Love is in the air, and so are holiday eCommerce sales. Valentine’s Day presents eCommerce stores with the chance to use marketing strategies to boost sales, giving online merchants a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
Valentine’s Day spending in the US is expected to reach $21.8 billion in 2021, according to NRF’s annual Valentine’s Day survey. That’s $5.6 billion less than in 2020, but still represents an increase on the period 2017-2019. It just goes to show that COVID-19 isn’t spoiling the amorous mood this year, and eCommerce retailers have the opportunity to cash in on online shopping for gifts for loved ones.
Valentines Day spending in the USA 2009-2021 – Image from Statista
Here’s a checklist with 6 eCommerce marketing tricks for 2021:
Obviously not everyone is in the business of selling jewelry, flowers and chocolate, so try to be creative when it comes to marketing your products as Valentine’s Day gifts. If you sell lawnmowers and gardening equipment, try to make your marketing campaign into a lighthearted dig at lazy people whose partners need to buy them practical gear to get them to do the chores. If you sell books, make sure to put the most romantic titles front and center. Whatever it is, try to make it as sexy and sellable as possible. And remember, a little humour goes a long way.
People being locked down at home and cinemas and restaurants being locked up puts some restraints on loving dates people can go on. Those wanting to gift their beloved a trip out may have to wait for the right moment. If your online business mainly sells tickets to in-person events and experiences, use this opportunity to sell vouchers and coupons that customers can redeem after social distancing and Coronavirus measures are lifted.
Everyone knows you’ve got to put on special deals and discounts on eCommerce holidays like Black Friday and at Christmas, but make sure your promotions are tailored to the specific holiday. For example, in the run up to Valentine’s Day you could run a special promotion selling selected products 2 for 1, so your loved-up customers can share their purchase with their partner. You could choose to focus on catering to singles instead, by giving special prices on gifts people would give themselves, as a way to capture an alternative client base.
Or how about 14% off for 14 Feb? Sure, it’s not the biggest discount, but it’s enough to grab buyers’ attention and get them to visit your eCommerce store. Getting more web traffic is the first hurdle, and from there you have to find a way to make them stay…
It’s a sale, so your products should be cheaper than normal, but not so cheap that it makes a lousy present. In WalletHub’s Valentine’s Day Survey 2018, they found that almost half of people expect to receive a Valentine’s Day gift worth about $50. Take advantage of people’s expectation that the amount of money spent on them is equivalent to how much they are loved, and offer your star products for the Valentine’s season at around this price range.
With Amazon having set such a high bar, shoppers now expect next-day delivery as standard from any eCommerce merchant. What’s more, the Valentine’s shopping period is very short and it’s far from unusual for flustered partners to be buying something for their sweetheart last minute. Offer next-day delivery or same-day delivery on all your products, if you don’t already, with a trusted delivery service provider like FedEx or UPS.
While it can be a hefty burden for online retailers to bear, try to take on the shipping costs yourself rather than passing them on to the customer. Invesp estimates that 61% of shoppers cancel an order if shipping is not free, while 58% will add more items to their cart to meet the free shipping threshold. Trust us, it’s worth it.
Proclaim your love (for great holiday deals) for all to hear. Run marketing campaigns on social media, send Valentine-themed emails to your whole database and modify your paid advertising to include explicit references to your St. Valentine’s promotions. All the best deals, discounts and delivery offers in the world are worth nothing if nobody knows about them, so shout it from the rooftops.
Download your very own eCommerce holiday sales calendar 2021 with all the biggest shopping dates of the year
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