Any holiday is the perfect occasion to offer extra incentives for your customers to drop by and shop, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Even with the continued tightening of household budgets due to inflation, consumers are expected to spend $25.9 billion this year on Valentine’s gifts and experiences. According to a National Retail Foundation survey, even those who don’t plan on actually celebrating the holiday, may still treat themselves.1 In other words, it’s not too late to boost your last-minute marketing efforts for Valentine’s Day.
Table of contents
- Offer Visitors a Valentine’s Day Promo
- Connect via Email or SMS
- Social Media Promotion
- Focus on Gift Ideas
- Cross/Upsell Products
- Offer Free Shipping
- Hook Last-Minute Visitors
- Don’t Forget Single People and Pets
- Promote Gift Cards
- Segment List By Gender
- How Vaimo Can Help
Stephen Hill, our Head of People and Culture, UK, looks at a few things all merchants and retailers can do for Valentine’s Day, regardless of their industry, to boost sales.
1. Offer Visitors A Valentine’s Day Promo
Promotions are a great way to boost sales for any holiday like Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, birthdays and anniversaries, and Black Friday. While some people may have done their Valentine’s Day shopping a couple of weeks ago, many consumers wait until the last minute. Or some have simply forgotten.
A unique promo or coupon is a good nudge for those who may not have otherwise made a purchase. You don’t have to slash prices as low as 50%, as 20% works just as well. Customers will make a purchase just to use the coupon.
2. Connect Via Email or SMS
Email is a top click driver, but a Gartner study found that SMS open rates are 98% with a response rate of 45%.2 Whichever channel you use, this method allows you to connect with your existing customers to offer a special discount on certain products or storewide in a fun conversational way.
Here are a few quick ideas:
- A quick reminder that it’s Valentine’s Day with a promo code.
- A gift guide for those unsure what to buy or a few suggestions based on purchase history.
- A romantic note.
- A non-Valentine’s Day message reaching out to anti-Valentiners or those celebrating with friends or pets.
3. Social Media Promotion
While not as personal as email or SMS, social media can still grow your potential customer base. You just have to get creative. Valentine’s Day marketing on social media doesn’t have to be all red hearts, flowers, and cheesy lines. This can be an excellent opportunity to celebrate love.
While it may be too late to launch a full campaign, here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
- An interactive social media campaign that supports people mentioning the people they love. Not only will you boost your engagement, but you will actively create brand awareness via tagging.
- Collaborate with other businesses to reach out to new audiences. For example, if you sell chocolates, you could partner with another business selling wine.
- Create a campaign to donate to a relevant charity. There’s no better way to celebrate caring than by helping others.
- Tap into user-generated content with a last-minute contest or giveaway.
- Connect with customers with heartwarming stories and content.
4. Focus On Gift Ideas
Most Valentine’s Day shoppers are looking for ideas and have little direction on what to purchase. This is your opportunity for some seasonal content marketing that focuses on Valentine’s Day products that you can suggest. For example, look at your top sellers from last year. Create a gift guide to help your customers in their search, which you can also send out via email.
Related Reading: What is Shoppable Content?
5. Cross/Upsell Products
Valentine’s Day shoppers aren’t usually looking to skimp on gifts – which means that cross-sells and upsells at this time can be a great strategy for increasing average order value. Recommend similar products, or offer the option of a gift box (with free gift wrapping, of course).
You can pre-design some gift boxes or let customers put together their own. This allows them to buy several small gifts to personalize it to their needs and ultimately increases your sales with several smaller purchases.
Related Reading: Five Ways to Maximize Your Ecommerce ROI
“A unique promo or coupon is a good nudge for those who may not have otherwise made a purchase. You don’t have to slash prices as low as 50%, as 20% works just as well. Customers will make a purchase just to use the coupon.”
Head of People and Culture, UK
6. Offer Free Shipping
The prospect of free shipping always appeals to customers. If you can’t offer free shipping on all orders, make sure there’s a free shipping threshold. Opt for free gift wrapping if you can’t offer a free shipping threshold. If you can’t do that, try to offer guaranteed delivery before the 14th of February!
7. Hook Last-Minute Visitors
Many people procrastinate and wait until the last minute to purchase their Valentine’s Day gifts. These customers will be looking for ideas urgently, so utilize appropriate messaging to capitalize on this. See numbers 3 and 4.
8. Don’t Forget Single People and Pets
Some of us may not have a significant other to share our love with this Valentine’s Day, but we might have a beloved pet or great friends. The NRF found that consumers are not just purchasing Valentine’s Day gifts for their partners. Consumers spend money on family members, friends, co-workers, pets, and children’s friends. And while everyone may not be celebrating, the same survey found that 29% of the 45% that said they would not be celebrating still planned to treat themselves in some way.3
Be creative. Explore different angles for marketing, like running an “anti-Valentine’s Day” campaign with products perfect for a cozy night at home or a girl’s night out.
9. Promote Gift Cards
Gift cards are the ultimate last-minute idea. While it may seem like the easy way out in gift-giving, they remain popular. In 2022, the global gift card market was valued at $424.21 billion USD.4 Customers also appreciate receipts with an easy return process. Make sure your return policy is visible on your site and that you are ready to process returns after Valentine’s Day.
Related Reading: The Importance of Seamless Online Returns
10. Segment List By Gender
This may sound obvious but try to split your list by gender. If you can’t segment your list by gender, don’t assume your recipient is male or female! This allows you to target your customers with personalized content.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Personalized Ecommerce
How Vaimo Can Help
Your Valentine’s Day marketing efforts may be last minute this year, but there’s plenty of time to prepare for next year. With a powerful content management system (CMS), you can connect all your data sources, build seamless campaigns, and reach customers with personalized content. Customers expect smooth shopping experiences and inspiring and engaging content to buy into your brand.
For Vaimo, experience is everything. We are experts in digital commerce and customer experience. We have helped our clients build digital strategies and implement and integrate scalable and future-proof CMS solutions with their tech stacks. Talk to our team today if you’re interested in implementing or exploring content as part of your ecommerce strategy. We’re happy to help you navigate this new and exciting landscape to determine the right approach for your brand.
1 – Consumers Plan to Increase Valentine’s Day Spending to Nearly $26 Billion – nrf.com
2 – The Future of Sales Follow-Ups: Text Messages – gartner.com
3 – Valentine’s Day – nrf.com
4 – Gift cards market value worldwide from 2017 to 2025 – statista.com