Valentine’s Day has long been an important day in the retail calendar, a day that can deliver a week or more of increased sales as shoppers splash out on cards and gifts for loved ones. In recent years, Valentine’s Day[i] spending has even outstripped Mothering Sunday and Easter[ii] and, in 2019, consumers were expected to splash out a whopping £1 billion.
Clearly then, with high street sales remaining sluggish[iii], the Valentine’s Day bonanza is one that few high street stores can afford to ignore. However, with florists, bookshops, restaurants, jewellers and fashion stores all vying for a Valentine’s Day sales boost, the competition is likely to be fierce – so effective promotion is vital.
Whether you are hoping to sell Valentine’s Day flowers, Valentine’s Day meals, or Valentine’s Day outfits, here are five quick tips to help you boost sales:
1. Create a Valentine’s Day Showcase
Visual merchandising, the best-known form of which is the good old fashion window display, is a tried and tested means of attracting shoppers – and an eye-catching Valentine’s Day display can elevate your store above the competition. Stand out by doing more than simply displaying relevant products. For instance, using a co-ordinated ‘colour palate’ or using a display to tell a story can help to move beyond the eye-catching, to really engage shoppers and attract them in store[iv].
2. Create Mixed Valentine’s Day Displays in Store
Research[v] suggests that Valentine’s Day shoppers are more likely than normal to buy more than one gift, so retailers who succeed in ‘cross selling’ are likely to do well. One way to do that is to create dedicated Valentine’s Day display areas in store – a range of complementary gifts in one area can help encourage shoppers to put more than one item in their baskets and wrap up their Valentine’s Day gift shopping in one go.
3. Use Valentine’s Day Promotions to Boost Sales
Valentine’s Day promotions offer another tried and tested way to attract shoppers, but that doesn’t have to mean offering discounts. For instance, free wrapping or a Valentine’s Day-themed gift with every purchase can be effective too. The trick with any promotion is to make your store more attractive to shoppers than the competition so, whether you choose to offer discounts or something more creative, the most important thing is to be relevant and to stand out[vi].
4. Use Social Media to Attract Valentine’s Day Customers
Whether you are selling Valentine’s Day chocolates, flowers, outfits, or meals, social media can be a great way to promote your Valentine’s Day range and sell more[vii]. Valentine’s Day is a highly ‘Instagrammable’ occasion, so great photography is a must. You can use images of individual products, window and in store displays, or anything else – but make it attractive or quirky and Valentine’s Day themed, because an eye-catching Valentine’s Day social media campaign can be a really effective way to bring in more customers[viii].
5. Use Gift Ideas and Inspiration to Attract Last Minute Shoppers
If you haven’t started your Valentine’s Day promotions yet, there no need to panic. Most Valentine’s Day shoppers are looking for ideas on what to buy their significant others[ix], and many leave it late. Around a third of shoppers buy Valentine’s Day gifts in the week leading up to the 14th February, and internet searches for gift ideas peak on the 12th[x]. So, you can boost Valentine’s Day sales by attracting those last-minute shoppers with gift ideas and inspiration – either publishing those ideas online or displaying them in store.
There are, of course, lots of ways that florists and other retailers can make the most of Valentine’s Day 2020, but these five basic ideas could help you get started – and remember, a little ‘retail theatre’ can go a long way[xi]!