from concept to execution, ensuring your calendar is not just festive, but also a formidable part of your marketing arsenal.

But first, let’s talk about why a digital advent calendar is a must-have in your Shopify store’s holiday toolkit.

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📈 Turn yearly shoppers into daily visitors

Why Build an Advent Calendar on Shopify?

Alright, let’s dive into the big leagues of turning those occasional visitors into daily admirers of your Shopify store. 

Ever heard of the mere-exposure effect

It’s this nifty psychological trick where familiarity breeds fondness. 

You know, like when a song gets catchier the more you hear it.

Here’s the deal:

An advent calendar on your Shopify site isn’t just about festive cheer; it’s a strategy to transform yearly visitors into daily active users. 

We’re talking major brand recognition, engagement boost, SEO perks, and an increased likelihood of purchases. 

It’s like a daily hello from your brand to your customers’ brain.

Think of it this way:

Each day your customers swing by for their calendar treat, they’re unknowingly cementing your brand in their minds. 

It’s your way of whispering, “Hey, we’re here and we’ve got cool stuff!” 

And who wouldn’t want to come back to a store that surprises them daily?

Now, here’s the kicker:

This daily visit ritual is a game-changer in retail. 

Increasing daily active users is crucial for user retention and loyalty. 

It’s a clear sign that customers are finding value in what you offer. 

Combine this with a slick omnichannel strategy, and you’re not just in the game; you’re leading it.

Fun fact:

Take a page from the luxury playbook where physical advent calendars have become a game-changer. 

For instance, Liberty London’s beauty calendar, a marvel of luxury retail, became their fastest-selling product ever. 

Now, imagine replicating this success digitally.

Any Shopify store can harness the allure of these calendars, but with a digital twist. 

Using a platform like Odicci, creating an online version of an advent calendar becomes a breeze. 

The beauty here? 

Digital calendars extend your reach far beyond the physical, tapping into the vast potential of omnichannel marketing. 

Here’s why it’s brilliant:

A digital advent calendar on Shopify is not just about daily surprises; it’s a potent SEO tool, a traffic booster, and a customer retention magnet. 

By offering daily delights, you’re encouraging repeat visits, boosting your store’s online visibility, and enhancing customer engagement. 

This isn’t just about holiday sales; it’s about embedding your brand into the daily lives of consumers, creating a habit of visiting your store.

And there’s more:

In the world of omnichannel retail, a digital advent calendar serves as a powerful touchpoint. 

It connects your online presence with physical experiences, if you have them, and other digital platforms. 

This approach seamlessly integrates various shopping channels, making your brand a consistent part of the customer’s daily routine. 

The result?

Increased loyalty, more repeat sales, and an amplified brand presence across all channels.

To sum up:

For any Shopify merchant, especially in the apparel or luxury sector, a digital advent calendar is not just a festive feature. 

It’s a strategy to captivate, engage, and convert – daily.

It’s time to think beyond the traditional, to innovate and revolutionize the way we approach retail marketing. 

Let’s get creative and make your Shopify advent calendar not just a seasonal hit, but a year-round customer engagement powerhouse!

Generate Days of Buzz for |

Advent Calendars Aren’t Just for the Holidays!

Myth: 

Advent calendars are just for Christmas. 

NOPE!

They’re for pretty much any big day you can think of! 

Think of an advent calendar as your hype squad, building up excitement for events like Black Friday, Easter, or even a swanky new product release. 

With a digital advent calendar, you’re not just counting down days; you’re creating a buzz, a buzz that can echo through your customer-base and beyond.

Let’s break it down:

 


 

Black Friday:

  • Picture this – a countdown filled with sneak peeks of deals, stirring up a shopping frenzy right before the big sale days. It’s like the pre-party to your sales event.

Prime Day & Boxing Day:

  • These retail holidays are huge, and what better way to ramp up the excitement than with daily teasers or exclusive offers leading up to the big day?

Other Holidays:

  • Who says advent calendars are only for Christmas? Switch it up with countdowns for holidays like Thanksgiving, Easter, Hanukkah, Mother’s Day, and everything in between! Each day reveal something unique to your customers – maybe a recipe, a fun fact, or a special discount.

