The origins of Valentine’s Day can be traced back to ancient Rome, but the holiday back then did not at all resemble what it is today. The Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia from February 13 to 15 and instead of exchanging chocolates, they preferred animal sacrifice.
Now, in 2019, Americans are projected to spend $751 million on gifts of love and appreciation for their fluffy friends alone during the lead up to Valentines day. That’s quite the turnaround!
Whether you love this special day or not, it’s a big shopping occasion that all retailers need to be aware of. In 2019, Valentine’s Day spending in the US is expected to reach $19.6 billion, a near-record high, beat only by 2016’s $19.7 billion.
Where does all that money go? These are the top gifts Americans bought for their Valentines last year:
While Candy, Flowers, and Jewelry remain in the top position, along with evenings out, there’s still plenty of room for clothing to get in on the love-fueled sales.
You don’t need Cupid’s arrow to make a connection with customers – all you need is a bit of creativity. Here are seven Valentine’s Day ideas to use for your store, with free visual templates.
Valentine’s Day Product Line
Start a limited-time-only Valentine’s Day product line, and it doesn’t just have to be cutesy stuff for couples. People will buy gifts for friends, co-workers, family, and even pets, so there are plenty of ways to get creative.
For BFFs: Although the majority of gifts are purchased for their significant other, consumers will still buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their friends. For every $88 spent on romantic partners, $7 will be spent on friends. This may not seem like much, but in a market of nearly $20 billion, there’s a $982 million niche to be found here.
Create personalised products that besties will want to share with each other; mugs are a cute idea – add a sweet message or create a set so that each friend has one.
“There is a premium on individuality, especially with millennials and gen Z.” – Jackie Chiquoine.
If you’re using Printful with Shopify integration, use our Product Customization Tool allowing customers to make your product, really theirs!
This is particularly relevant for customers in the Millenial age bracket, who value customization and personalization over other generations. Successful customization strategies for your store will make your customer a co-producer of value alongside your brand. For example, allowing customers to add their names or a personalised shape to your branded T-shirt strengthens their one-on-one relationship with your brand. It’s well known in consumer behaviour studies that consumers value products that they’ve played a part in creating themselves, and are even more likely to make a purchase once they’ve committed to the customization experience.
Of course, the true marketing targets of Valentine’s Day are couples.
In 2017, of the 53% of Americans who celebrated Valentine’s day, 90% will purchase a gift for their significant other.
The main difference is that people in committed, unmarried relationships will spend more on gifts, and they make more effort to plan what they’re going to buy. Since buying online takes a little more foresight to account for shipping time, this is would be a good audience to focus on.
Couple’s shirts are a good way to go! We especially love this big spoon/little spoon set.
Email and Social Media
This goes without saying, but make sure you promote your store’s Valentine’s Day initiatives! Show off your new products on social media, and send out an email about your promotions.
As we can see in the table below, the highest open rates come from subject lines that inspire urgency in the consumer. It’s important to remind customers of your delivery times and create urgency around that early in February if possible.
Get your customers involved, too! Post your Valentine’s Day deal on social media and encourage followers to share it with someone they love.
Valentine’s Day Sale
Clothing accounts for a significant portion of Valentines Day purchases, which is good news for apparel retailers! Run a Valentine’s day sale and discount your most-loved products. Promote them as gift ideas.
Or, instead of discounting products on Valentine’s Day, consider showing customers your appreciation with free shipping on all their orders. By now we’re all aware that free shipping is a big deal, so they’ll be sure to feel the love with this gift.
Spread the Love
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just about buying chocolates and flowers for loved ones – it’s also a good time to give back and show the world a little love. Make a pledge to donate part of your Valentine’s Day profits to a charity of your choice. Encourage customers to buy something for their loved ones, and in return, they help improve the lives of other people’s loved ones.
Show the Love
Update your store to add some Valentine’s Day flair. Change up your logo, create a landing page with gift ideas, and add a romantic banner image. Do the same for your social media profiles!
This is also a good time to change up product descriptions and add some keywords that are applicable to Valentine’s Day. People are looking for gifts, so let them know that your store has what they need.
With Love, From Us!
May your Valentine’s Day be filled with chocolates, flowers, and a boost in sales!