If ecommerce be the food of love, sell on…
Valentine’s Day is on the horizon. And while for some, it offers a chance to affirm romantic relationships (or hope for anonymous cards heralding new ones), for the ecommerce entrepreneur it’s another great opportunity to connect with customers.
In this blog post, we aren’t going to offer relationship advice, but we are going to give some tips which might help customers fall head-over-heels in love with your online store.
The history behind Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day, as the celebration of romance that we know today, has been going strong since the middle of the 19th century, when postage became affordable and cards could be sent by admirers without costing the earth. Commerce closely followed this new consumer trend, for as the century progressed, the sending of cards had morphed into gifting: the first heart-shaped chocolates were produced in 1868. By the turn of the twentieth century, Valentine’s Day was an established event in the retail and social calendar in the US and UK, and spread globally. In 2017, $18.2 billion was spent on the occasion in the US - equivalent to $136 per person (an increase from $108 per person in 2010). Globally, Valentine’s Day has become regionalized and embraced from South East Asia to South America.
There can be dates in the retail calendar that feel contrived or are perhaps some years away from really becoming a fixture, but Valentine’s Day is not one. It's established and has a consumer market ready and willing to engage. Today, Valentine’s extends beyond being only about gifts for the one true love, as people buy for friends, family, work colleagues, and even their pets. The mission for the ecommerce entrepreneur is to tailor their stores and product range to those celebrating love of all kinds and for all people.
How to win this ecommerce holiday:
Color schemes fitting the mood
If you are going to fully embrace Valentine’s Day, then go all in. Be bold: vibrant reds and pinks are the colors, hearts and Cupids the motifs. Consider committing your store to the Valentine’s theme to get customers excited and in the mood for Valentine’s shopping!
Valentine’s Day rivals Halloween in terms of being a retail event when it is OK not to take things too seriously. Make your store have a humorous tone (with social posts to match).
Consider challenging followers to share romantic stories and anecdotes to unlock discounts. Consider a mailout to your previous customers, offering discounts linked to the time that a couple has been together or married.
Elevate and demonstrate your options for customization. Many customers are content to purchase generic, fun Valentine’s-themed products. For others, the opportunity to produce a one-off, truly unique item to celebrate a special person is the definition of romance. Learn more about the power of personalizable gifts here.
Great gifts (without the hearts)
Don’t assume that Valentine’s gifts must only come covered in red hearts or cute verses. For some, the day is an excuse to buy a thoughtful gift for a loved one, much as they might for a birthday or father’s or mother’s day. So look at what sells well on other key retail dates and bring these products to the front of the store.
Don’t forget Galentine’s Day
February 13th has been (un)officially named Galentine’s Day - a day for ladies to celebrate their friendships, regardless of whether they are single or in a relationship. Offer products that gals can gift each other, such as best friend mugs or matching tees!
Not everyone likes Valentine’s Day
And, of course, don’t forget those who dislike Valentine’s Day. The idea of Anti-Valentine’s has caught on over recent years, so if you can’t imagine your store being all about hearts and romance, consider capitalizing on the market for the cynics.
Our top picks for Valentine's gifts
Mugs are the perfect gift for anyone on Valentine’s Day - whether for a friend, romantic partner, or family member! Offer customization options to your customers so they can create a personalized gift for the recipient - popular options include the ability to add names, dates, and other graphics.