7 Lovely Valentine’s Day Promotion Ideas for Retail

Valentine's Day promotion ideas

As red and pink hearts begin to pepper the shop windows, it’s a reminder that Valentine’s Day draws near. Despite the proximity to Black Friday and Christmas period, Valentine’s Day remains one of the top holidays for boosting retail sales. In 2019, American consumers spent a record-breaking $21B on gift-giving during this period, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), with younger millennials (age 23-29) and Gen X leading the spending.

Whether if you have already started the Valentine’s Day retail marketing for your retail store, or still seeking ideas on what to do, you’ve landed on the right post. We’ve taken the opportunity to share 7 Valentine’s Day promotion ideas for retail to help you distinguish your brand, in-store and online, this season.

Valentine’s Day promotion ideas to try on and before Feb 14th.

Idea #1. Set up Valentine’s Day product displays and category

Nothing captures in-store shoppers’ attention more than the feature display section – typically placed right near the entrance. It’s the best place to display any Valentine’s Day-themed products that you want customers to notice.

Another idea is to set up a dedicated section for Valentine’s Day, so your customers have the opportunity to browse and get gift inspiration along the way.

In the example below, Target has set up an adorable section of display for Valentine’s Day sales. Notice that behind the display stand, the retailer has also dedicated entires sections for holiday-themed decor and products.

Target Valentines Day Display
Target’s dedicated Valentine’s Day display features candies, decors and home goods for the occasion.

The same concept applies to any eCommerce site. You can call attention to website visitors by placing a special Valentine’s Day feature section right on the home page of your website. Furthermore, you should also add a new “Valentine’s Day” category to the navigation that makes it easier for shoppers to find, explore, and shop the Valentine’s Day gifts.

For instance, Tiffany’s places its Valentine’s Day promotion front and center of its landing page. It also uses a reminder on the top of the page to ensure purchase delivery by the special date.

Tiffany Valentine's Day promotion ideas
Tiffany’s website places Valentine’s Day display front and center

Idea #2. Lead shopper to the right gift with Valentine’s Day gift guides

One of the toughest challenges of Valentine’s Day gifting, or any gifting for that matter, is what to gift. So any form of help you provide to your customers in finding the right gift will be appreciated. While it’s easy to showcase all your Valentine’s Day themed products in the gift guide, offering a filter mechanism on the products is a worthwhile effort – especially if you have a large SKU count.

The most common way of filtering on gift guides is gender-based. For example, “gifts for her” or “gifts for him.”

Here are some other ways to breakdown the list by:

  • Price (e.g., Gifts below $10, Gifts under $50m)
  • Interest (e.g., Sports, Tech, Cooking)
  • Product types (e.g., Sweets, Jewelry, Apparels) – this works best if you offer a variety of product types
  • Style (e.g., glamour, comfort, sexy, etc.)

Breaking down the gift guides into subcategories allows you to target your audience better. At the same time, it helps your shoppers to narrow down the options quickly, thereby minimizing any chance of product abandonments, and find the perfect gift in a shorter time.

Taking it a step further: Try adding witty remarks and fun descriptions to the gift guide. A good presentation and some humor can turn mundane items into exciting purchases.

Idea 3. Embed a themed and omnichannel Cart Abandonment automation sequence

Adding seasonal offers to your automated campaigns is a great way to freshen up your recurring campaigns, such as cart abandonment push notifications or browse abandonment emails.

You can replace the entire email template design to reflect a more “lovely” design for the holiday. Alternatively, you also can inject a small banner within the email template with the latest offers for a quicker solution.

Triggered campaigns such as abandoned cart emails or push notification tend to have a higher conversion rate compared to standard newsletters. Including design variations and seasonal offers can further boost the effectiveness of these campaign metrics.

For additional inspirations: Check out our post on Valentine’s Day email subjects for higher open rates.

