For the majority of the US, tomorrow marks the first day of February. For online marketers, tomorrow marks the 14-day countdown to the hugely commercialized Valentine’s Day. We're not kidding – in 2016 alone, the National Retail Federation reported total Valentine’s Day spending across America reached a record $19.7 billion.
While this area is a huge opportunity for advertisers of the traditional fare – cards, flowers, candy, and jewelry – the growing spend also reflects an increasing adoption of Valentine’s Day beyond the realms of the classic romantic couple, creating ample room for clever marketers.
How can you make sure you’re one of the clever marketers grabbing a share of the nearly $20 billion pie? Here are 6 tips for marketing your online store this Valentine’s Day to ensure you do just that.
1. Focus on Men
According to the National Retail Federation, men spend more than twice as much as women on Valentine’s Day gifts at a whopping average of $133.61 to $62.14. However, according to a survey conducted by dating site WhatsYourPrice.com, 86% of men gave the wrong gift.
Charted by Statista
The gap between Valentine’s Day gifts that men buy versus gifts that women actually want is your opportunity. Monitor online behavior and track rising trends across social media platforms so that you can tailor your products around what women really want, and then sell that to men.
2. Create a Sense of Urgency
As another gift-giving holiday, Valentine’s Day brings out the procrastinator in many of us. While most lovebirds are expected to shop for only one person, national reports indicate that peak sales activity don’t occur until the week leading up to Valentine’s Day.
As an online marketer, now is the time to press visitors to purchase before they have a chance to further procrastinate and change their minds. An effective means to achieve this is to communicate a sense of urgency, a procrastinator’s worst nightmare. For example, add a countdown timer to your website like the one below as a visual representation that time is running out and they need to buy now!
3. Make Them an Offer They Can't Refuse
There’s no occasion more appropriate than Valentine’s Day to show your customers some love. As an online store owner, your best bet is to offer freebies where you can – whether it’s free shipping, discount codes, or even an additional gift – to help boost your conversion rates and drive more sales. Your shoppers may be procrastinators, but that doesn't mean they're not hunting for a good deal. Most importantly, don’t forget to promote these offers where your target audience is most likely to be.
4. A Little Humor Can Go a Long Way
Sex is a big part of Valentine’s Day. Some businesses such as condom company Durex, who reported that condom sales are 20-30% higher around Valentine’s Day, won’t have to do much to capitalize on this fact. However, if the nature of your business is nowhere nearly as risque, you may just need to get a little creative. In which case, humor can go a long way – just take a look at this Ikea ad for example:
Even boring furniture can get a rise out of consumers, and therefore their attention, so get silly and tastefully suggestive.
5. All the Single Ladies (and Guys) – Put an Ad on It
Traditionally, February 14th is viewed as a holiday for couples to celebrate their love. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore nearly half of Americans who are single and planning to mingle on Valentine’s Day with non-romantic partners such as coworkers, family members, classmates, teachers, pets, etc. This may include a number of activities such as getting together for dinner, throwing a party, trading gifts, etc. Alternatively, singles may also celebrate their status on February 15th, Singles Awareness Day.
This is a great opportunity to invite singles to spoil themselves with specially tailored offers and messaging. Create fun cheeky content and appeal to both the pro- and anti-Valentine’s Day crowds.
6. Consider All the Niches in Between
While we’ve addressed the pro and anti Valentine’s Day crowds, there are plenty of situations that fall somewhere in between. Consider couples who physically can’t be together like military families, students studying abroad, or even business travelers. This is your chance to highlight offerings like international shipping or region-specific merchandise,
*Bonus Tips for GearLaunch Partners:
Switch out your store banner and social media profile banners to promote Valentine’s Day offerings.
Create a “Valentine’s Day Gifts” menu category with additional sub-categories like “Gifts for Him”, “Gifts for Her”, “Gifts for Kids”, etc.
Send an email to your customers with Valentine’s Day specials such as “Gifts Under $50.”
“Valentines gifts for her pinterest” and “Valentines gifts for him pinterest” were popular Google searches last year, indicating more people are turning to Pinterest for gift ideas. If you have a Pinterest account, don’t forget to include related keywords to your descriptions.