For the past 2,000 years, Valentine’s Day has been the day that the amorous celebrate their love for each other. In recent times, however, it has become the unofficial celebration that gives retailers a boost in the lull between Christmas and Easter. Last year, lovers spent an impressive £980m with the most purchases made online between February 10 and 12. Data from Criteo found that over half of Valentine’s sales were purchased on mobile devices, demonstrating the shift in shoppers’ habits with mobile increasingly replacing the way we make purchases.
As retailers take advantage of people’s passion (or panic), how can smaller businesses ensure they’re at the forefront of customers’ minds at this time of year? Here are some tips to help your business drive ROI on romance on February 14.
Online retailers are increasingly putting mobile at the forefront of their ecommerce strategy to engage customers. The relationship between retailers and customers is quickly shifting from the shop window to the mobile screen, largely due to convenience and habit as mobile use becomes integral to our daily lives.
When it comes to that carefully thought-out gift for your Valentine, instead of trawling through high street shops, Criteo data found that over 50 percent of sales of flowers and gifts came from mobile devices. With 2.5 million Brits shopping daily via mobile, it is fast becoming a primary ecommerce channel for all retailers. In fact, companies who are leaders in mobile web maturity see 39 percent more conversions in sales than late adopters.
As a small business, maximising your presence across social media platforms can be one of the quickest and most cost effective ways to attract shoppers. For millennials, mobile shopping is fast becoming the only way to make purchases, with 10 percent of 18-34 year olds buying on mobile every day. Those who are active on social media are 3-4 times more likely to buy on their phone, with over half of Snapchat and Instagram users being the biggest mobile buyers.
Given that Valentine’s is a highly “Instagrammable” holiday, injecting that lusted after image on your business’s social channels can be one of the key drivers that affects consumer decisions. A well-timed snap or Instagram post could decide whether or not someone is getting spoilt on the day.
Make the most of lovers’ generosity
Valentine’s gifts can be a minefield to navigate with flowers, chocolates and perfume all merging into one after a while. Giving your online shopfront a creative boost can make all the difference in cutting through the noise. Creative digital marketing isn’t the reserve of large businesses; even putting a small budget behind online advertising could make a big difference to your Valentine’s Day sales.
Criteo data found that Valentine’s shoppers don’t just buy standalone gifts, but are the most likely to buy cross-sell items. They’re more inclined to throw a candle or a personalised teddy into their online basket alongside their flowers, so retailers should make the most of shoppers looking to wrap up their shopping in one go.
Tardiness is a virtue
The biggest peak in Valentine’s sales happens around now, in the few days leading up to the event. Flowers are usually top of the agenda, with a 220 percent rise in sales. However, while retailers often try to entice shoppers as early on as possible in February, there is still a period after the 14th which sees purchases still being made.
The health and beauty sector interestingly sees sales peaking both before and after the day. Small businesses in that sector in particular should take advantage of the lingering love in the air by running promotional activity in the days after the 14, while there’s still appetite for gift-giving. Whether it’s people who are trying to redeem themselves or the fact that the gifts are always going to be evergreen, post-Valentines could present the biggest opportunity to drive additional sales.
By Thomas JeanJean, Managing Director Europe, Mid Market, Criteo