Valentine’s Day is worth around £850 million in the UK. Get involved in the dedicated day of love, and supercharge your sales if you’ve had a slow January.
It doesn’t matter what area of retail you work in; there are always ways you can make your products more appealing, whether it’s with a loved-up display or an in-store giveaway. Let’s explore how you can promote Valentine’s Day and increase your in-store sales.
Everyone loves receiving a gift when they make a purchase. If you can entice people with something of value they’re more likely to shop with you.
Don’t give away something that’s going to hurt your profits, but make it special enough that someone could give it away as a gift. Also, it’s best not to go too niche with this one; it has to appeal to a broader audience.
If you want to step outside the box and give the customer the option to personalise their gift, you could give away two coupons per person, where each person can write a Valentine’s request.
You can do this in-store and promote it via your social media channels – presuming you have a substantial following. Ensure the raffle is worth entering, a meal at the local Wetherspoons is probably within reach of most people.
You could make the raffle an optional extra and charge £1-2 or give customers an incentive by setting them a ‘target, for example, ‘if your sale hits £30 we’ll enter you into our prize draw for a meal for two at the Hilton Hotel’.
Videos need prior planning, but you won’t necessarily need any special equipment if you’re confident in front of the camera and you have a good quality phone.
If you can inject some fun and personality into your videos, you’re likely to attract some attention. Video is often underestimated by retailers, especially sole proprietors or small independent stores. Include your product range in your videos and offer customers some tips.
For example, if you’re a food retailer, you could take items from your store and show customers potential recipes for a special Valentine’s Day meal.
One surefire way of getting people through your doors is to have a sale. Everyone likes discounted goods, and Valentine’s Day is no different.
You don’t have to go in and slash 50% off all products, but simple sales strategies like BOGOF or BOGOHP.
Ensure you promote your sale in your shop windows and use your marketing team to get the message out.
Product bundles are a smart promotional strategy if you get the right items together, think video game stores bundling games consoles, games and various accessories.
Or the Happy Meal phenomenon which started in 1979 and continues to this day. When we shop, we’ll tend to buy cleaning products or hygiene products in small bundles.
Bundles take away much of the ‘thinking’ associated with buying gifts and often come with a small saving.
However, you should be able to purchase the gifts individually as people may not want everything in a bundle. Some shoppers like to know they’ve selected the goods, so bundles aren’t for everyone.
You can advertise your bundles in your shop window, which should help you increase footfall.
Valentine’s Day is all about sharing love, so why not take a social approach and partner with a non-for-profit.
If they have products you can sell on their behalf you can use them, or you can donate a percentage of your profits to the organisation.
You’ll be raising brand awareness, contributing to a worthy cause and making your customers feel good in the process.
The fact that someone is buying something from your store means they’re already considering Valentine’s Day.
Checklists are an excellent way for store assistants to strike up a conversation with customers and make them feel welcome in the store. You could include things like ‘book the table for dinner’ or ‘pick up a bouquet’ on your list.
You could even start giving out the checklists in late January, so people start thinking about what they need to buy.
How you do this will all depends on your position on Valentine’s Day. You won’t find a florist or a chocolatier with an anti-Valentine’s Day message.
What you can do is offer single people discounted goods, for example, if you’re single you might feel like pampering yourself, so luxury beauty goods are still open to the singles market around Valentine’s Day.
You should separate your Valentine’s Day merchandise from your usual stock, just as you would at Christmas and Easter. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t add touches to different areas of your store.
Grouping all your products in one place will make it easier for customers to find them and make a decision on what they want to buy. If it’s easy to find your merchandise, you’ll get more sales.
If you’re selling other brands, this can be a little tricky as they’ll already have a marketing message attached to them.
If you produce and sell goods, you need to give people a reason to buy them.
For example, if you’re a florist, what makes your flowers different from everyone else’s? Could you dye your flowers to make them unique?
If you do sell other brands, it’s good to develop a strategy to sell them as well. For example, if you’re a mobile phone vendor, you could play on the fact that couples like to take selfies and use it as a promotional message.
Add a romantic touch to products that aren’t seen as traditional Valentine’s Day gifts.
Plenty of people do their gift buying on the day, so bring your employees morale up by getting them involved. You could order in some Valentine’s Day cakes or arrange a bake sale where the winner receives a voucher.
The more involved your employees feel, the more likely they are to be upbeat and friendly about promoting products.
Parents, children, friends – Valentine’s Day is open to everyone, as retailers look to maximise profits and make the day appeal to a wider audience.
It’s similar to the focus on singles, as Valentines was mainly aimed at couples until a few years ago. Single people are being encouraged to celebrate singledom while couples are invited to celebrate the love between them.
Consider stocking items that appeal to everyone, in the coming years Valentine’s Day could become more about a celebration of love for anyone not just couples.
Traditionally, men spend more money than women on Valentine’s Day. However, should it be that way? If Valentine’s Day is more about spreading love among one another, men should get a slice of the action, too.
You’re probably going to make more money by aiming most of your products towards men buying for women, but consider your store and what you sell. If you run a men’s clothing store, you won’t want pink banners and love hearts everywhere.
Not everyone knows what to buy on Valentine’s Day, and not everyone wants to buy something on Valentine’s Day. Being upbeat, positive and energetic is not always the best self-promotional tactic.
Teach your employees how to read customer body language, which will determine how they approach people. Correctly approaching people is a great promotional tool as it shows you understand someone’s needs.
People that already buy from you are more likely to buy again, so focus on them and try to get their business before they go elsewhere. If you have email marketing, you could give them an in-store discount.
If you know people by their face, you can have a chat with them and ask them what they’ve got planned, make some recommendations and let them know you’re there to advise them.
You now feel more equipped to make the most of your sales this Valentine’s Day, visit our Valentine’s Day page and check out our seasonal stock.