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 and debauchery.
These brutal traditions thankfully disappeared over time. Valentine’s Day as we know it eventually came about with the Industrial Revolution and the advent of factory-made cards. In 1913, Hallmark began mass-producing Valentine’s cards, and the day of love blossomed into the commercialised holiday we know and (for the most part) enjoy today.
Whether you love this special day or not, it’s a big shopping occasion that retailers need to be aware of. In 2015, Valentine’s Day spending in the US was expected to reach roughly $18.9 billion, which is a record high.
Where does all that money go? These are the top gifts Americans were planning to buy for their Valentines:
Source: National Retail Federation
While candy, flowers, and greeting cards are the most popular gifts of choice, there are plenty of ways other industries can 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 Sale
Clothing accounts for 14% of Valentine’s Day spending, 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.
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, coworkers, family, and other non-romantic people in their lives, so there are plenty of ways to get creative.
For BFFs: Roughly 20% of people will buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their friends. Create swag 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.
For Pets: People love their pets, and they show it on Valentine’s Day. In 2015, Americans spent $700 million on gifts for their fluffy friends. Printful offers doggy shirts, so adding a product for our four-legged friends can easily be done.
Of course, the true marketing targets of Valentine’s Day are couples. According this survey, 69% of married couples buy gifts for each other, as do 69% of couples in a committed relationship.
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.
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.
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, send out an email about your promotions.
Idea: Send an email to remind your customers about deadlines.
Get your customers more involved, too! Post your Valentine’s Day deal on social media and encourage followers to share it with someone they love.
With Love, From Us!
May your Valentine’s Day be filled with chocolates, flowers, and a boost in sales!