Idea 4. Offer Valentine’s Day Themed Gift Bundles

Product bundling is a tried and test method in retail. Product bundles, or package deals, are several individual goods sold as one combined package.

valentine's day product-bundles
Examples of product bundles – gift baskets comprised of individual products.

There are multiple ways product bundles can benefit retailers. First, product bundles give a sense of discount, attractive to shoppers who is on the hunt for a bargain. Bundling can increase the average order value by selling more items than if they were sold individually. It’s also harder for customers to price-compare with other shops to get to the absolute lowest price points.

For Valentine’s Day promotional bundling, pick the complimentary items from your product catalogs to create a set. Ideally, include the products that have elements related to Valentine’s Day – such as colors of red and pink, or patterns in the shape of hearts. If not, you can also use theme-related packaging, like red ribbons or sparkles. Finally, the pricing of the bundle should be lower than individual products combined for the discount effect.

Idea 5: Cater to alternative audience groups for greater inclusivity

While traditionally Valentine’s Day is celebrated between couples, why not broaden the scope a bit in the spirit of greater inclusivity? After all, we celebrate the concept of Love – no matter if it’s romantic, familial, or brotherly! In fact, among Valentine’s Day spending, 16% of the gifts purchased during Valentine’s Day are for family members.

In your Valentine’s Day promotion plans, consider including products, messages, and design that can fit various groups, including:

  • Family members (kids, parents, siblings)
  • Friends (Galentine’s Day)
  • Self (promotion of self-love is a popular trend now)
  • Pets (let’s not forget our furry little friends)
Valentine's Day promotion ideas for Pets
Valentine’s Day promotion ideas for Pets. Example from Petsathome.com

So even if your store doesn’t carry products that fit into the traditional mode of Valentine’s Day gifting, perhaps that can change with a bit of creativity!

Idea 6: VIP events

In an age where customers can shop online, offering a unique experience to your top customers is a good way to strengthen those relationships and build on such advocacy.

The holiday occasion is a wonderful opportunity to organize retail events for your most treasured customers. The type of event you should host will depend on the demographics of customers you cater to. What activities do they enjoy? Given it’s Valentine’s Day, the event should be themed accordingly, with the invite to be shared among two participants.

For example, if your brand sells jewelry, you can choose to offer a romantic night of cruise and champagne, along with custom engravings for the jewels as a memorandum for the occasion.

Idea 7: Run contests or giveaways with the winners announced on Valentine’s Day

Contests are great ways to grow consumer interactions, garner user-generated content, and strengthen the bond between the brand and its customers. The best part is that contests are relatively easy and inexpensive to plan and execute.

You need to make four critical decisions to run a successful contest.

  • Define a goal. Deciding on the outcome of the contest can help inform the nature of the contest and answer the subsequent questions. Your goal can be getting customer likes on social, collect user-generated content, broaden brand awareness, or even getting direct sales.
  • Set the prize, including how many winners there will be and how they are selected. The perceived value of the award should be proportional to the effort required to enter the contest. So consider the prize relative to what you’re asking participants to deliver.
  • Determine the channels used for promoting and running the contest. Popular channels are social media such as Facebook and Instagram, as they offer a massive reach to audiences. You can also run competition entries in-store, by placing a 2-Way QR code by the registration, so it’s easy for customers to scan and submit an entry while they wait to check-out.
  • Establish the timeframe. Lastly, be very specific on the timeline of the contest, when it starts, end, and when the winners will be announced.

Spread the Love and reap the rewards

There you have it, seven Valentine’s Day promotion ideas that you can set to action.

Like all marketing campaigns, the key is in the details. Take the time to come up with fun designs and creative text to go along with any of these promotional ideas to achieve an optimal outcome from this upcoming Valentine’s Day.

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Joyce Qian

View posts by Joyce Qian
Joyce runs Growth & Strategy at ContactPigeon. On a daily basis, she ponders on different ways businesses, big and small, can grow and achieve success. Outside of work, Joyce loves reading, traveling and exploring her new found home in the ancient city of Athens.

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