Valentine’s is always a breath of fresh air after the post Christmas slump in January. While the holidays were focused on the frenzy of finding many gifts for many people, the unique charm of Valentine’s Day is about thoughtful and special gifts for one particular loved one. Although shoppers still love scoring great Valentine’s Day bargains, many lovers still go all out to impress their sweetheart on this day of love. According to the AmEx’s Shop Small Valentine’s Day Monitor, over 45% of lovestruck consumers plan to spend at least $75 on their beloved for Valentine’s Day.
So how do merchants capture the hearts of these young-spirited lovers yearning to express their undying love a special someone? We’re gathered the top five tips for indie retailers for maximizing their love for your products for Valentine’s Day.
- Add Romantic Flair
Spice up your online storefront with romantic graphics and sweeten your existing products customized for lovebirds. Founder of Scrubz Body Scrub, Roberta Perry, loves holiday marketing the most because it gives Scrubs the unique opportunity to reimagine how her customers use their skincare products. Perry shares examples of how she adds romantic flair to her products. “’Sweetness for your Lips not your Hips’ [is the card attached to] our Lipz Service/ Lipz Valentines bag. Our Shavez is packaged in a black bag with Lipz in red to show how guys love this stuff too. We offer different scents, such as Chocolate Dreamz and Pink Candy.” Along with heartfelt packaging ideas, Perry also says, “We learn from each holiday, that people like visuals. They like to be given great gift ideas, and so we give them what they want.” Retailers can also offer free or affordable special Valentine themed gift-wrap services to extend some love to your customers.
Colors of love like pink and red are great for revamping your current products to be more lovey dovey. Vanity Girl Hollywood makes glamorous lighted vanities for celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Cindy Crawford. Founder Maxine Tationghari’s number one Valentine’s Day strategy is to “[run] a special pre sale promo of pink vanities (lighted Hollywood-style makeup mirrors). We only offer the color at specific times of the year, and Valentine’s Day is one of them.”
- Emphasize and Guarantee Delivery Dates
Time is especially important for online retailers to ship products to customers before a specific holiday. If your products are handmade and take several weeks to process, make sure your customers know when you guarantee delivery and what are your cut-off shipping dates. William Lau, Digital Marketing Manager for Canvas Paintings, stresses that delivery time is the most important aspect when customers choose to shop on their online store. “We created call to action buttons on our whole site emphasizing on timely delivery and the last date opportunity to guarantee delivery by Valentine’s Day,” says Lau. “We’ve also given a guarantee of $100 gift card for any missed deliveries just to boost confidence.” Canvas Paintings offers stunning hand-painted artwork, which may take up to three weeks to deliver so advertising guaranteed delivery dates is of utmost importance. Also, offering gift cards for late deliveries not only boosts consumer confidence, but also adds an additional incentive for the shopper to shop at your store.Also, for the late birds, offer last minute delivery options as suggested by Alice Bredin, Small Business Advisor to American Express OPEN. “If possible, offer speedy delivery of your items to shoppers who are tight on time,” says Bredin. “This might include same-day downloading of a decorative gift certificate or delivery of items. To prepare for Valentine’s Day itself, have items that people can buy quickly. Many people will leave Valentine’s Day shopping to the last minute, so have items ready to go. If possible, increase staffing for those shoppers who might need assistance choosing just the right thing.”
- Valentine’s Email Promotion
Emailing your customer base is undeniable a store’s number one way to directly reach out to their fans and encourage them to shop online. Kate Chittenden of Mad Mimi, a web app for building email newsletters shares her behind the scenes look at the nearly 140,000 small businesses and individuals Mad Mimi serves. Chittenden says, “We see a huge influx of emails going out the week of Valentine’s Day and encourage our customers to capitalize on the holiday. Even if you don’t have an obvious retail slant to your small business – use this holiday to connect with your customers and ‘share the love’ or creatively connect your business to the holiday via an email. Maximizing sales is ultimately about relationships – the one the business has with their customer.” Chief of Culture at Mad Mini, Dean Levitt, blogs about his expertise about the advantages of email marketing for Valentine’s Day on his article about the “3 Tips for Valentine’s Day Email Marketing.”
- Showcase Sweetheart Deals
Run special sales just for Valentine’s Day to encourage your customers to shop discounted presents. Crystal Wells, Product Marketing Manager at Vendio, suggests to “[s]howcase sale items on your website that would make great gifts. The sale items can be an assortment of products for both him and her, or they can be gender-neutral items that anyone would love to receive.” Additionally, add some personalization, says Crystal. “Run a Valentine’s Day promotion by offering to include a free custom message card with every purchase. Let customers write a personal message, and if possible, handwrite the card.”
Tationghari of Vanity Girl Hollywood also encourages sales by “[offering] a very aggressive Pink Friday sale, similar to Black Friday of 20% for 3 days only.” Wouldn’t it be great if Pink Friday became as widespread as Black Friday?
- Offbeat Marketing
Valentines isn’t all about pink teddy bears and red heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. Shawn Tavakoli, Founder of Beauty Collection, a cosmetics store and spa in Southern California, played on a twist on traditional sweet Valentine’s theme. Tavakoli shares his advice for marketing around special holidays. “We try new things all the time – this year, we developed a V-Day infographic called ‘How Naughty is Your Valentine’s Day’ that we promoted on our blog, and via Facebook and Twitter. [There's] usually a way to make something move if you’re a little creative. Just plan in advance, and watch what others are doing for inspiration.” If you’re fantasizing about Valentine’s Day, check out Beauty Collection’s How Naughty is your Valentine’s Day infographic!
No matter if you celebrate this day of love with lavish gifts or fancy dining out, you’ll find great success at your shop around Valentine’s Day with these great tips. Fill someone’s heart with love and shower them with gifts this Valentine’s Day.
Original image from Shutterstock.