After Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day is the next big holiday on the calendar. Gift giving on Valentine’s Day may not be as extreme as it is during the Christmas season, but it can still reach heights far beyond the typical day’s sales. Husbands and wives are usually out looking for extravagant presents to express their love and young couples are finding items to take their relationships to the next level. The day is also one in which children and their parents can express warm feelings toward one another through Valentine’s cards and sweet candy treats.
With so many gifts to be purchased, it’s a good idea to get your store ready ahead of the coming holiday. Give yourself as much time as possible to prepare so you can benefit from early-bird shoppers and last-minute scramblers alike.
The variety of gifts that people give on Valentine’s Day is quite broad. Husbands give their wives flowers and jewelry, children give their parents cards and everyone wants chocolates. To truly be a one-stop-shop, you have to provide items from each of these categories, even if they’re not normally in your inventory. Typically, you’ll be able to position small impulse-purchase items around your usual merchandise to encourage shoppers to make more than one purchase at a time. For example, if someone comes in to buy a piece of jewelry, they can add on a bar of chocolate without much effort.
To help you achieve better Valentine’s Day sales, you’ll want to make sure your establishment is festively decorated. Hanging paper decorations like our cardboard insert hearts, hanging paper fans and robust red Aztec balls will add some visual height to your show floor. Visual displays – especially those built around a solid theme – will get shoppers in the holiday spirit and help to gently push them toward a purchasing decision.
When it comes to the shoppers making these decisions, the typical demographics are somewhat skewed around Valentine’s Day. MarketingLand noted that there’s a noticeable shift in buying habits around the holiday. For example, during the majority of the year it is women who buy items such as flowers and lingerie – but around Valentine’s Day it is men who purchase those items as gifts. This means that your typical sales pitches and advertising methods might not work as well.
Keep this factor in mind when planning your strategy. Talk to your sales staff about how to position products in this new light. Use the skills you developed during the Christmas season. Unlike the rest of the year, you aren’t convincing the shopper they need the item for themselves, but rather convincing them that the product will make their loved one happy. Once you’ve done that, selling those add-on items is a snap.
And don’t neglect your gift wrapping services – those aren’t just for Christmas. Check out our high-quality Valentine’s Day wrapping paper supplies. Going the extra mile is worth it to keep those customers coming back. Plus, allBusiness reported that many male shoppers would rather have a professional do the wrapping than attempt it on their own.
Setting up your store for a holiday without a solid marketing strategy is a bit like throwing a party but forgetting to send the invites. A few people might wander in, but your face will be as red as the cupid decorations when you look at the empty aisles. If you’re doing something special and out of the ordinary for Valentine’s Day, use that as the primary message of your January and February advertising and social media campaigns.
“Your marketing strategy should be multi-pronged.”
As with all of your sales, you’ll want to have a multi-pronged approach to your marketing strategy. If you don’t have a big budget for advertising, your main focuses should be online campaigns and on-site signage. When it comes to sale signs, we’ve got you covered. As for your social media feeds, consider running some targeted ads through Google, Twitter or Facebook. When doing so, focus on the romance. According to Marketing Magazine many romantic ads get tens of thousands of shares and hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube – that’s people voluntarily watching advertisements! Even if a TV spot isn’t in the budget, focus your online ads and social media posts on the romantic emotions of the holiday.
The other big emotion people feel on Valentine’s Day is, of course, sugar cravings. Aside from selling chocolates as impulse items, consider offering sweets as free samples or enticements to draw people into your store. Have someone stand outside to hand out treats and create a welcoming environment. A little sweetness can go a long way.
It may sound like simple advice, but it can’t be said enough: be helpful to your customers. It’s so important to act as a personal buying guide because many of your customers aren’t sure what to purchase. As we mentioned above, Valentine’s Day shoppers are likely buying outside of their comfort zone. Men might be especially confused when it comes to buying jewelry or lingerie. Make them feel comfortable by asking questions about their significant other, and use that information to help them narrow their search. When they feel good about working with you and picking out the perfect gift, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase.
This is also another time of year when you shouldn’t neglect the children in your shop. They could be on the lookout for gifts for their parents or friends. And as your store grows and you become a part of the community, these young shoppers will be coming back year after year. Treat them as you would any other customer and you’ll find yourself with a regular shopper who sticks around for years.
Valentine’s Day is all about spreading good feelings and helping people show appreciation for their loved ones. Your store is an integral part of making the holiday truly special. Use festive visual display techniques and a targeted marketing campaign to hone in on those unique shoppers. And as always, we’re here to serve all of your supply needs.