Valentines

Love is in the air; but are you making the most of it?

Ah Valentine’s Day, a time for hearts, flowers, chocolates – and some of the best sales figures an online merchant could ever wish for. Romance is big business, last year consumers spent over $17 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts, up 8.5% from 2011 and it’s expected to increase even more this year. It is second only to Christmas spending, so retailers cannot afford to take it lightly. Here are five marketing ideas for Valentine’s Day to boost your sales and show your customers some love!

As your stereotypical man, I readily admit that picking the right gift for my wife is often quite challenging. By offering leading categories for your products, such as “for him” and “for her,” you can guide the customer through both the purchase and decision-making process.

The last thing you want is a vast array of products to boggle and confuse the buyer. Clinton Cards provides lots of product suggestions to help steer their customers in the right direction and even enables users to filter cards by character, relationship and style.

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The art of seduction

If you’re anything like me, you‘re likely to have completely forgotten about Valentine’s Day and therefore spend the day before in a mad panic trying to find a present online. If that is the case – the last thing you want to be doing is wasting time trying to work out how to actually buy the thing. The placement of your call to action buttons plays a crucial part in seducing the eyes of these types of visitors.

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It should be located where the user would expect to find it easily. Above the fold, beside a product, in the header, top right navigation; it should be obvious and not hard to find – Just like Thornton’s. It’s also a nice touch to offer gift wrapping. It might be extra effort, but may just well be what untimely pushes the consumer to hit the buy button.

From the heart

When’s the last time that you told your customers you loved them? Use Valentine’s Day to design a marketing campaign that highlights how much you appreciate your customers. Reward your most loyal customers with a special offer such as money off their next purchase, or free shipping. This message will make your customers feel valued and keep your business or services fresh in their mind.

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Make sure Cupid’s bow hits the target

People will be more inclined to buy from you if they know exactly how long it will take to deliver, and if their single red rose is going to arrive in time for the big day. Ensure your presents turn up to the right address by installing address validation on your site. Giving your customers delivery specific delivery time can really give your company a competitive advantage against others currently on the market.

It’s equally important to account for those shoppers who leave it to the last minute. Consider a last minute store pick-up option for anyone who might have missed the posting dates.

Valentine’s Day customers are primed and open to additional propositions, if you get my drift. The more relevant you make your recommendations, the more likely they are to throw caution to the wind and indulge in that extra purchase to earn them a few extra brownie points! Hotel Chocolat has got this down to a “T” by suggesting further products you may be interested in.

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How many times have you gone into your local supermarket looking for bread and ended up buying half the store? The bread is strategically placed towards the back to encourage you to view more products that may interest you along the way. In the same way, recommending other products to a customer may just tickle their fancy and is one of the most effective ways to increase your online sales.

Share the love

The pre-Valentines period provides ample opportunities for online retailers to take advantage of social media. Update your Facebook page and tweet frequently. Your customers will like to keep informed of any promotions, gift ideas, offers or news you may have. If you have a blog, get updating it more often. Pack it full with product reviews, promotions and anything else that will engage your customers. Correctly-executed blogging can project a positive brand image and drive new traffic to your website.

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Valentine’s Day gifts are a multi-billion dollar industry. Use these quick and simple techniques to share the lurve!