New Product Releases:

  • Generate hype for your latest product by offering behind-the-scenes looks, early bird offers, or sneak peeks each day leading up to the launch.

Expos, Webinars or Keynote Speaking Events:

  • Build anticipation for an informative session or any event for that matter! Each day could reveal fun facts about a relevant topic or snippets of what attendees can expect.

Online Contests & Influencer Meet-and-Greets:

  • Get the crowd buzzing with daily hints about contest prizes or details about an upcoming meet-and-greet with a popular influencer.

Fashion Shows:

  • Generate buzz for an upcoming fashion show. Showcase sneak peaks, style tips, outfit ideas, or exclusive deals.

Product Giveaways & Trend Spotlights:

  • Everyone loves free stuff and staying on-trend. Use your calendar to highlight new trends and offer daily giveaways.

In-Store Exclusive Events:

  • Ramp up to your exclusive event with daily reveals – could be VIP guest appearances, special offers, or a glimpse of the event prep.

 


 

The beauty of a digital advent calendar is that it’s not just a one-trick pony for Christmas. 

It’s a versatile tool that can adapt to any event, any time of the year. 

You’re not just offering discounts or sneak peeks; you’re engaging with your customers daily, making your brand a regular part of their routine. 

And that, my friends, is marketing gold.

So, think outside the box (or the calendar, in this case). 

Use these calendars to create a daily dose of excitement, no matter the occasion or time of year. 

It’s time to make every event in your store a reason for a countdown, a reason for customers to keep coming back. 

Let’s turn those special days into special months, shall we?

Successful Calendar Examples

Before you start crafting your Shopify advent calendar, let’s take a look at what a successful ecommerce calendar looks like.

Your calendar should turn the everyday experience of visiting your store into something special and exciting, just like these brands have achieved with their standout advent calendars.

L’Occitane’s Summer Calendar

L’Occitane created a wonderful 12 day calendar to engage customers during the summer months.

Each day unlocks new deals or exclusive sneak peeks, making their calendar a daily destination for shoppers. 

This approach not only maintains customer interest but also drives recurring traffic, showing how a well-crafted calendar can become an integral part of a marketing strategy.

Example of a Shopify Digital Advent Calendar - L’Occitane's Summer Calendar

Olaplex’s 7 Days of Healthy Hair

Olaplex embraced the digital advent calendar to enhance customer engagement uniquely. 

By offering daily interactive content around a weekly hair care regimen, they’ve created a compelling reason for customers to visit their site regularly. 

This strategy is a testament to the power of keeping your audience engaged and connected with your brand in a digital-first world.

Shopify Digital Advent Calendar Example #2 - Olaplex's 7 Days of Hair

Sephora’s Beauty Calendar

Sephora’s digital advent calendar is a perfect example of how to keep customers excited and involved. 

With each day revealing a new beauty secret or exclusive offer, Sephora turns the simple act of visiting their website into an exciting daily ritual. 

This approach not only fosters customer loyalty but also amplifies the anticipation and engagement around their products and offers.

Inspired yet? 

Let’s go step-by step and build you a Shopify advent calendar!

Shopify Digital Advent Calendar Example #3 - Sephora Christmas Calendar

Calendar Best Practices

Ready to make your advent calendar pop? 

It’s not just about counting down days; it’s about creating a daily buzz. 

Here’s how to make your calendar more than just a date tracker, but a magnet for engagement and sales:

 

1. Keep the Mystery Alive:

Each day of your calendar should be a delightful surprise. 

Mix up the offerings – discounts, product reveals, fun facts, or interactive content. 

Keep your customers guessing and excited about what’s behind each door.

2. Quality Over Quantity:

Don’t cram your calendar with fluff. 

Choose each day’s content thoughtfully. 

High-quality, valuable offers or information will keep your audience engaged and looking forward to the next reveal.

💡 Pro Tip:

Short calendars are okay! Better a 3 day calendar filled with awesome content than a 30 day calendar filled with fluff and filler content.

 

3. Align With Your Brand:

Your calendar should resonate with your brand identity. 

