There are some interesting cultural differences around the world that are changing how retailers market and promote Valentine’s Day. People are buying more gifts, and there is a strong shift and growing cultural acceptance of women buying romantic gifts for men. And the amount most couples spend on Valentine’s Day gifts and experiences (like going out to eat, going to a spa, buying jewelry, and, of course, eating chocolate) is going up.
The National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics put out a report at the end that showed Valentine’s Day shopping was on the rise, but the value of gifts was going down slightly. In 2021, Americans spent $19.7 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts. In 2022, they spent $18.2 billion.
A 2022 survey by Bankrate.com of more than 1,000 American shoppers found that both men and women were planning to spend an average of $267 on Valentine’s Day. The survey showed that a huge 69% of Americans will buy gifts to exchange, and the National Retail Federation predicts that this year, American men and women will spend more than $20.7 billion on gifts.
So, if you want to know if your e-commerce business can benefit from Valentine’s Day flash sales, AOV minimum purchase incentives, or romantic bundle deals, the answer will be “yes!” in almost every product niche.
Does Your Product Assortment Include Suitable Gifts?
It’s hard to think of many things that wouldn’t be good to give as gifts. For every store that sells funny gag gifts and musical stuffed animals, there are thousands of funny people looking for something different. You know, something other than the usual fresh roses, lingerie, and box of chocolate ganache.
In a survey of some of our member shops, we saw Valentine’s Day ads for products like:
- Gear for fishing
- Ambient music
- Audio books
- Items for the bedroom
- Massage devices
- Oils and salts for baths
- Facial masks
- Kits for cooking (so you can make gourmet meals at home)
- Pajama’s and slippers
- Cuddle and decorative blankets
- Pet products (stuffed animals, collars and apparel)
- Gardening kits
- Art kits
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, people will buy personalized gifts (mostly online and have them sent to their homes) for every great love story. But what do you do if you have an online store that doesn’t sell those products? Does that mean you can’t take advantage of the ways to make money on Valentine’s Day?
Nope. You just need to figure out how to offer them in a way that is consistent with your brand.
One reason to set up an e-commerce store with a “seasonal section” (similar to how brick-and-mortar stores have a “seasonal aisle”) is to be able to add new products quickly that might not be part of your regular selection. With a flash-sale page, you can make the most of seasonal sales in a number of ways.
And every time a new holiday comes up, you can be sure that your happy customers will check your seasonal promotion page for ads, social media posts, and sneak peeks of the products you sell. Don’t forget to include gifts in your product line.
Don’t forget that many products will still be good even after Valentine’s Day. Consider having a “liquidation sale” after the holiday. You can discount popular items like games, activities, non-themed clothing, and other gifts that aren’t related to Valentine’s Day. This will bring in another rush of special offer sales.
Get ideas for Valentine’s marketing that is both fun and touching.
What should you do to get people to buy from you as Valentine’s Day gets closer? Start sharing your holiday gift ideas on social media and in sponsored ads at least 4 weeks before Valentine’s Day. Think about how you could run a contest that would be fun and bring in new customers.
Don’t forget that all e-commerce businesses must follow the law when they host a contest. First, people in the United States shouldn’t have to buy anything to take part. That means that anyone should be able to enter the contest and have a chance to win prizes.
Second, the process of choosing should be clear. There are a lot of e-commerce apps that will pick something at random (and some contest applications have the feature built in). So, you can show a report or screenshot of how the winners were chosen at random, which is required by law.
The show “How I Met Your Mother”
Build a page for a contest that leads people to your Valentine’s Day products. Ask people to send in a picture of their spouse and a story about how they met. Remember to include a waiver confirmation on your submission form so that you can legally use the pictures, stories, and names in your marketing campaign (s).
Make a blog post and a gallery of the new pictures that people send in to try to win a great romantic prize. Some advanced contest apps for the web let business owners set up a voting system so that customers can vote for a photo or submission. That’s another great way to find new customers through the crowd. They’ll ask their friends and family to vote for them on the website. And more traffic means more opportunities to sell, right?
Some people like to give away free product or a gift card to the store as a reward, but both of these options can actually hurt your sales. Think about it this way: If you were trying to win a gift card from a store, would you buy something before you found out if you won? Most likely not. But ordering one or two products when you’ve already won one for free? It makes more sense that way.
Contest for the Worst Valentine Ever
People like to talk about their happiest and most romantic memories just as much as they like to talk about the other side of the same coin, which is even more popular and, to be honest, fun for everyone. Give people a chance to show their sense of humor by talking about the worst Valentine’s Day they’ve ever had while everyone else is sharing their best love stories.
And all e-commerce platforms that connect to Dropship Corporation, like Woocommerce, Shopify, and CommerceHQ, have many apps that can help you make a professional and interesting contest on your website.
Netflix and chill: The most romantic playlist ever
What would be more relevant to your customers than a Valentine’s Day contest asking them to name their favorite and most romantic movies?
Give the lucky couple a one-year Netflix subscription. Because “Netflix and chill” is always the best thing to do with the right snacks and the right person.
Think about things like throw blankets, slippers, sweatshirts (for him and her), big coffee and hot chocolate mugs, cute snack bowls, toss pillows, and more that go with that activity or habit. Since the products and “Netflix with your squeeze” can be used at any time of year, you can take advantage of exciting sales on useful items all year long.
Anti-Day Valentine’s Sales Strategies (Because Singles Need Cool Products Too)
Let’s be honest. Valentine’s Day is the last holiday of the “singleton trifecta,” which includes Christmas and New Year’s, for people who are single. If you’re single, you’re probably nodding your head right now.
Even though it’s nice to have someone to celebrate with, think about all the ads that show happy couples and remember when you were single. Instead of counting down to “the big day,” many of us just wanted it to be over quickly so we could buy cheap chocolate to make up for our sadness after the 14th.
When every other big box store and independent e-commerce store is focusing on gifts for “the happy couple,” you could try focusing on singles instead. Find indulgent, trendy products that make everyone feel good, like personal technology, fashion, accessories, journals (for Bridget Jones fans), and spa products like face masks, bathrobes, bath bombs, and essential oils.
If someone is single and doesn’t have someone to love, they can feel good about loving themselves by giving themselves treats and cheap gifts. And in the weeks before Valentine’s Day, e-commerce shops that show kindness to singles or use guerilla marketing to reach them can not only boost their sales, but also bring in new and loyal customers.
You should put a bookmark in your browser for the store that makes you think of #thestruggleisreal. The same goes for singles. And don’t forget to include a few “grudge gifts” that reluctant ex-girlfriends or boyfriends may want to send, especially if they broke up before Valentine’s Day.