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 £1.6bn 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 website 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’s 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 more than £40m on Valentine’s cards each year. I know one retailer that was able to take more than 300 card transactions on greeting cards alone during one Valentine’s Day due 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 more than £120 on average on Valentine’s Day, so be sure to have some suitable higher ticket items as well as lower-priced options such as greeting cards.
4. Buy sensibly
Although it’s useful to have some products that have the specific word “Valentine’s” on them, try and make sure that a lot of the stock you buy has more generic love messages. That way, you’ll still be able to sell them 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 on to your social media channels and your website.
Be sure to make the most of seasonal retail opportunities such as Valentine’s Day and plan them into your annual marketing calendar and budget. Make sure your customers feel the love!
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