Valentine’s Day is huge for eCommerce, and with every passing year, it’s harder and harder to surprise anyone with generic red and pink heart themes. The name of the game is making profits by selling goodies, so to reach more customers, you need a solid plan.
Take Advantage of these Strange Times
It’s 2022, and people are likely to be spending Valentine’s Day either a little too close to others (Mom, get out of my room!) or completely alone. For a successful Valentine’s Day marketing campaign focus on a specific audience, cater to their needs, and promote shopper engagement with relatable content.
This Valentine’s Day, think outside the box (of chocolates) to boost sales in your eCommerce store. If you’re looking to engage existing and potential customers, we’ve come up with a list of the top 10 Valentine’s Day marketing ideas to grow your business.
Valentine's Day Consumer and Product Trends
Before we dive into Valentine’s Day marketing tips, let’s look at spending in the previous year. In 2020 we witnessed a massive surge in spending, averaging $196 per person, totaling $27.4 billion – people were still going out on nice dinner dates and other Valentine’s Day activities.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continued taking over the world in 2021, we witnessed a 20% drop in spending, with total spending $21.8 billion. And that’s because we spent most of our time at home and celebrated at home, spreading love from a good, safe distance.
Although we saw a slight drop in spending, the overall trend is that people are spending more and more on Valentine’s Day.
Where Do People Shop?
The response to this question is unsurprising: in 2021, 38% of all Valentine’s Day shopping occurred online. So rest assured: eCommerce is bigger than ever.
If there is one thing we can be thankful for, in the context of the pandemic, it’s that it fuels eCommerce like nothing before. Everything is happening online, with a flick of your finger. Food, apparel, and even pharmaceuticals. Because of the booming eCommerce, conventional logistics have been overwhelmed.
Celebrating Valentine's Day With Custom Gifts
Now more than ever, people love everything custom-made. That’s why Print-On-Demand is doing so well. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to open an eCommerce store, the perfect time is now.
Creating and opening a store and starting your own POD business is easy. And if you produce winning designs in a timely manner, you can start selling Valentine’s Day cards, custom t-shirts, and many more heartwarming products in time for the most romantic day of the year.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with personalized gifts, because nothing says “I love you” more than a bespoke hoodie, fleece blanket, or heartwarming t-shirt. Here’s what the 2021 report “Global Custom Made Clothes Market” says:
“The global custom-made clothes market was valued at $1960.43 million in 2020 and will grow with a CAGR of 3.37% from 2020 to 2027.”
Who Do People Buy The Perfect Gift For?
Over the years, Valentine’s day purchasing habits have changed. People now spend money on unique gifts for their significant others, friends, family, co-workers, and even pets (27% of American shoppers said they would buy Valentine’s Day presents for their pets).
Interestingly, trends show that Americans, especially younger generations who celebrate Valentine’s Day, buy gifts for more than one partner. Also, single people treat themselves to gifts as well.
Statistics indicate that almost 12% of all single shoppers will buy something special for themselves, and nearly 20% of all Valentine’s Day gifts are for friends and non-significant others.
Considering all the different people we shop for, it would be sensible to offer an assortment of love-themed products. Socks, mugs, posters, greeting cards, and t-shirts make the gift-giving truly memorable.
52% of the total spending for Valentine’s Day goes to partners and spouses.
When we’re talking about Valentine’s Day, don’t forget all the haters, too. There are plenty of shoppers who love to splurge on ‘anti-Valentine’s Day’ products, so if it fits your brand, include some funny Valentine’s Day-hating t-shirts, greeting cards, hoodies, blankets, or pillows.
The Types of Valentine's Day Shoppers
As eCommerce sales and conversion rates grow through the week leading up to the most romantic holiday of the year, online retailers need to recognize the various types of shoppers to best capitalize on it.
This is your well-prepared shopper, who starts scouring for gifts over a week before. Make sure the store is as ready as this individual by having the designs nice and prepped.
You'll recognize their 'smartphone pinky' from holding the device in hand almost 24/7. They won't ever look for gifts in a physical store; instead, they scroll until they can scroll no more. And then some. And, thanks to this type of shopper, the spike in mobile purchases during the weekend before Valentine's Day skyrockets. So make sure the goodies and descriptions look good on mobile screens.
The Last-Minute Hunter
This guy or gal is definitely not ahead of the curve, but their heart is in the right place – they're still getting something for people they care about, even if they are last-minute gifts. February 14th is when businesses experience the most powerful surge of traffic and orders, so keep these people in mind, too. The ones who always say, "Darling, your gift is still in the mail. That darn mail!"
Valentines Day Marketing Ideas And Strategies
Preparing for Valentine’s Day traffic is like preparing for any other central retail event: start early to catch your customer’s eye.
To better market your store’s offerings, conduct a keyword optimization towards top search trends. For example, tap into the hearts, better halves, and other relevant romantic search trends by creating designs for matching hoodies, mobile cases, etc. One of the best marketing strategies is updating your title tags and keywords to capture shoppers’ attention with detailed and relevant descriptions.
