Ever since we were in second grade, chowing down on those pastel-colored chalky hearts and hoping we received a sufficient number of valentine greetings in our homemade envelopes, we knew Valentine’s Day was all about love.
This Valentine’s Day, however, we’re going to give you the know-how to make customers fall in love with your store, and we’re going to help you construct a long-term relationship with them, rather than a torrid weekend affair.
Let’s get to it. Valentine’s Day is a-coming!
1. Be Their Valentine: Valentine-Up Your Product by Providing V-Day Focused Add-ons
The most purchased items on Valentine’s Day (even today!) are the traditional:
- Candy/sweets – 44%
- Greeting cards – 33%
- Flowers – 32%
- Gift Voucher to a romantic restaurant- 29%
- Gift Cards – 13%
If you’re a specialty chocolate shop or a florist, that’s great for business! But what if you’re not?
You can still cash in on the V-Day trends.
Try offering a single perfect rose as an upsell to whatever you sell. Or even better – as a free add-on for any gifts purchased between February 1st and 14th.
Can’t you see your romantic shopper debating between stereo speakers (for their music-loving significant other) or roses (after all, it IS Valentine’s Day)… and then coming across your stereo speakers that come delivered with a complimentary rose?
2. Make it Feel Right: Cultivate Valentine’s Day Ambience
Customers are more likely to purchase that special gift if they feel special when making the purchase. Use every site asset you have at your disposal – the colors, the imagery, the language – to make sure your online content is creating an authentic, romantic vibe.
Put effort into framing your products or services as ideal for Valentine’s Day.
Now, you might say something like, “Uh, but we sell boating supplies and rent kayaks for trips down the Colorado River – how can we frame that?”
Take heart! (No pun intended) Last year’s Mastercard Love Index showed that Valentine’s Day shoppers are spending more money on shared experiences that create lasting (and social-media sharing worthy) memories.
If you offer experiences like romantic dinners, cruises, or travel packages, make sure to place a gift card option front and center on your home page for Valentine’s Day so your visitors are inspired to treat that special person in their lives. Emphasize how your offerings can be highlighted and packaged in a romantic way!
3. Personalize: V-Day Needs to Be Personal
True – you can’t wrap a kayak trip down the Colorado River. But if you sell any kind of material goods, you can gift wrap them. Gift-wrapping is important for gift shoppers, as it is interpreted by the receiver as evidence of the sincerity, effort and thought that went into the gift.
If it’s important to your customers, it’s an important sales option for you. Offering gift wrapping for your buyers at little or no cost will definitely impact your sales this Valentine’s Day. Some eCommerce sites’ theme editors even offer an advanced option for adding such a function to your store’s cart.
Offer a variety of wrapping paper designs, including the greatly loved heart designs, pink accents, and swirly fonts. If customers get to select specific wrapping paper, they will feel they are gifting an even more custom present for their loved one.
Since greeting cards are also a big part of Valentine’s Day for consumers (remember – 33% of consumers are buying them!), make e-greeting cards available for every gift and let your gift buyer personalize the card.
4.Valentine-theme Your Potentially Most Important Sale: Digital Gift Cards
It is time to move your gift card program to front and center. Digital gift cards are a go-to for the gift giver who wants to give her recipient freedom to choose a gift he’ll love… while still being thoughtful and personal.
Digital gift cards hold a special appeal for the primary Valentine’s Day audience: men. Research shows that men will outspend women for Valentine’s Day, by an average of $161. While men do want to buy a loving gift for their special someone, they don’t want a long, drawn-out shopping experience. Go, click, buy, done: that’s the ideal male shopping experience, and that’s exactly what digital gift cards offer.
The best thing about digital gift cards? Recipients usually spend over the gift card amount – according to research done by First Data, an average of $23.41 more. So the $50 gift card purchase could easily turn into revenue of $70, $80 or more.
Give your digital gift cards a push over the competition by offering special Valentine’s Day designs. Whether you sell digital or physical gift cards, you can customize your design.
Digital gift cards are, in fact, even easier than physical gift cards, because you don’t need to invest in printing designs (of which a significant amount may sit on the shelf until next February). With digital, you can offer multiple Valentine’s Day designs and let your buyer choose whichever one suits her.
You could also enable your customer to upload their own romantic images a write a unique message in order to make it even more personal.
5. Drive Repeat Income and Loyalty with Stored-Value Gift Cards and Cashback
If you do your Valentine’s Day marketing optimally, you’ll see a surge of customers coming into your store. Play your cards right, and you’ll be able to not only increase your traffic and income for the period until February 14th, but boost your customer numbers and retention for the long term
Herein lies the secret of love: loyalty. Customers love loyalty programs and rewards. And the reward that 78% of consumers love best is cashback – to be used on their next purchase with you.
Valentine’s Day is an ideal time to leverage the traffic surge toward building your long-term customer base. And stored-value gift cards are the best way to build that loyalty by granting cashback rewards. For example, when your customer buys something from your Valentine’s Day collection, you can automatically give her 3% of the purchase as cashback reward, cultivating loyalty which will bring her back to your store for months and years to come.
To get the optimum bang for your buck stored-value card, implement a system that lets you create workflows and rules to automatically grant rewards. Once you set it up, you don’t have to be actively involved. Sit back, relax and grow customer numbers while you chow down on those pastel conversation heart candies.
Love Conquers All
Sure, the Holiday Season gets all the press, but Valentine’s Day is a great revenue-driving opportunity for every eCommerce store.
Give your shoppers an experience to remember. Shower them with love and rewards and see their loyalty grow. You’ll get out what you put in – so start brainstorming and acting now.
Happy Valentine’s Day – we love ya!