Selling beauty products? – Try daily skincare tips or mini-tutorials. 

Offering gourmet food? – Maybe a daily recipe or food pairing suggestion. 

Make each day’s content a reflection of what you do best.

4. Create a Visual Feast:

Design assets matter!

🧡 Behind the Scenes:

There’s a saying at the Odicci office: “it’s all 👏 about 👏 the 👏 assets 👏” and it is so true. 

Professional assets and an appealing design aesthetic can make or break any digital experience. 

It’s always the most beautifully designed calendars that break engagement records!

 

Ensure your calendar is not only on-brand but also visually appealing. 

Engaging visuals will draw customers in and enhance the overall experience.

💡 Pro Tip:

Reference Odicci’s Image Specification Guide to get all the image size & dimensions details you need to create a beautiful calendar experience.

 

5. Build Anticipation:

Use your calendar as a tool to build excitement for upcoming events or launches. Counting down to a big sale or a new product release? Let your calendar amplify the anticipation.

6. Engage Across Channels:

Promote your calendar through your social media, email newsletters, and website. Cross-channel promotion ensures maximum reach and engagement.

7. Gather Feedback and Data:

Use this opportunity to gather insights. Which doors were most popular? What deals got the most clicks? This data is gold for tailoring future marketing efforts.

8. Keep the Engagement Going:

Don’t let the excitement end with the calendar. Use the momentum to lead into your next big campaign or to keep the conversation going with your customers.

You’re all set to create an advent calendar that’s not just a holiday gimmick but a powerful engagement tool for your Shopify store. 

Let’s turn those calendar days into memorable customer experiences!

Plan Out Your Advent Calendar in Advance

Creating a successful digital advent calendar for your Shopify store can be a breeze if you follow these logical and straightforward steps. Let’s break it down:

1. Set a Clear Goal:

Begin with the end in mind. 

What do you want to achieve with your advent calendar? 

It could be:

  • Increasing sales through deals and discount codes
  • Promoting a new product-line or catalog
  • Generating daily buzz for an upcoming event

A clear goal will guide your decisions throughout the planning process.

2. Determine the Duration:

How long will your calendar run? 

The traditional Christmas advent is 12 or 24 days, but you might want to tailor the length to suit your specific event or promotion. 

If it’s for a specific sale like Black Friday, a shorter calendar might be more effective. 

The key is to match the duration with your overall goal.

3. Choose Your Planning Tool:

Whether it’s Miro for a visual layout, Google Sheets for a structured approach, or just a good old-fashioned piece of paper, pick a tool that works best for you. 

This will be where you map out each day of your calendar.

💡 Pro Tip:

I can not recommend Miro enough. You can mock up an entire calendar experience with sticky notes in minutes, fully-fledged with links and assets.

 

4. Develop a Narrative:

Plan how each day builds upon the previous one. 

Your calendar should tell a story or follow a theme that unfolds with each passing day.

 This narrative is crucial in creating suspense and keeping your customers intrigued. 

Think about how each day’s reveal can lead to the next, weaving a story that captivates your audience.

5. Gather and Organize Your Assets:

Collect all the necessary content, images, links, and promotional materials you’ll need for each day of your calendar. 

Organize these assets in a way that makes them easily accessible when it’s time to populate your calendar.

💡 Pro Tip:

Organize all of your assets into one folder, broken down into 3 subfolders: 

  • Day Images
  • Prize Images
  • Fixed Assets (For your logo, background image, and other assets)

Make sure to name everything in a way that is easy to identify when uploading images into the Odicci calendar studio.

 

Great!

Now let’s build this thing 🛠️

How to Make Your Own Advent Calendar in Odicci

Ready? Action! 🎬

Time to craft a Shopify store advent calendar using Odicci – no coding necessary. 

1. Choose a Calendar Template

First up, let’s simplify the calendar creation by selecting a template.

Odicci offers an extensive selection of customizable calendar templates tailored for various events and holidays.

Head to the Odicci home screen and click on “Templates” in the top menu to get started.

