With more than 28 countries celebrating, Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest retail events worldwide, as couples, friends, and anonymous admirers send and receive gifts and tokens of affection and appreciation. With Valentine's Day sales increasing by £300m in the UK since 2017, it's the perfect opportunity to grow your business.
Like so many other shopping days, e-commerce platforms are the go-to place for consumers looking for gift ideas, so it’s vital that you have a Valentine’s Day sales strategy ready for the big day – particularly one that helps you target different regions and audience segments. Read on to find out more.
Prepare for the last-minute rush
Google Search data shows that Valentine's Day shoppers start browsing for gifts around the end of January (see below graph). This means you'll need to be ready several weeks ahead of the event itself since consumers are already looking to plan or make purchases.
When building a sales strategy for Valentine's Day, make sure your e-commerce shop front, promotions, and delivery dates are finalised by the last week of January at the latest. This way, you still have plenty of time to place last-minute orders.
Even if you don’t sell the more common Valentine’s Day gifts (chocolates, flowers, etc), you can still boost sales using novel marketing strategies. For example, target your products towards the "Galentine's Day" market (celebrated on 13 February by women amongst their friends) or share outfit ideas for dates, romantic recipes, gifts for families or pets – anything to help mark the occasion. Similarly, you can look to other retail trends for inspiration or see what competitors are doing.
Spice things up with themes
The next step in your Valentine’s Day sales strategy is to make themed marketing assets for all your digital touchpoints. These should include your website's homepage, social media accounts, email signature, etc. What’s more, make sure to specifically mention "Valentine’s Day" in any discounts and promotional materials you share. Doing so will help customers identify the goods they're looking for and see deals available on the market.
Win them back with retargeting ads
Studies show that Valentine’s Day cart abandonment rates are quite high at 76%, so targeted email campaigns can help you win back customers. Re-engagement campaigns can generate a 5% increase in Valentine's Day sales, significantly impacting your brand's bottom line.
This sales strategy will be crucial in the earlier stages as consumers look to plan purchases or shop around one last time before parting with their money. So, remind customers of items they've viewed and offer discounts to seal the deal.
Seduce shoppers with cross-selling
Valentine's Day is about making a loved one feel special, so leaning into that theme is a great way to boost your average order value. However, average spending figures vary between markets, so target high-intent consumers the most. For example, US shoppers spent an average of $164 on gifts in 2021, while UK consumers spent an average of £40 or less the same year. Interestingly, the same data from the UK showed that younger consumers tend to spend more, so make sure you research your target audience’s spending habits to encourage maximum spending.
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A great way to inspire people to splash out is by cross-promoting products via "frequently bought together" options on product pages and providing curated seasonal bundles. This method ensures you have less redundant stock at the end of the sales period and helps customers find complementary products to their main gift idea.
Avoid disappointment with organised delivery
Delivery is one of the most vital parts of e-commerce, so it’s crucial that you get it right. Last-minute shoppers will rate your store highly if you can deliver on time, so organise your fulfilment processes for the occasion. Specifying "last order dates" will help early shoppers know when they need to purchase while also assisting late shoppers in avoiding disappointment. You should also send a reminder to customers closer to your final order date (eg 9 February), so you can guarantee it will arrive on time.
On the back end of your site, make sure to tag purchases for swift delivery and organise orders according to local, standard or expedited fulfilment. Alternatively, offer local pick-up options so customers can pick up orders at their convenience. Another great way to assure customers is to use delivery partners with tracking services, as this specifies when their orders are on the way.
Handle rejection (well, returns) effectively
Customers are more likely to buy from your business if you have a reputation for a smooth returns process. So, ensure a reliable system to receive, process, and refund returned orders. As for delivery, providing tracking tools can help, as well as a clearly signposted FAQ page with your returns information, so customers know what to do to request a return.
Let them pay... in their local currency
If you want to grow your business globally, develop a Valentine's Day sales strategy that makes international transactions easy. Whether you need to settle an invoice with overseas suppliers or help overseas customers pay in their preferred currency, a World Account can can help. You can operate in a range of currencies and connect to online marketplaces worldwide seamlessly.
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