valentine's day marketing tips for online retailersYou 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 in 2019, $20.7 billion was spent. The National Retail Federation predicted Valentine’s Day spending would reach up to $27.4 billion in 2020, up 32%!  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’s important to remember that men and women shop differently. While most men only shop for their significant other, women shop 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 $98 on Valentine’s Day gifts. Men, however, spend an average of $230 on more expensive items such as flowers, jewelry, or a date night. Your marketing strategy should change based on who you’re targeting: men or women.


2. Time Your Marketing Strategies

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 towards the end of January when most men are shopping and comparing prices.

If you are selling pet products, push your campaigns during the first week of February, when women are more likely to shop for their Valentine’s Gifts. Another point to keep in mind when planning your various marketing efforts – the peak sales days for Valentine’s Day are February 7 & 11.


3. Promote a Sales Event

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.

Valentine's Promotion Idea for Online Retailers

Embrace the Valentine’s Day theme. Source: Vexels


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. Here is an example of both men and women’s gift guide. Here are some quick tips when creating yours:

  • 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.

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. Plan an Email Campaign

Remind your subscribers of the upcoming holiday with an email campaign at the end of January. This is a great way to take advantage of those early shoppers and alert late shoppers about the upcoming holiday purchase. Feature a few products, send your Valentine’s Day gift guides, and offer an incentive to buy.

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. Host 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’re 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 marketing tips for online retailers

Instagram contests are great for building brand awareness. Source: Neil Patel

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about paper cards and teddy bears – it’s a major consumer holiday with the potential to give you a bump in sales after the post-Christmas ecommerce shopping 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 your target audience’s behavioral trends, and implementing that knowledge to your Valentine’s Day marketing strategy.



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Holiday Social Media Calendar Template

Keep track of how often to post on each channel, who to target with certain advertisements, and what your goals are for the season with our free, downloadable template.

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