 

Once in “Templates,” we’re going to choose the “Holiday Calendar” calendar template by filtering for “Calendar” under the “Module” section.

choose calendar template by filtering for “Calendar” under the “Module” section

 

2. Setup Your Calendar Experience

When your digital calendar loads up, you’ll be sent to the “Setup” page. 

Here, you can name your calendar, set your language, and set your calendar duration, choose to display days in a random order, timezone, and success email.

📝 Note:

For calendar duration, there are 3 options – 12 days, 24 days, and custom. 

Since we are making a calendar for the entire month of January, we are going to select “custom” and create a 31 day calendar starting at midnight on January 1st and ending at 11:59 PM on January 31st.

Setup Your Calendar Experience

 

Hit the orange “Save” button at the bottom right of your screen.

3. Configure Daily Prizes

In the top navigation, click “Days” where we’ll configure your calendar’s daily prizes.

Based on the amount of days you selected for your calendar, you will have that same amount of prizes preconfigured for you.

To configure prizes to your specifications, mouse over to the left side of your screen and click “Edit” in the row of your desired prize.

Calendar Build - Configure Prizes

Once you’ve clicked “Edit”, you’ll enter that individual prize’s configuration page.

Calendar Build - Configure Prizes #2

Within the selected prize, you can configure:

  1. Name:
    1. Your prize’s name defaults to “Day # – dd/Month”. 
    2. This name is intended for organization purposes to help you find/sort your prizes (This will not be shown to your end user).
  2. Type:
    1. “Type” allows you to select between “Winner” and “Loser” type rewards.
    2. This section may not be relevant to most conventional applications of Odicci calendar experiences, but you may experiment with this to create something unique.
  3. Prize Type:
    1. You can select between “Rewards” and “Voucher” prize types. “Rewards” can be anything (a discount code, a link to a special sale, or even a simple fun fact, quote, etc.) “Vouchers” are unique codes that a prize winner can redeem for discounts. 
      1. You can upload vouchers manually with a .csv file, or through an API connection from your ecommerce partner.
  4. Number of Prizes/Vouchers:
    1. Choose how many rewards or vouchers you would like to allocate per prize day. Users will most-likely set this to “Unlimited” for Odicci Calendar experiences (Although, it would be a cool concept to create a bit of urgency with your calendars, saying something like “only the first 100 calendar visitors per day can claim their prize)
  5. Email Template:
    1. If you have an email template configured for each prize day, you can select it here.
  6. Confetti Effect:
    1. If you’d like to add a bit of celebratory flair to your prizes, you may add from a selection of confetti effects, or upload a custom one for a personal touch.

 

Repeat these 6 steps for each of your daily prizes that need configuration (or leave them be if the default settings are satisfactory for you).

📝 Note:

You can set your prize image in the prize configurator, or you can upload your prize images later on when you are building our your calendar in the Odicci “Studio”

 

4. Customize Your Calendar Design

At the top left, just below the Odicci logo and the name of your calendar, click on the paintbrush icon to access the theme editor.

This is where you can customize elements of your calendar.

Start by adding your brand’s logo, choosing a background, and optionally, a loading spinner for your calendar.

 

With our updated logo, background, and loader in place, navigate down the left sidebar.

This area allows for modifications to our content structure, text alignment, text backdrops, and other diverse elements.

In our calendar’s context, we’ll keep the calendar centered to fit within the background’s design.

Apart from this adjustment, the standard settings are perfectly suitable.

 

5. Build Your Calendar

Once you’re happy with your calendar’s logo, background, and layout, we can move on to our basic calendar build:

  1. Click back to the “Frames” tab on the left side panel
  2. Find your “Calendar” frame (Default setting is the 2nd frame after the “Form” frame)
  3. After selecting your “Calendar” frame, select “Settings” on the right side panel
  4. Under “Calendar” in the “Settings” tab, you’ll find options to edit your calendar’s reveal type, animation, numbering, and layout.
📝 Note:

For more information on “Calendar Settings,” hover over the “?” on the right side of each dropdown menu item.

