After the busy Christmas and January seasons, Valentine’s Day is a welcome opportunity to increase sales for the nation’s retailers. With an estimated £1.6 billion spent on gifts and treats, it’s a not-to-be-missed event. Sage Business Expert Jeremy Corner shares his top five tips to make the most of the romance-inspired sales bonanza.
1. Put some love into your window display
Even if you’re not selling what’s perceived as “typical” Valentine’s products, there’s no reason not to have fun with your window display and engage with passing trade. For example, my local British Heart Foundation charity shop lets local people write loving messages on heart-shaped paper and sticks them up in their window. It’s a great way to build interest around your shop and draw people in. If you’re an online-only retailer you should look to engage potential customers by showing some love via your web and social media channels.
2. Offer a Valentine’s Day deal
Everyone likes a deal. So what could you offer couples or customers that fits with Valentine’s week? Some of our retailers offer a free greetings card with Valentine gift purchases of £30 or more. You might have a giveaway of heart-shaped sweets with every order that week. Or run a promotion saying ‘we love our customers so much we’re giving everyone 10% off on Valentine’s Day!’ You could even offer further discounts to couples who kiss at the checkout!
3. Have a range of price points
In the UK we spend over £40 million on Valentine’s cards each year. I know one retailer that was able to take over 300 card transactions on greeting cards alone last Valentine’s Day thanks to contactless payments on his card machine. Offer a range of prices to suit every budget to make the most of the opportunity. British men spend over £120 on average on Valentine’s Day so be sure to have some suitable higher ticket items as well as lower-priced options like greeting cards.
4. Buy sensibly
Although it’s useful to have some products that have the specific word “Valentine” on them, try and make sure that a lot of the stock you buy has more generic love messages. That way they’ll still be saleable after the big day as anniversary presents and so on. You don’t want to be stuck with leftover stock until next year rolls around. Also, be sure to stock items that will sell at a price point to suit your target audience.
5. Shout about it!
The media is always looking for fun and quirky stories around Valentine’s Day. If you do decide to go for it and do something really fun, draft a simple one-page press release and let your local media know about it. This will give you a bigger presence locally and should help drive more business through your doors. At the very least, make sure you get some great images onto your social media channels and your website.
Be sure to make the most of seasonal retail opportunities like Valentine’s Day and plan them into your annual marketing calendar and budget. Make sure your customers feel the love!