Valentine’s day is nearly here and over the last year more and more people have opted to do their shopping online, so this February is unlikely to be an exception.
If you want to maximise your February sales, then understanding shopping in the month of love is essential. Here are our top tips for making this Valentine’s Day the best ever for your business.
TIP ONE: Make the most of the latest Valentine’s Day shopping trends
There’s no danger of people going off chocolates, but there are always great new gifts coming to market. The big change now though isn’t just what we’re all buying, but who we’re buying for.
Is your pug your best pal? Your dachshund your dependable friend?
If you said yes, then you might not be alone. In the last year, there has been a huge increase in the amount of Valentine’s gifts being given to pets, with 25-34 year olds buying most of these, followed by 18-24 year olds, so this might be a huge trend over the next couple of years.
This is a great example of a market that is still untapped, so even if you don’t supply gifts for pets right now, it’s a good time to consider them, expand your inventory, and ask your CSS Performance Partner to promote your best items. Add these must-have items and Valentine’s Day will become the time for customers to have a real love affair with your brand.
It’s not just what your customers want, it’s how they find it…
Another key change each year is the way people search for gifts, and this is especially true for online sales. When it comes to search terms, obvious examples come up frequently like ‘Valentine’s Day Ideas’ and ‘Valentine’s Day ideas for girlfriend’, but there are some less generic searches to consider when planning the wording for your Shopping Ads and campaigns.
Examples over the last year have generally been variations of these:
- Surprising him/her
- Most popular and best gifts
- Creative, unique and DIY gifts
- Expressing romance and love
- Gifts for young and new love
Because of the wide range of search terms and their variations it’s useful to discuss Ad wording with your CSS Partner and decide how your products can be targeted to make the most of these searches.
Playing with your food this Valentine’s Day
Let’s assume you actually are buying for another human. Well, chocolates and a nice meal are Valentine’s standards of course, but over the last few years the typical Valentine’s meal has been changing. A few years ago, chocolate-flavoured envelopes looked like the must have item for hungry couples when sending cards. This year, Kraft have innovated further with a limited run of sweet, pink ‘Candy Kraft Mac & Cheese’ for a lucky few, so the novel food idea is clearly here to stay.
TIP TWO: Don’t forget to promote those ‘traditional gifts’ though
Despite novelty shopping habits like gifts for pets, British consumers mostly stick to traditional gifts like lingerie, chocolates, and roses, so it’s important to stand out as the best at what you do and not just rely on having the widest range of novelty items on offer.
UK shoppers also tend to buy their gifts on the 13th of February, which is hopefully a trend that will start to decline! This is where CSS Ads are useful, as by seeing images and the best prices at the top of the screen, shoppers are more likely to make purchases straight away and not wait until the eleventh hour.
With traditional gifts like chocolates proving they have staying power, it’s clear that novelty is not always the answer. To a lot of people, a chocolate is just a chocolate, so they will be more interested in great offers and a reliable service than the product itself.
Understanding this means that you can increase sales through ‘Valentine’s Day Bundles’, promote less popular items as ‘Great Valentine’s Gifts’ and by using a great CSS Partner you can make sure it is your Shopping Ad that people see first - great for capitalising on those impulse buys!
TIP THREE: Create a buzz around your brand
Getting your Shopping Ads right through a CSS Partner is number one for online success, but what else can you do? One great idea is to build excitement around your brand and best-selling products leading up to the event.
Firstly, what are your best-selling products? In this case, best-selling means the things which are popular around Valentine’s Day specifically. We can all guess a few of these, but as we’ve seen it’s not just flowers and chocolates that people search for, so establish what you have on offer that will sell better now than any other time of the year.
What went well last year?
A great way to decide what to promote this year is to check your inventory from last year. Did you find grey teddy bears did worse than red ones? Perhaps you sold loads of chocolates, but everyone bought the medium size.
Not only does this show you what you need to keep more of in stock (red bears & medium chocs in this case), it also means you know which stuff needs a gentle push, so you can do combo deals to move old inventory, creating the ‘Great Grey Bear and Giant Chocolate Box Valentine’s Combo Offer’ at a better value price, meaning a wider range of goods is picked up throughout February.
Gift Guides: Showing customers what they are missing out on…
Perhaps the reason that British shoppers buy Valentine’s gifts so late is that they cannot decide what to get, lacking inspiration or feeling that the fourteenth of February is a mandatory obligation, instead of something to get excited about.
This must change – so create a handy online guide to help your customers find inspiration. This guide can be organised just like your shopping site, allowing customers to search through by categories like ‘For Him’, ‘For Her’ (or ‘For Pets’ of course!) to find presents for certain groups, or simply by gift type, e.g., ‘Food & Booze’ or ‘Clothing & Underwear’.
Creating these guides is a great opportunity to show your best product images, which can match those in your Shopping Ads or any other advertising campaigns you have running. By using a similar design or branding for everything, you create instantly recognisable products, which your customers will recognise straight away. This is a trend already being picked up by lifestyle magazines, so replicating their format means your customers will enjoy browsing, and you’ll enjoy increased sales!
Valentine’s Day social campaigns are great
While Shopping Ads mean you stand out in searches, if you want to maximise sales, it is also crucial that more people search for what you sell to begin with. With your best products being promoted through your Ads in conjunction with the gift guide, the next step is to promote them effectively through all your social channels.
Fans of your brand can help
A great way to get customers involved is to share their Valentine’s images on your social channels, holding or using one of your products, to show how great it is in real life. This is free promo for your company, it creates a conversation around the product and gets people searching specifically for your brand or the goods you want to promote. Still not convinced? Then check out this great campaign from MeUndies which ran a couple of years ago.
Influencers + competitions might be the perfect combo
If your products need an extra push, it’s a great idea to partner with the right influencers and build your brand. A great way to implement the power of influencers is to arrange an influencer-led giveaway. This will get your name out there through social-shares (because we all love something for nothing) and if you make subscribing or liking a requirement of the prize-draw, it’s easy to increase followers across your social channels.
Here’s what to do now…
If you sell pillows for pooches, the reddest roses or just have the best prices around, then hitting your Valentine’s campaigns hard is a must for maximising sales. Get your best products in a guide, prioritise them through your CSS search terms, then get your followers to start sharing and February 14th will be a date (get it?) to remember.
Still not getting the results you want? Then get in touch with us to find out how CSS is exactly what you need for maximising Valentine’s sales every year. Click HERE to contact us now.