As soon as February hits Valentine's Day is on the horizon as the next big retail season. If you're wracking your brains for ideas, we've found some unique ways to make your e-commerce store stand out from the flowers and love hearts.
A seasonal marketing campaign that resonates with your customers is a great way to drive sales and get people talking about your brand.
Don't panic if you don't sell traditional Valentine's Day gifts in your e-commerce store, we have you covered with inclusive ways to promote your products this season.
Just call us cupid.
Galentines & Bromance
More and more people, regardless of relationship status, are spending on their friends for Valentine's Day. Even better, this doesn't alienate your customers who aren't in a relationship or don't celebrate it at all.
Galentine's day, a day for women to celebrate with their female friends, has sky-rocketed in popularity since being brought to life by Parks and Recreation.
Of course, Valentine's Day isn't just for women, men are embracing their close friendships too. If you have a male customer base, this is a great way of encouraging sales that may not be directly related to Valentine's gifting.
The self-love and self-care movements are huge at the moment. As this can be a sensitive topic, it should be handled with care and should correlate with the rest of your brand messaging.
Alternatively, you can turn the idea of gift-giving on its head with a call to 'treat yourself' (as if we need an excuse). A survey by Finder found that people planned to spend £181 ($236) on themselves during Valentine's Day 2018.
How could we forget our furry friends? Shoppers are looking to involve their four-legged family members in Valentine's festivities too.
The numbers don't lie either, over 9 million pet owners buy gifts for their pets, according to Business Insider. For example, Pets At Home is running a special Valentine's Day promotion with a dedicated landing page for pet gifts.
Tap into Customer Desires
Play on the deeper desires and pain-points of your customers. There's always a reason why someone would want to buy a certain item that's deeper than 'just because'.
According to Criteo, the majority of Valentine's Day purchases occur between the 11th - 13th of February. In this case, the best Valentine's gift you could give to your customers would be a last-minute sale or fast next-day delivery options.
Rather than extravagant romantic gifts, there are many shoppers out there who are looking to buy sentimental items that are more meaningful.
This is an opportunity to interest customers who have exhausted the traditional gifts and want to gift something special.
Retail Analyst at GlobalData, Zoe Mills, stated:
“For many shoppers, a Valentine’s Day gift is a token of affection rather than an extravagant expense and as such, the average amount spent on gifts is much less than spent on other events".
Some people just hate Valentine's Day with a passion. When your competitors are targeting mushy couples, this tactic will make you stand out. Revel in sarcasm and dark humour that Valentine's-haters can relate to and loyal brand advocates are likely to follow.
Plus a 2020 survey showed that 8% of 25-34-year-olds were planning to buy anti-Valentine's gifts in the US.
Give to Charity
Nothing says 'love' like giving to others less fortunate. Demonstrate your appreciation for your customers by holding a sale and giving some of the proceeds to a charity that's close to their hearts.
Coming second to providing a cash donation, 43% of charity donations in the UK came from buying goods and 26% donated online.
The secret could be in the shipping. Why not give your parcels a seasonal uplift? This can be done with custom box designs or even customised labels with a 'Happy Valentine's Day!' message.
The boxing of your goods can have a big impact on the value and identity of your brand. Online fashion store, Thread, includes a pack of love hearts with every order to show appreciation for their customers. A nice touch like this can make your shoppers feel like they're not just another money sign.
It's worth also considering the material used, the Paper and Packaging Board found that 69% of respondents viewed paper or cardboard packaging as more artisanal or handcrafted.