Valentines Day is the first big shopping holiday of the year, so let’s make sure you start 2016 off on the right foot by making this your most successful Valentines Day yet.
Shoppers spent about $19 billion on Valentines Day last year with roughly 3 in 5 shoppers saying they would prefer to buy their gifts online. Seeing as how Valentines Day can be such a big day for ecommerce retailers, here are 7 tips to make sure your site shares in all the love.
1. Give a Gift
You have to give a little to get a little, so show your customers some love by offering them a discount or free-shipping. Even retailers that don’t sell the typical Valentines gift can do this. Have a look at the promotion by Zenni’s, an online eyeglass retailer. Glasses probably aren’t your go-to gift this Valentines day but a promotion such as this one helps to drive sales while ensuring your customers don’t feel left out.
2. Friendly Fulfillment
An uncertain delivery-time during the holidays can be stressful, so make sure your customers don’t end up in the dog house by having their gifts arrive late. With delivery guaranteed before the 14th, retailers can drive conversions while giving shoppers piece of mind.
But the biggest jump in sales occurs in the days just before Valentines. So if possible, offer last-minute fulfillment options such as in-store pick up or same-day delivery. Retailers should even reach out to their shipping partners to review volume forecasts and arrange a back-up plan to avoid delays.
3. Switch up Your Site
One way for retailers to have some fun with their Valentines promotions is to use a themed-design on their website. Switching up your site isn’t going to increase sales in itself, but it gives shoppers a positive impression of your brand and shows that you care. For some inspiration, take a look at some of the Valentines logo’s Google has used over the years:
But make sure that any changes are mobile-friendly. Data from IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark found that mobile accounted for 46.5% of traffic on Valentines last year and 23.2% of online sales. You may even want to offer a mobile-friendly payment method.
4. Don’t Forget to Email
Email tends to be the most effective way of letting your customers know about current or upcoming promotions. In fact, emails drive at least three times more sales than social media and has a 17% higher average order value. Consider segmenting your email lists by gender because men and women will be looking for different products. Just don’t send too many emails. While your customers may appreciate the odd promotional email or gift guide, an overload of emails might turn them off.
5. Social Love
While email is the top traffic driver, social media is also a great place for you to advertise your promotions and connect with customers.
One way you can use social is by holding a Valentines-themed contest. For example, with Valentines Day being all about togetherness, you could ask customers to post a picture of themselves with their significant other (girlfriend, boyfriend, cat, or whatever) with your product, and send the winner a gift. This way you encourage existing customers to engage with your brand while ensuring that you reach new potential customers as well. For some added engagement you could even let your followers vote for the winner.
Social can also be a great place for product reviews because 77% of online shoppers use reviews to make a purchase decision and 71% of consumers are likely to purchase an item based on social media referrals.
6. Start Early, End Late
Some shoppers start buying gifts fairly early, so give these shoppers a reason to visit your site by starting any promotions early. But others aren’t as keen to do their shopping ahead of time. I’m sure you’ve seen the florist packed the day before Valentines. So make sure you keep any promotions going until the last minute. This will help to ensure that your site is capitalizing on the 21% increase in sales during the week leading up to Valentines Day.
7. Don’t Spoil the Surprise
Nobody wants to spoil someone else’s surprise, but a $200 charge from her favorite store on a shared credit card statement is a dead give away. Retailers should accept multiple payment methods so that customers have some flexibility and don’t necessarily have to use a card they share with their significant other. Having an option such as FuturePay is even more discrete, because where the purchase was made doesn’t show up on a monthly statement.
There are more techniques you can use to help boost your sales this Valentines day, but these 7 will help get you on the track to making this your most successful Valentines day yet.