Last year, just before COVID-19 shut the world down, U.S. consumers spent a record-setting $27.4 billion for Valentine’s Day, with the average sale being just under $200. While Valentine’s Day is typically considered a holiday for romantic partners, only about half the total spend was for a spouse or significant other. The remaining half was spent on friends, family members, classmates, and a surprising $1.7 billion went to gifts for pets.
This year, with COVID in the mix and ecommerce on the rise, it’s likely that online sales for Valentine’s Day 2021 will be even higher. The following six ecommerce promotion ideas will help you leverage Valentine’s Day to drive sales to your store this year.
#1 – Valentine’s Day Theme for Your Website
Of course, demonstrating the spirit of Valentine’s Day in your website design will enhance your customers’ experiences, which in turn encourages them to buy more. You can also include the following items to boost sales even further:
- Welcome Pop-Up with Coupon– Design a welcome pop-up that embodies the romance of the holiday while offering them a discount code.
- Valentine’s Day Banner– If your homepage includes a slider, you can add a banner to it that highlights your Valentine’s Day promotions and discounts.
- Matching Social Graphics– Create a consistent look with graphics that match your website to promote across various social media sites.
- Navigation Bar Color – Changing the color of your navigation bar (an ever-present element) to something eye-catching and festive will add to the overall ambiance of your site.
#2 – Matchmaking Promotion
Use this promotion to bundle, up-sell, or cross-sell your products. Essentially, it helps those customers who may not have a clue what to buy their loved ones for Valentine’s Day. Offer complementary products and discounts on bundled products to increase your average order values, or in layman’s terms, increase the money in your pocket!
For example, you can direct a customer buying a necklace to discounted matching earrings. What would’ve been just a one-item purchase becomes a jewelry set, raising their shopping cart total.
#3 – Gift Guides or Finders
This type of marketing plan is ideal for those shoppers buying a gift for a specific person. Try highlighting popular products for men and women (or break it down further into categories such as wife, husband, girlfriend, and boyfriend). People love gifts that are relevant and current but may not be able to find them. A recent study shows that 54% of shoppers will not buy from a specific site when it’s too difficult to find the right product.
Gift guides and finders provide shoppers with relevant gift ideas and sellers with more opportunities to highlight their products. Not only can you focus on best-selling products, but also fun, trending items. This strategy may require some research on your part to determine which of your products are trending within each of your categories, but it will be time well-spent.
You can push these gift guides in newly-created categories, blog posts, and gift finders. We put together a great tutorial on creating an effective gift finder for your ecommerce site. Adding these fun interactive guides have proven to increase conversion by more than 200%.
Take it a step further and include lifestyle photos or unboxing videos with each product to further boost sales.
#4 – Valentine’s Day Quizzes
Social media is a great place to promote your products using fun and engaging quizzes. There are several ways to approach this idea. Your quiz can:
- Answer questions with products that your store offers. For example:
- What type of Valentine’s Day chocolate (flower, piece of jewelry, etc.) are you?
- What is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetheart?
- Offer a discount code for quiz-takers who share their results on social media. Not only does this encourage those who take the quiz to make a purchase, but it also gets your brand more visibility when they share their results.
- Help make gift selection easy. A quiz that asks about the recipient’s likes, dislikes, interests, and personality can allow you to offer matching products.
#5 – Offer Digital Downloads
If you’re looking for a way to grow your customer database, try offering digital downloads with Valentine’s Day themes. It lets you collect shoppers’ information, so you can market to them in the future. Consider offering digital downloads that apply to your brand like:
- Gift guides
- Ebooks about your ecommerce niche
- Valentine’s themed patterns for crafts
- Lists of inexpensive date ideas or ways to show you care
- Free greeting card printouts
#6 – User-Generated Content is the New Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Word of mouth marketing has many benefits for ecommerce businesses. It’s an affordable way to improve your brand’s visibility and increase website traffic. A great way to promote word of mouth marketing is to focus your social media channels on user-generated content. Valentine’s Day is perfect for having some fun and interacting with your followers. When they interact with your social media platforms you’re exposed to a whole new audience – today’s method for word-of-mouth marketing.
Here are some ideas to encourage user-generated content:
- Create a hashtag and encourage your readers to submit their photos with your product in use. Then, choose a winner based on the number of likes the photos receive.
- Invite your audience to share their personal stories of love or heartbreak. Storytelling is a great way to establish a connection with your followers while creating a sense of community.
- Ask your audience to share a funny or cringy date story. Get your followers involved. You can then host a giveaway in which you encourage other readers to upvote their favorite story.
- Run a Valentine’s Day poll. With a quick tap, your audience becomes more engaged with your brand and you gain valuable insights about your customers.
Is Your Ecommerce Business Ready for Valentine’s Day?
2020 and all its challenges have pushed people from every generation to become more comfortable shopping online. The above ideas will help you prepare your online store for Valentine’s Day. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to the promotions you offer – you know them best. Use our ideas for inspiration, consider your audience, and create something fun for them, and effective for your bottom-line.
Here are more Valentine’s Day marketing tips if you need them!
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published January 2019 and was updated in January 2021 to reflect more accurate and relevant information.