Remember, Valentine’s Day shoppers are notorious cart abandoners, so prepare for it by lining up solutions to help re-engage and persuade your customers to return and go through with the purchase.
Last year’s Google Trends shows that starting from January 1st, there was a prominent rise in gift-related searches, with search terms like ‘gifts for him’ indicating the women celebrating the holiday, as well as ‘gifts for her’, albeit not as prominently.
Both search terms skyrocket at the end of January and beginning of February, with the peak being February 9th – just in time to hopefully get the gift delivered by February 14th. Take this into consideration when updating your store’s keywords.
To make things easier, we have put together a list of Valentine’s Day marketing ideas to help you boost sales during one of the busiest retail periods of the year.
1. Create The Sense Of Urgency
Urgency pushes people to act fast, and scarcity triggers anxiety, forcing us to act promptly. If done right, these methods can help eCommerce businesses boost their conversions and increase sales. Scarcity and urgency are undoubtedly powerful tools. However, it is best to use them with caution, since customers can smell pushy methods from miles away.
- Avoid Fake Scarcity And Urgency. Creating urgency is good. Abusing it is wrong. Some stores mark every item with sale prices all year long, seemingly creating the feeling that everything is a bargain. But when everything is on sale, is anything on sale? That's how stores lose credibility.
To correctly use this marketing method, only display genuine offers and do not abuse them: an occasional sale is enough. For example, for last-minute gifts or gift combos – offer a discount if the customer buys two or more items during the Valentine's Day campaign.
- The Right Vernacular Is Everything. Online and offline shoppers are exposed to sales and promo offers all the time. It's hard to distinguish real bargains from fake sales.
Avoid sounding too pushy. Try not to use too many flickering banners—your visitors should be able to sense a genuine bargain at first glance. Add a countdown timer on the store's main page so shoppers know when the sale ends, creating a visual representation of how much time they have left to shop.
- Create Powerful Call-to-Actions. Use the right keywords in the product description. The call-to-action or CTA should state a real benefit and emphasize the urgency or scarcity – it's a common technique to display the amount of remaining stock to trigger the scarcity instinct in shoppers. In this example from Etsy, see how many people have added the item to their cart and how much is left in stock.
2. Out -Of-The-Box Valentine's Day Gift Ideas
According to a Statista survey, the most popular types of Valentine’s Day gifts are:
- Greeting cards
- Gift cards
Even if you don’t sell these products, it doesn’t mean you can’t branch out and capitalize on Valentine’s Day holiday shopping. With the right messaging, even products not traditionally associated with Valentine’s Day could become part of your customers’ gift plans.
Think matching phone cases or a personalized lamp that will literally shine the light on somebody’s love. A romantic pillow. An ultra-romantic wine tumbler… It’s not the product. It’s how you market it.
Keep on reading, because we will return to the topic of gift ideas and provide a neat Valentine’s Day gift guide that will help create a stunning storefront, with unique things people wouldn’t even dream of like Valentine’s Day gifts.
3. Create Valentine’s Day Content Early to Boost SEO
Searches for Valentine’s day gift ideas spike early in the year, as early as January, so begin creating Valentine’s Day-themed content right after New Year’s to grow your SEO rankings.
Many shoppers begin looking for that perfect gift without having any indication of what they are looking for, so help them by creating a beautiful storefront with unique gifts that they can purchase for their loved ones.
Include Valentine’s Day gift ideas for men, women, pets, and best friends. This is an excellent way to spotlight some of your best-selling products (and tweak them to match the Valentine’s Day vibe) or introduce something new. Promoting your gift guide on social media channels will help existing customers and attract new ones.
4. Social Media Accounts Matter
Utilize your social media channels to talk about the upcoming holiday with beautiful and fun videos, photos, and graphics. Valentine’s Day is perfect for showcasing your brand’s personality, so keep it fun and romantic, while engaging the audience.
Create a Valentine’s Day gift guide for your Instagram or Facebook… Meta followers with stunning product mockups or, better yet, photos. Showcase products that you would really like to sell and design them to appeal to all the Valentine’s Day shoppers out there.
On Instagram stories, create polls allowing followers to vote for which product they like best. And now that all of us can add links to our stories and link products, followers can instantly view them in your store.
5. Upselling and Cross-Selling
Valentine’s Day shoppers are rather generous. 55% of Americans celebrate this holiday, and the average purchase in 2021 was $164.76, which means that upselling and cross-selling can be great tools to boost your sales this Valentine’s Day.
Create Product Sets
Likely, you already have articles in your store that can be featured as a set. For example, a pillowcase that would pair nicely with a fleece blanket or a customized wireless charger that would go perfectly with a personalized phone case. Matching hoodies. Matching cheeky undies. The possibilities here are nearly endless.
The customer may not have seen these products before, but suggesting relevant articles to the ones already in their basket will improve their shopping experience and your revenue. Use Ultimate Special Offers to feature similar products of higher value (upsell) or relevant products that go together, like Valentine’s Day and chocolate (cross-sell).
