An Ecommerce Guide to Valentine’s Day
Written by Team 365 finance
Valentine’s Day is an immensely popular holiday in Britain, and not just among couples: businesses love it too, as it’s a great opportunity to boost sales by offering seasonally appropriate goods like flowers, chocolate, and other giftable products. Plus, since modern shopping habits mean that online shopping for Valentine’s Day tends to be the norm, ecommerce businesses in particular have a lot to gain.
However, boosting your sales on Valentine’s Day isn’t as simple as putting “Valentine’s Day sale” on your homepage and waiting for the revenue to roll in. It requires careful planning and preparation. So, we’ve created this article to share our top tips for making the most of Valentine’s Day as an ecommerce business.
Read on to discover our advice on marketing, product selection, and website optimisation, as well as a selection of statistical insights about online shopping for Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day Ecommerce Statistics
It’s important to perform some level of market research before you start investing in seasonal preparations. Even for well-established peak seasons like Christmas, you should look into your potential seasonal revenue to ensure you don’t spend more than you can make back.
To jump-start your market research, we’ve provided a few statistics below. These should help you get an idea of the scale of the Valentine’s Day ecommerce industry.
- Around £1.37 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day in 2022, with the average spend per person sitting around £23.
- Research from commerce experts Signifyd shows that those figures dipped this year. Overall spending on Valentine’s Day 2023 was down 2% compared to 2022, and the average order value was 16% less.
- However, the number of orders and products purchased per order increased, suggesting that consumers were buying higher quantities of low-value goods.
- In 2022, February 2nd and February 13th represented the biggest spikes in online sales. On the 2nd, digital revenues rose by 99% compared to the daily average for February and by 72% on 13 February.
If you’re interested in what your target market might like to purchase, research by online charity sales platform Shopiago found a significant number of younger people were looking to shop sustainably on Valentine’s Day, with 31% of 18 to 25-year-olds saying they’d prefer to buy a second-hand Valentine’s Day present, compared to just 10% of 55 to 64-year-olds.
1. Capitalise on the Idea of Gift-Buying
There are tried-and-tested strategies that an ecommerce business can apply to maximise sales during gift-giving seasonal events. We’ll explain them below in the context of online shopping for Valentine’s Day, but keep in mind that these can also be applied for occasions like Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.
- Instil a sense of urgency: Add countdown timers to the 14th on your homepage, or send email reminders that it’s never too early to make a purchase.
- Offer threshold discounts: Valentine’s Day ecommerce is defined by high-value purchases, with jewellery being the most common example. Offer discounts or add-ons like free shipping for orders over a certain value to encourage customers to make bigger purchases.
- Last-minute shipping: The 13th is a huge day for online shopping for Valentine’s Day. You can access a share of this market by offering last-minute fast shipping. If necessary, consider using retail finance solutions to be able to afford last-minute shipping rates.
2. Optimise Your Site for Mobile
Mobile shopping makes up 60% of all ecommerce sales. Therefore, you need to make sure your website is optimised for mobile users searching for their ideal Valentine’s Day gifts.
Exact techniques for mobile optimisation will differ depending on the platform you’ve used to build your website (some website builder platforms actually do a lot of optimisation automatically), but here are a few general tips:
- Autofill forms where possible to minimise typing.
- Offer streamlined payment methods (like Apple Pay).
- Create efficient, low-text product pages that accurately portray product specifications, regardless of screen size.
- Minimise page load speed.
- Eliminate pop-ups.
If you don’t have the technical know-how to make these changes, consider using a website designer. Designers can be costly, but they’re worth it. Consider accessing retail finance options to acquire the ecommerce funding you need to hire an experienced designer.
3. Use Segmentation
Audience segmentation is a marketing strategy that involves a business separating its target audience into a number of different subgroups in order to deliver more tailored messaging and thus boost the effectiveness of any marketing campaign. Segmentation generally requires a reasonable amount of customer data, so ensure you’ve collected this through surveys or website profiles.
For Valentine’s Day, consider segmenting your target audience by age, as different age demographics can have significantly different preferences for gifts. If you know the age groups that frequent your website and their gift preferences, you can build tailored marketing materials displaying those gifts and send them directly to customers ahead of February 14th.
Segmenting your audience can also make website design easier. For example, if you’re adding a new Valentine’s Day section to your website and you know the gift preferences of your different segments, you can link to those product categories through the Valentine’s Day page. This reduces the time customers spend shopping and makes it easier for them to make purchases.
4. Seasonal Discounts, Promotions and Marketing
Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to offer discounted prices on your products, which is always a great way to increase conversions and attract new customers.
However, make sure you’re discounting the right items: prioritise easily giftable goods or products typically given as Valentine’s Day presents (chocolates, flowers, jewellery, and so on). If you cannot reduce prices directly, similar promotions like buy-one-get-one-free offers or free shipping (as we mentioned above) are always popular with consumers.
Additionally, remember that another critical aspect of holding a sale is marketing it properly. You can use your social media accounts to get the message out about any offers or promotions you will provide over February. When using social media, try to give your posts an appropriately Valentine-related theme: use love hearts and a touch of romance where possible.
5. Guide Your Customers Where Possible
Online shopping for Valentine’s Day can be tricky, regardless of the relationship, as there are so many ‘perfect gift’ options out there. So, try to make shopping easy for your customers by posting inspirational gift guides on your website and social media — you could do a long-form blog for the former, and a bullet point list for the latter.
You can also suggest different products by editing product and pillar pages. If a specific item is a popular gift, advertise that on its product page or in a graphic elsewhere on your website. Segmentation helps here, as you could have different “most popular gifts” depending on the recipient’s age, gender, or interests.
Finally, consider cross-selling. If a customer selects a product, and there are other goods that complement it, try displaying these links on the initial product page or at checkout. For instance, you might be able to remind a customer with an electric razor in their cart to pick up some shaving cream just before they’re ready to pay.
Achieve Your Valentine’s Day Sales Goals with 365 finance
Some of the suggestions we’ve provided above may require some level of investment, particularly the points requiring you to edit your website in the lead-up to Valentine’s day. In these instances, you may want to seek out retail finance solutions. At 365 finance, we offer an excellent funding solution in the form of Rev&U.
Rev&U provides revenue-based finance that can give the required boost you need to purchase extra inventory, as well as afford paid and organic marketing efforts in advance of Valentine’s Day. Revenue-based finance is an easily accessed, low-risk funding solution, so you can acquire the money you need without worrying about huge repayments.
At 365 finance, we can provide both long and short-term financial solutions, with revenue-based funding available from £10,000 to £400,000 in capital. Apply for Rev&U today without affecting your credit score, or speak to our team to find out how we can help your business. To find out more, head to our website.