You may think that Valentine’s Day is just for florists or gift stores, but it can be a big opportunity for all retailers. Plus, it’s the first consumer holiday of the year – so if you felt business slow down in January after Christmas, Valentine’s could be just the thing to give you a sales boost.
Here are a few different ways retailers can make the most of February 14th, to show your customers and staff how much you love them.
- Find sales and partnership opportunities
If it makes sense for your business, stock up on products that are commonly purchased for Valentine’s Day – such as greeting cards, chocolates or flowers – and offer them at the counter, or in specific displays alongside your usual products. And remember, Valentine’s Day isn’t just about “stuff.” A lot of consumers tend to treat their loved ones to experiences such as dinner at a romantic restaurant or a movie night. With that in mind, consider partnering with a local restaurant or theatre this February. Perhaps you can offer show tickets or gift certificates as part of a Valentine’s Day promotion
- Come me up with heartfelt promotion ideas
According to a 2017 survey by the NRF, nearly 49% of consumers said they would spend more if they encountered “a really good sale or promotion.” We all know shoppers are often searching for a deal, so it may be in your best interests to come up with a promotion for Valentine’s Day to draw people into your store and drive sales. For best results, spend time thinking about your goals, products, and customers when crafting your offer. For example, if you’re trying to move slow-moving stock, then a buy-one-get-one offer would be your best bet. But if your goal is to drive sales, then offering a percentage or dollar discount might work best. Whatever the case, figure out the best promotion type for your products and audience (understanding what your customers respond to best is key!), and then implement it in your store.
- Lead shoppers to the perfect Valentine’s Day gift
Here’s another interesting tidbit from the NRF study: according to their survey, 36% of respondents “indicated they’d be willing to spend a little more if they found the perfect gift for someone.” This tells us that while getting a fantastic price is a significant factor in people’s buying decisions, many consumers would still pay extra if they found the perfect gift. As a retailer, you need to make sure that your customers get their hands on the right present. This starts with being attuned to the tastes and preferences of your customers. Make sure you know what they want and then stock up and merchandise accordingly. Another way to lead people to the perfect present is through gift guides. Consider creating a Valentine’s Day gift guide that categorises items to make it easier for shoppers – for example: For Him or For Her store displays, or categorise by budget such as Gifts under $25, $50, 100.
- Position your products as non-typical Valentine’s Day gifts
Not selling romantic or gift-centric products? See if you can market them for Valentine’s Day anyway, as an alternative, non-traditional option. Or find ways to infuse your products with the spirit of Valentine’s Day. For example, Apple’s V-Day campaign last year promoted the many ways that their products can make loved ones smile – even though electronics aren’t inherently a romantic product.
- Encourage different kinds of romance gifting
Some people like to treat themselves on Valentine’s Day. If you don’t have a lot of romantic or gift-centric items in stock, then encourage shoppers to buy your products for themselves instead. For example on anticipation of Valentine’s Day, Kate Spade sent out an email promoting their personalised merchandise and encouraging customers to give themselves a well-deserved treat.
Plus, Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romance. A lot of people celebrate their affection for family and friends during this time of the year, so don’t forget to highlight those types of love as well. For example, if you’re running a special offer for Valentine’s Day, see to it that it’s something that all your customers can enjoy. Perhaps you could offer a buy-one-get-one-free offer if a customer brings a significant other into the store, or recommends them to you and they sign up to your customer database.
The key way to make the most of Valentine’s Day – or any other shopping event – is to always keep your customers top of mind and continuously find ways to express how much they mean to you – they’ll love you for it!