Calendar Info

 

If you are following along with our calendar design, we are going to choose:

  • Reveal Type: Random 
  • Animation: Beat
  • Numbering: Images
  • Layout: Grid – A
Calendar Build (Reveal Type, Animation, Numbering, Layout)

 

Now for the most satisfying part – let’s bring this calendar to life with wonderful calendar day images.

Underneath “Layout” you’ll find “Select day images.” 

Click within the “add image” area and a pop up modal will appear in the center of the calendar studio.

Select “add image” for your desired day and start adding your calendar images.

Calendar Build - Add Images

 

Once Selected, click “Upload” to add a new image. 

If your image is already uploaded, you can find it in the image library in the center of the pop up modal.

📝 Note:

If you are uploading assets for multiple experiences, you may want to check out Odicci’s Gallery feature, where you can organize your image assets into folders.

Calendar Build - Upload Images

 

Now let’s set up our prize images. 

Setting up prize images is similar to how we set up our calendar day images.

On the right side pane, underneath “Select day images,” you’ll find “Prize images.”

Click into the “add image” area and upload your prize image for each day of your calendar.

Calendar Build - Upload Prize Images

 

6. Setup Calendar Lead Generation Form

Now that the bulk of our calendar image assets are set up, let’s set up our form.

We’re going to remove our “Submit” button to give our quiz a cleaner look and a smoother/faster user experience.

We’re also going to deselect “Show Descriptions” since our quiz doesn’t have any descriptions.

📝 Note:

Odicci calendars default to having the form before the calendar, but you can drag the “Form” frame below the “Calendar” frame to have the form show up after the calendar.

You can also opt to have no form in your calendar by deleting the “Form” frame. 

Although this is possible, we do not recommend it as it is generally best practice to collect user data through a form for communication purposes.

 

In the left side panel, select your “Form” frame.

Once selected, mouse over to the right side panel and ensure the “Components” tab is selected.

The “Components” tab has two sections:

  • Static Components: These are elements to design your form such as headings, paragraphs,  images, etc.
  • Field Components: These are elements that allow users to input data into your form such as email, text inputs, dropdown, etc.
📝 Note:

While we’re on the frames panel, it would be a good opportunity to configure our “Stop/Pause” frame.

A “Stop/Pause” frame is a good way to inform visitors that your calendar experience has stopped.

This is especially useful for calendars since they have a definitive start and end date. 

If a visitor clicks the link to this experience after the end date (or before the start date if you’re sharing the live link early), they will at least be informed that the campaign has ended (or hasn’t started yet).

The Odicci platform creates a default “Stop/Pause” frame for every calendar experience, but you can configure it however you’d like to get the right message across.

Calendar Build - Stop/pause frame

 

7. Configure Success Frames

On the left side panel, select the “Success” frame.

 

Once inside the “Success” frame editor, you can configure how your prizes will look once revealed to your customers.

You can configure title, messaging, add videos, more images, etc.

You can also add buttons with links to your product if you want to send customers directly to your store.

Odicci also allows you to use voucher codes.

📝 Note:

For those who love working with HTML on the fly, Odicci text editors understand basic HTML.

You can add HTML tags directly into the text editor and Odicci will handle the formatting and styling.

In this example, we are using <br> tags to create a line/paragraph break between each line.

calendar build - HTML

Here’s what the text will look like on the live calendar.

Calendar Build - Pro Tip - What does look like

 

8. Publish Calendar Experience

Once you’re ready to publish your calendar, click into the “Confirm” section. 

Here, you can choose if you’d like your calendar to be a popup or iFramed into your Shopify store.

📝 Note:

If you do not choose “popup” or “iFrame” for your calendar, the default action will be to send your calendar to a new browser tab.

Calendar Build - Publish
📝 Note:

At the time of writing this How-to article, the Odicci platform requires an image to be uploaded for each prize. 

You may notice some warnings on the confirm page related to CTA buttons, Privacy policy, and connecting email templates to prizes. These are all best practices but not mandatory.

Once you’ve selected how you’d like to display your calendar on your Shopify store, you’re ready to publish your Odicci quiz experience.

Ta Da 🎉

You just created your first digital advent calendar for your Shopify store!

Here’s a preview video of what our digital advent calendar looks like for Scriptum’s Shopify store:

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