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As an online shop owner, you probably know that every holiday and celebration offers a great opportunity to boost sales. Valentine’s Day is no exception. In fact, it allows you to approach a much wider audience as gone are the boring times when Day of ❤️❤️ was celebrated only by couples. If you come up with the right message and product, you can reach the lovers, the singles, the pet owners, and even the Valentine’s Day haters.
Throughout Valentine’s Day history, the most popular gifts seem to be flowers, jewellery, chocolate boxes, perfumes, clothes, lingerie, shoes, books, tickets to theatre/opera, etc. Shops that sell these products achieve great sales figures. However, with smart marketing, almost everything can be sold with solid numbers. If the opportunity is there, why not use it?
Here are some pretty awesome and bold Valentine’s Day marketing ideas and recommendations in case you are looking for inspiration and plan to organise something exciting for that special event.
1. Run a bold commercial, forget about the clichéd approach (and boost sales too)
Surprise your current customers and the possibly new ones with originality and creativity. Dull and worn-out ideas do not contribute to sales due to the abundance of information available on the Internet, meaning only smart and original approaches attract attention enough to lead to the desired purchases. Let your spirit free and have fun no matter what you sell or who is your target audience! There is always a way to be original.
IKEA is famous for its brilliant Valentine’s Day campaigns. In 2020 IKEA Taiwan focused on the most unpopular and least-selling products and gave them a whole new (and sexy) life through an original concept. “The IKEA Love Collection” campaign was launched, featuring these lonely unwanted items in a suggestively naughty way, while fans were asked to include their own kinky suggestions. The campaign was successful, attracted the crowds, and stimulated sales in general.
2. Use video as a medium for advertising your brand
Video is the most effective medium for conveying a story through a computer screen. It is easily understandable as watching a video requires two senses – hearing and seeing. Although creating good video content might be a time-consuming and expensive process, it can lead to immense website traffic growth, if the result is well-executed.
To add a comment to the previous point (about being bold), we will share two Valentine’s Day videos with different messages by well-known brands.
*Desigual thought out of the heart-shaped candy box and concentrated on self-love in 2020. Over the several days, Desigual reminded their customers to love first themselves and then the others. They asked their fans to leave a comment on Facebook on how they indulge themselves on Valentine’s day, and as a prize, they received a unique tapestry designed by Miranda Makaroff, an outstanding designer, blogger, and influencer. Partnership marketing can be very beneficial in certain situations.
*Nomination Jewelry helped connect friends, lovers or family members with their beautiful and witty bracelets (2020). Their bracelets are made from stainless steel links that can be customised according to the buyer’s preferences. The main idea is to connect people via composable link pairs (with an enormous variety of links provided by Nomination Jewelry).
3. Think about different audiences you can reach with your products
Look through your home page design and create a separate section for Valentine’s Day. Give a list of gift ideas for each audience. Be creative and fun and, if possible come up with different sub-sections for Her, Him, Friends, Pet Owners/Pets, and Valentine’s Day Cynics. We know that it might be easier said than done, but it’s an idea worth deliberating if you want to boost sales online.
Let’s check some great examples:
*Body Shop has created a separate section with a useful guide for Valentine’s Day gift searchers (2021). These gifts are meant for everyone, except for the pets, maybe.
Source: The Body Shop
*T-shirts designed by Art-o-Rama shop are inspired by Banksy’s famous Lovesick Girl (2021).
#inthemood for ironic Anti-Valentine’s Day (instead of love)
*Bindi’s Bandanas offers matching accessory items (bandana and scrunchie) for the perfect Valentine’s Day couple.
Source: Bindis bandanas
4. Widen your horizon and celebrate as well Galentine’s Day (13/02) and Singles Awareness Day (15/02) with the right products
Did you know that the US sitcom called Parks & Recreation made Galentine’s Day popular in 2010? It is now celebrated just one day before the big V-Day and is meant to honor the friendships between all the ladies, single or not. Singles Awareness Day, as the name indicates, is dedicated to singles. In essence, it is a V-Day for singles. Surprise your customers pleasantly, and show them that you keep up with the current times and trends, offering to each target group a little selection of products. For instance, you can display each day different discounted products. A great way to boost sales, if you ask me.
*Special book for special girlfriend (Galentine’s Day preparation in the book store Panta Rhei, 2020)
*Special beer for special self (Singles Awareness Day celebrated by Raleigh Brewing Company, 2021)
5. Organise fun contests and reap the benefits of user-generated content
Many people might be thrilled to participate in contests and share their stories on social media when the prize is desirable enough. As the biggest fans of your brand, the regular customers are onboard anyway. The newcomers can be engaged via user-generated content spread by your current customers. For that reason, you should always generate meaningful hashtags and encourage people to use them. On Valentine’s Day, every interactive post on social media, especially if it’s linked to some fresh product/edition, is efficient.
*Harper Collins asked 2020 from its customers to share their thoughts about the classic movie Love Story (1970). The prize was a new edition of the same-named book.
*Merci invites to design a cover of a chocolate box with a personalised photo and message (2021).
6. Offer irresistible discounts
If you run out of time to organise something big but still want to celebrate V-Day, then offer discounts. Your customers will appreciate it much as probably after Christmas celebrations they still feel reserved with the money. Remember, also -20 % is a significant discount. You could concentrate on unique Valentine’s Day products or offer all the red/orange/purple-coloured products at a special price to boost sales.
Jewellery designer Tanel Veenre offers unique heart-shaped rings at a special price (2021).
7. Wow your customers with a little surprise present
Give every customer who purchases in your online shop a little present. It is a simple gesture that helps effectively strengthen your customer relationships. For example, among other marketing strategies, Kriss Soonik gave a small Geisha chocolate box with every purchase made in her online shop. It is worth mentioning that as a lingerie designer she got inspired by her favourite chocolate Geisha, and created the whole collection based on the brand’s colouring. She came out with it just before Valentine’s Day 2020. The whole campaign with Geisha had a great success.
8. Don’t forget to promote your business using all kind of channels
Multiply the effect of Valentine’s Day campaign and be versatile. Use all the social media platforms, send an email notifying your customers about the irresistible offers and keep the blog alive with fresh posts. It is recommendable to update the newsfeed multiple times throughout the week using the same theme and concept (of your Valentine’s Day campaign) but altering it a bit each time and adding some new shades or angles to it.
Victoria’s Secret came out with the special Valentine’s Day collection (2021) and promotes it via all the possible mediums, platforms and channels. Here is a gorgeous promo video about the models (of course in sexy lingerie) sharing their thoughts about the brand’s favourite holiday of the year.
Some of the ideas shared here are maybe too grandiose to execute if your business is still growing. On the other hand, there is a charm in simplicity. Sometimes you do not need much to boost sales online on Valentine’s day, but the idea and timing must be perfect.
Even if you do not plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day big, do something small just to spread love and happiness among your customers (or alternatively if you’re not a big V-Day fan, target Valentine’s Day cynics with some witty greeting). Share your thoughts, feelings, or give a movie recommendation for the night!
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
We hope these ideas and examples inspire you to create original marketing content for your business and brand. Let us know if any of these recommendations and ideas work for you and what is the outcome. We are always happy to receive feedback.