Valentine’s Day Ecommerce Tips

By | January 16, 2013

In 2012 consumers spent over $17 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts. That was up over 8.5% from 2011 and is expected to increase again in 2013. Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas in spending. Among the top retail industries popular at Valentine’s Day are:

  • Jewelry- $1.6 billion in 2012
  • Restaurants- $9.5 billion
  • Flowers- $6.6.billion
  • Candy $2.7 billion
  • Greeting cards -$5.5 billon
  • Gift cards 1.1 billion

Here are some tips to help make sure your site is ready to grab some of those holiday sales!

Email Marketing

With all the spam and other marketing messages flooding consumer’s inboxes, you need to make sure your marketing emails stand out from the crowd and get noticed. Start with a strong subject line, one that gets to the point without overuse of punctuation, capitalization and vague fluff like “WOW! READ THIS!” Also be careful to avoid words that trigger spam filters such as Clearance,Opportunity, Bargain and “$$$”

 

Your design should be festive yet clean and uncluttered. Resist the urge to use flashing or moving images. Target the messages to specific groups such as gift suggestions to men for their wives and pet friendly gift ideas for dog and cat lovers. Make sure your messages lead to a polished, well designed landing page that doesn’t overwhelm the customer and makes it easy for them to find and purchase exactly what they are looking for. Finally, don’t forget to send your loyal repeat customers a special Valentine of their own, and consider offering a special after Valentine’s Day discount.

Affiliate Programs

Make sure your affiliates know about any Valentine’s Day promotions you’re running, and create some if you don’t! Use sites like Retailmenot to your advantage if you don’t have an existing affiliate program and submit coupon codes with promos. You may also want to consider setting up a promotion with a daily deals site like Groupon or Living Social, but be sure to read the fine print and familiarize yourself with how they work before diving in.

Site Optimization

Your site represents your company and speaks volumes. Make sure you have a festive landing page with a few appropriate images along with your promotional info. Highlight popular gifts and daily deals. Offer gift sets and gift baskets to increase returns while making gift giving easier.

Your social networking sites should be kept up to date and promoting the same deals and discounts. Consider offering your Facebook fans a special deal for liking your page and promote it on Twitter and other social outlets.  Make sure your site has been thoroughly tested and that your IT team is ready to handle any problems. Many companies have seen their special promotions result in angry customers because their site crashed or ran too slow after they were announced. Another way to get yourself angry customers is to not keep your inventory up to date. If something sells out, don’t slap an “Out of Stock” notice on it (or worse, not let customers know until AFTER they order it), remove it from the site completely until inventory is replenished.

PPC

For a successful PPC campaign, consider a temporary budget increase, especially if your deal is time sensitive. Pour over the data from your previous PPC campaigns to see what worked and what didn’t. If you’re new to PPC, run a few test ads in Google AdWords first to see which ones have a better conversion rate.

Valentine’s Day can be a profitable holiday for your site if you do your homework first and make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. While you’re making sure your site and marketing materials are sure to draw in new customers, don’t forget to thank the ones you already have so they’ll keep coming back too. With the right strategies in place, you’ll be feeling the love on Valentine’s Day too!