Valentine’s Day sees the ability to find itself monetised throughout ecommerce – whether loved ones expect flowers, a meal for two, a weekend city break or a new fashion or lingerie item from the luxury sector, Valentine’s day is a great opportunity for online brands to boost sales and see profits – all while reducing cart abandonment rates.
It’s essential to know the sales patterns within your niche, such as the best days for ecommerce sales, throughout the year and during holidays such as Valentine’s Day. This information allows businesses to create the correct campaigns at the right time and tailor the ecommerce customer journey to the consumer’s visit. For some retailers, such as online florists Interflora and fashion brands like Boohoo, Valentine’s Day is the busiest time of the year – so it’s essential to have a great ecommerce strategy in place to convert customers.
What Is The Commercialisation Of Valentine’s Day?
Before Valentine’s Day as we know it, the date was originally celebrated by sending loved ones handmade gifts and cards. However in 1913, Hallmark would add Valentines cards to their growing inventory, arguably kickstarting the now commercialised holiday.
In the UK alone, Valentine’s Day spending came to a huge £1.37 billion in 2022 after Statista predicted £990 million, up from £926 million in the year previous. We can gather that people took hold of the chance to celebrate Valentine’s Day in person following the previous year’s “virtual-only” Valentine’s Day – with UK etailers experiencing a boost in online traffic and sales leading up to February the 14th.
Valentine’s Day Online Trends
According to most recent SaleCycle client data, online traffic peaked around a week before Valentine’s Day 2022, painting a picture about how online browsing can be affected by Valentine’s Day campaigns and advertisements leading up to the penultimate date. Countdown timers are a great way to create even more urgency around these particular kinds of campaigns, reminding consumers of the important date ahead.
We can also see a second peak in online traffic on the 13th February – the day before Valentines Day. Last-minute shoppers also need to be considered when it comes to significant gifting days, including Valentine’s Day. By offering next-day delivery options in your shipping processes, these consumers can be captured right up until the last minute.
Much like online traffic taking place before Valentine’s Day, online sales also see a peak in volumes right before the event – on the 13th of February.
This peak occurs before a significant lack of sales between the 11th-12th, perhaps suggesting that online consumers are waiting for the best last-minute sales and offers before committing to a sale. With the rise of mobile commerce, online shoppers are able to easily access and browse more sites than ever before – which bodes well in terms of traffic and add-to-cart volumes, but can increase browse abandonment and bounce rates.
Browse reminders and browse abandonment emails can be utilised here, to entice consumers back to your site and continue their customer journey to the checkout.
What Are The Top Best Selling Products For Valentine’s Day?
According to global studies in purchase behaviour, it has been found that sweets and chocolates make up over half of the items sold in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, followed by flowers and then greetings cards.
SaleCycle’s client data from our 2022 Fashion Ecommerce Stats and Trends Report has also found that in the month of January (in the lead up to February the 14th), lingerie items including ‘’bras’’ and general ‘’underwear’’ sold peaked in sales – perhaps alluding to the Valentines date.
How Do I Advertise My Product For Valentine’s Day?
It’s clear that there are a great number of businesses, from retail to the travel industry, that can benefit from advertising their products and services around the Valentine’s day period.
Here are 7 great ways to advertise your products and boost your brand presence in the run up to February the 14th.
1. Drive Urgency With Countdown Timers
Adding a little urgency to your Valentines campaign can have a positive impact on conversion rates. To drive consumers to their baskets and target last minute shoppers before Valentines Day, countdown timers can be used as cart abandonment retargeting both on-site and in email marketing.
Countdown timers allow ecommerce businesses to show a countdown to sales starting or offers ending. This can also reduce basket abandonment, leading to increased sales.
2. Use Targeted Popups
Pop-ups, overlays, on-site messaging. Whichever term you choose to use, this mode of onsite marketing can produce excellent results when used well. Ecommerce marketers mainly use pop-ups for advertising limited deals around certain events – such as Valentines Day – to generate leads. The function of a targeted pop-up is to help to increase the engagement of your site visitors and in turn, boost conversion rates.
3. Promote Relevant Products
In any campaign, it’s important to emphasise products and services that are most relevant to the consumer – especially during holidays such as Valentines Day when there is a certain pressure to buy. This is where businesses should put their best product forward using well-placed imagery (or product placement), while considering landing page optimisation, for example. However, there is also an opportunity to boost the AOV of a potential sale.
Cross-selling and upselling can be utilised during commercialised holidays to make the consumer feel like they are getting more from their online visit – so why not try adding more relevant products in Valentines email campaigns.
4. Make Your Delivery Dates Visible
When your online visitors are ready to go ahead with their purchase, or booking, or any other conversion, it’s essential that the next step in the sales funnel is obvious – and fitting to their requirements. Making delivery dates clear (especially during a holiday) is essential to securing a sale by making a consumer feel assured.
5. Use Discount Codes
It’s true that most consumers use online shopping (as opposed to highstreet shopping) to be able to browse the best possible deals with ease. Etailers are in constant competition with one another to provide the best deals and ultimately secure sales – so it’s important to keep that in mind when creating your Valentine’s Day campaign.
SaleCycle offers the following abandoned cart coupon code ideas for your next Valentine’s sales period, to help you optimise sales without taking a financial blow.
6. Offer Personalised Benefits
Benefits such as promo codes and ‘’one off’’ discounts are an effective tool for ecommerce businesses, providing a way to entice customers and increase sales. They can be used in various ways, from offering discounts on specific products (such as a free box of chocolates with your Valentine’s Day flower order), to providing free shipping.
Special benefits can also help build customer service and customer loyalty by rewarding repeat customers or brand members with special offers and membership perks. By strategically using promo codes during holiday sales periods, and making your subscribers feel appreciated, online businesses can drive more traffic to their websites and generate more sales.
7. Offer Gift Guides
Much like ecommerce ebooks and product guides, gift guides can be used to highlight and inform customers – in this case, about Valentine’s Day-themed items and services.
Being able to provide great onsite or email-based copy about targeted products can help to drive sales through knowledge and confidence once the consumer has gained a better idea. SaleCycle provides great microcopy examples here, so that you can optimise the way you connect with your target audiences.
To wrap up this love story, online retailers should get involved in the Valentine’s Day Holiday, as long as they have key ecommerce structures in place – such as efficient shipping (offering features such as next day delivery), and timely campaigns to drive interest and in turn, traffic and sales.
It’s a time of year where shoppers are looking to spend which is great after January, in which people can be reluctant to spend after the heavy buying period that occurs between November and December.
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Casey is a Fashion Journalism graduate & ecommerce marketing executive at SaleCycle. Casey is committed to producing high quality content backed by in-depth research and data. She has experience developing content in a range of sectors including fashion, ecommerce and sports.