You finally put the tree away, packed up the holiday decorations, and are relaxed knowing the holiday rush is over, right? Well, don’t blink, because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.
You may think the holiday isn’t relevant to ecommerce sales, but the National Retail Federation reported Valentine’s Day spending reached $19.7 billion in 2016. 30% of those consumers purchased gifts from online retailers. That’s a HUGE market you’re missing out on if you aren’t prepared. So, we’ve put together some quick tips to effectively market your products for a very profitable Valentine’s Day.
1. Pay Attention to Gender Buying Trends
It is important to remember that men and women shop differently. For example, while most men only shop for their significant other, women are shopping for friends, family, and even pets. A surprising 23% of women will buy a Valentine’s Day gift for their pet (Take note pet product suppliers!). Since women are buying gifts for multiple people, they tend to purchase less expensive products like cards and candy, spending an average total of $96 on Valentine’s Day gifts. Men, however, spend an average of $190 on more expensive items such as flowers, jewelry, or a date night. Your marketing strategy will depend on who you are targeting: men or women.
2. Time Marketing Strategies Accordingly
While 25% of consumers begin shopping before the end of January, most shoppers begin in early February and shop until the 14th of February. Flower purchases are largely made by men closer to Valentine’s Day, while they make jewelry purchases earlier in the month. Our advice is to take note of these trends and apply this data to your ecommerce marketing strategy. For example, if you sell jewelry, push promotions at the end of January when most men are shopping and comparing prices. If you are selling pet products, push your products the first week of February, when women are more likely to shop for their Valentine’s Gifts. Another fact to keep in mind when planning your various marketing efforts – the peak sales days for Valentine’s Day are February 7 & 11.
3. Start a Sales Promotion
Valentine’s Day sales promotions are a great way to encourage both potential customers and previous customers to buy your products. A survey found that 50% of consumers make a purchase ONLY when there is a promotion involved. The same survey revealed that the number of promotion-driven customers rises to 60% for anyone under the age of 45, with those aged 25 to 34 being the most likely to look for an offer.That means if your target audience is under the age of 45, 60% of those consumers won’t even consider buying your product without a promotion or incentive. Offer a discount or free shipping for a limited time to inspire your audience to buy immediately.
4. Create A Valentine’s Day Gift Guide
A visual Valentine’s Day Gift Guide is the perfect content to advertise your products across email and social media campaigns. Create an organized list of your products, one for men and one for women, organized by price and product category. Use product photos to design a visual guide such as a simple JPEG image, a landing page on your website, a blog post, or PDF booklet. Here are examples of both men and women’s These gift guides make Valentine’s Day shopping easy for your audience and helps your products get noticed. Combine it with a discount or a free shipping promotion, and it will be difficult for potential customers to say “no.”
5. Start an Email Campaign
Remind your subscribers of the upcoming holiday with an email campaign at the end of January. Feature a few products, send your Valentine’s Day gift guides, and offer an incentive to buy. This is a great way to take advantage of those early shoppers, and alert late shoppers about the upcoming holiday purchase. Follow-up with another email to target those last-minute shoppers 7-10 days later. If you can, offer free-shipping or guaranteed delivery to make the buying decision easy.
6. Start a Social Media Contest
Promote your products and spread brand awareness with a social media contest. There are many different types of competitions out there, so get creative! If you’re just starting out, try a “Comment to Win” contest. These are easy to start, manage, and most importantly, they incentivize engagement. Simply post a photo of the product(s) you are promoting to Instagram and Facebook. In the description tell followers to like the photo, follow your account, and tag a friend in the comments to enter to win a free product (they can tag multiple friends in multiple comments for extra entries).
This will increase your followers, since the friends that are tagged in the comments are likely to enter the contest themselves.
Check out the example below of a similar Instagram contest:
Valentine’s Day isn’t just about paper cards and teddy bears – it is a major consumer holiday with the potential to give you a bump in sales after the post-Christmas ecommerce lull.
From social and email campaigns to sales promotions, there are many ways to promote your products for the holiday. But the most important step is understanding the trends in behavior of your target audience, and implementing that knowledge to your Valentine’s Day marketing strategy.