Six Valentine's Day Marketing Tips

valentine's day

Make the most of the Valentine’s Day season. With a considered approach, and careful marketing, even a business only distantly connected to romance can really come to love this time of year.

Valentine’s Day 2020 is set to be extraordinary. Over 32 million Britons will be spending money on their significant others this Valentine’s day, and National Retail Federation data from January 2020 found that US Valentine’s day spending will surpass 27 billion USD this year. This astonishing figure, based on a survey of more than 7,700 Americans, is 32% higher than the figure in 2019, and well beyond the 14.1 to 20.7 billion USD range of Valentine’s spending seen between 2009 and 2019.

This is a golden opportunity, much like Black Friday, or the Chinese opposite occasion, Singles Day. To make the very most of this special occasion, try making use of these Six Valentine’s Day marketing tips.

1. Focus on last minute shoppers

The internet is a golden saviour for the late buyer, with data showing that February 13th is an incredibly profitable spending day for florists. saw their web traffic surpass 195,000 daily visits on February 13th, and then reach over 290,000 on Valentine’s Day itself. The speed of this jump is dramatic, considering that between 5th and 6th February 2018, their daily visit numbers were between 70,000 and 89,000.

While it is important not to entirely ignore those who plan ahead of the rush, a major focus should be on those who are shopping late. Time specific offers, extra marketing emails and additional social media content can really work wonders in the few days before Valentine’s Day.

2. Don’t ignore the singles

While Valentine’s Day might be the holiday of romantic love, that does not mean your marketing approach needs to ignore or alienate those currently lacking romance.

Data from the US, UK, and Canada puts the unmarried portion of the population at between 40% and 49%. While some percentage of those will still be in romantic relationships, even if half are not that means that between a quarter and a fifth of any national market is entirely single, and thus not effectively targeted by advertising based around romantic love.

Unless your products are explicitly romance centred, a good strategy is to leverage other types of love. The “Galentines day” trend, a celebration of platonic female friendship is one such angle. Other options include the love between pets and their owners, such as the “Palentines Day” collection released by pet subscription service BarkBox in 2019. Or make the season a celebration of self-love and self-esteem, as was done by with their “Date Optional” campaign.

Speaking about this phenomenon in 2019, National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said “The vast majority of Valentine’s Day dollars are still spent on significant others, but there’s a big increase this year in consumers spreading the love to children, parents, friends and co-workers.”

A broader audience for a seemingly specific holiday is a marketer’s dream. Think carefully and creatively about how you can make your product appealing to those who might not have a partner, but have plenty of other types of love in their life.

3. Don’t market yourself, market togetherness

Because Valentine’s Day is about intimacy and closeness, many people can be sensitive about products trying to make it about them. This is why techniques like brand name hashtags are a bad idea.

Instead, take an indirect approach. When marketing your products or services around Valentine’s Day, sell the togetherness your products or services generate. A great example of this is the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s Valentine’s campaign, “Make someone fall for you, hook, line, and sinker!” or the Timberland green dating campaign to “Turn out the lights and see what happens!”

Being too forward on Valentine’s Day is a grave error. Instead, you need to be indirect and careful. Sell the togetherness your product can offer, rather than the product itself.

4. Be mobile ready

Mobile eCommerce’s growing importance is documented. 52% of all internet traffic move through mobiles, 45% of the world own smartphones, and 73% of internet users are projected to be ‘smartphone only’ by 2025.

2018 data from Criteo covering the flowers and gifts sector, shows that the trend of mobile sales spiking during weekends goes up even higher as Valentine’s Day approaches. European weekend mobile percentage of sales in January and early February hover at 38% to 42%. The weekend before Valentine’s Day, mobile phone sales reach 51% of online orders.

To make the most of this Valentine’s Day season, ensure your emails, your pages, and every other aspect of your online presence, is optimised for mobile viewings, and all the various mobile payment options.

5. Promote your gift cards

While avoiding the economic inefficiency of gift giving might not seem the most romantic option out there, gift cards still make up a substantial slice of the gift giving economy. According to 2020 data from the National Retail Federation, 22% of women and 16% of men will be buying their significant others gift cards.

This represents a great opportunity, not just for sales, but for brand awareness. A gift card means that you have an inbuilt customer. Someone who will be spending a good portion of time perusing, browsing, and considering your full selection of stock. This inbuilt opportunity to have a new customer’s full attention is exceptionally valuable.

6. Split by gender

Valentine’s Day means very different shopping experiences for men and women. There are some more obvious cases, such as how it is unlikely there will be many women buying their male significant others flowers, but other subtler trends are less well known.

Women are 5% more likely than men to buy their partners confectionery, and men are 8% more likely than women to splash out on an evening out for their partner. Greetings cards and clothing are evenly split, with women only 4%more likely to get their partner a card, and only 2% more likely to offer them something to wear.

This kind of information is exceptionally valuable with expectations of personalisation. Survey data from digital services supplier Avionos suggests that 70% of shoppers expect a personalised online shopping experience. 78% would be more likely to shop at the same site again if the personalisation is on point. Use data like this to make sure that however you target your sales, you take gender divergences into account.

Valentine’s Day is a golden opportunity for eCommerce stores of all kinds. By making sure you know who to target and how best to reach them, you can seize this day of celebration for all its fullest worth.