The days of grabbing some last minute flowers from the local petrol station on the way home from work are long gone. Nowadays, Valentine’s day is seriously big business. According to statistics 180 million cards are exchanged on Valentine’s day and the average annual Valentine’s day spending is a staggering $13.19 billion.
Growth in online Valentine’s s day purchases
For the past few years UK and US online Valentine’s day sales have been grown steadily year-on-year. In the UK alone it is estimated that 1 out 3 shoppers will go online for their Valentine’s day purchase. So if you are an online business offering something that would make a great Valentine’s day gift or experience then you really can’t afford not to tap in to this lucrative seasonal surge.
Valentine’s day is not just for the chocolate and card industries
And, don’t just think Valentine’s day is only of relevance to the card, flower and chocolate industries. These days popular Valentine’s day presents are surprisingly diverse – from jewellery to electronics, clothing to pets. Yes, pet shops take note, in the US an eye watering $367 million is spent on pets on Valentine’s day.
Take inspiration from other websites
So, what can you do as a small business to get in on the act? A good starting point is getting some inspiration from other websites. There is a great deal that can be learnt from looking at websites that have been established for a while or who have a large marketing team and budget behind them. Assessing other sites can provide you with great insight and is a good way to generate ideas – even if you have to pare them down or adapt them to meet your own business requirements. Here are a few websites that we at ShopIntegrator think do Valentine’s day well:
- Gifts at notonthehighstreet
- Jewellery at Tiffany & Co
- A bit of everything at John Lewis
- And not forgetting pets! D for Dog
Valentine’s day up your online business
- Website: Give your website a Valentine’s day feel and focus by introducing some relevant images and graphics. When customers come to your website they should immediately be able to see where your Valentine’s day selection is. Remember, customers shouldn’t have to think to hard once they’re on your website. Categorise gifts where you can and try and help customers with their purchase by inspiring them with gift ideas ‘gifts for him’, ‘gifts for her’ ‘gifts under £25’ and so on. And, as with any seasonal deadline, make sure last shipping and delivery dates are clear for your customers to see – shoppers will not want their Valentine’s day purchases turning up after the event.
- Special Valentine’s day offers: Used sensibly, special offers can be a good way to pull in customers. Perhaps think about motivating customers with a Valentine’s day promotion as an added incentive. For example a small free gift with every purchase over a certain value or introduce discount codes and sales vouchers with free shipping and delivery, percentage off or multi-buy savings. Just remember to factor in all your costs before introducing any promotions. Although offers may generate more sales, your profit margins could be effected.
- Gift vouchers: Offering gift vouchers or gift cards is another great idea for Valentine’s day. The last few yers have seen a significant rise in their popularity. Indeed, over 13% of people give gift cards as a Valentine’s day gift. Gift cards also have another added benefit. According to the Financial Times:
“People who receive gift cards often spend more than the value of the card“
- Spread the word: Telling your customers about what you are doing is essential. Use all your available digital marketing tools to spread the word. Send out Valentine’s day related emails and promote your special offers on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and all your other social media sites. And if you have a blog then why not use it to entice customers in. Not on the High Street. com have cleverly used their blog to inspire customers and to tap into the whole Valentine’s day phenomenon with fun and relevant posts.
Plan ahead your seasonal promotions
It is important think ahead and plan for seasonal surges such as Valentine’s day. Most industries have times when sales peak. You need to identify these periods in order to ensure you maximise the opportunities they can offer your business. And remember one of the benefits of being an online business is that you have a global audience – so try to think globally and culturally. Once you identify your best seasonal periods and start examining all the possible opportunities, you’ll be surprised at just how creative you can get.
Image courtesy of Claire Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.com
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