6. Start First, Finish Last
Target all types of customers – the early birds and last-minute shoppers. Start your Valentine’s Day campaign early, and keep it going throughout the buying period. Use products like Google Trends and Consumer Barometer to understand search trends before, during, and after the holiday, and adjust keywords, ads, and promotions accordingly.
Like all other holidays, expect some last-minute shoppers. If, for some reason, you can’t offer next-day shipping, think about digital gifts that would satisfy last-minute shoppers’ needs. For example, offer gift cards that their loved ones can use in your store. It’s a win-win deal here.
7. Don’t Forget About Self-Love
Valentine’s Day is no longer just about celebrating our significant others. February 14th is the annual ‘Treat yourself’ day for some individuals. If you want to know the numbers, of all people not celebrating but still marking this occasion, 24% of men and 24% of women will treat themselves with a gift or two.
How to appeal to this demographic? Add to all the mushy-gushy mix some messaging that empowers single people and celebrates self-love by creating a separate gift guide for singles, and don’t forget to encourage your customers to treat themselves.
8. Galentine’s Day: Romance Is Not Everything
People may call it the most romantic day of the year, but the key to a successful Valentine’s Day marketing strategy is thinking way outside the box of chocolates. Relationship status isn’t relevant anymore.
Celebrate Galentine’s Day
Right before Valentine's Day, on February 13th, is Galentine's Day, which celebrates female friendships. The creation of a fictional character within an unspecified but beloved sitcom, this phenomenon is recognized by millions. Create a social media post or a whole marketing campaign around this day.
What are the perfect Galentine's Day gifts? Think all things friendship: custom wine tumblers, scented candles, t-shirts, accessory pouches, or shopping totes for their next trip to the outlet mall.
Celebrate Galentine’s Day
In 2021, Americans spent $2.14 billion on Valentine's Day gifts for their furry friends. Why not treat all animal lovers by creating designs that celebrate them – custom pet beds, pet tags, and personalized bowls. Valentine's Day marketing campaigns should revolve around love and people love their pets, sometimes even more than people.
Valentine’s Day Gift Guide
If you’re all out of ideas about what products to market this Valentine’s Day, we’re here to help. Below, find a nifty list of fun gifts for him and her that go way beyond the boring classics, like sweets and wine. And the dentists all around the world will give you a standing ovation!
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her
Here are some great gift ideas for all the lovely Valentine’s Day celebrating ladies.
No list of Valentine’s Day marketing ideas would be complete without this spicy item. For a really personal touch, design cheeky underpants that will make her blush and scream with delight. Create fun designs by playing with words, for example, ‘Be Minet’, to put a big smile on her cheeks (top and bottom).
A personalized suitcase is an excellent present option to make her look good and feel extra special on your next trip together. Perfect cabin-sized luggage that she will be thankful for years to come. Design ideas: ‘To The Moon And Back With You,’ ‘Mr. and Mrs. On The Road Again,’ ‘Love Stories In the Making.’
Sometimes words don’t come easy. That’s where a custom Valentine’s Day greeting card comes in – add it to your eCommerce storefront with adorable designs, sincere words, and lovely puns to help your shoppers say what they feel. A greeting card may seem like small potatoes, but it’s a souvenir that she’ll keep in her drawer and hold dear for years.
Remember, how women always ‘borrow’ hoodies from their partners? No dedicated gift guide would be complete without this cozy piece of garment. This year, create personalized oversized hoodies for women. Design ideas: ‘He stole my heart, I stole his hoodie,’ ‘The better half’ and other fun and heartfelt messages that she’ll love and her friends will go “AWWW” for.
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Him
When we’re talking about Valentine’s Day marketing ideas, guys are the perfect demographic, as shopping for men is usually easier, since they appreciate all things practical as well as personal.
There’s just something about underwear that makes it the perfect gift for all occasions. But when gifted on Valentine’s Day, he simply knows: Oh, it’s ON. When it comes to design, it can go both ways – really spicy or very romantic: create naughty boxers or cute matching his and hers sets.
Whether he is a coffee lover or loves to stay hydrated, you can cater to his needs. Offer various drinkware with cute messages that their partners can choose and gift them on February 14, so they remember their love with every sip.
As practical as it gets: this Aluminum-bodied, customizable Bluetooth speaker delivers crystal clear sound and doubles as a smart wireless charging pad! At $38 plus shipping, it will make for a truly thoughtful and practical gift that he will be really, really, thankful for during every outing.
To Sum Up
Your Valentine’s Day marketing success is determined by planning and how well you connect with your customers. Be bold, sexy, and lovable with the designs and generous with promotions. Offer items people love and unique pieces they’ve never thought of as Valentine’s Day gifts.
Help your customers express their love for their partners, pets, gal pals, BFFs, and co-workers, or make them feel good about being single. Valentine’s Day can be lonely, and if your store’s offerings can help shoppers get through it, they’ll love you for it.
Start prepping for Valentine’s Day marketing activities early, but don’t forget about the last-minute shopper, and use these marketing campaign ideas to set yourself up for success.