Cash in on Valentine’s Day Sales by Not Focusing on Romance

by
February 14, 2019

Valentine’s Day is the first major holiday of the year. It’s also in the top 5 U.S. holidays with the most retail sales, behind the fourth quarter holidays, Mother’s Day and back to school. Flower, candy, jewelry and clothing companies rack up the most product sales, but there are opportunities for online retailers in many categories to get Valentine’s Day revenue, too. It just requires some knowledge and creativity.

A good place to start is with the 2018 Valentine’s Day information compiled by Statista and provided by the National Retail Federation (NRF):

Key takeaways include:

  • Valentine’s Day gift recipients include family members, friends, pets, teachers and co-workers, in addition to significant others
  • Almost 15% of the 45% of Americans who won’t be celebrating are planning to spend money on something for themselves

While many retailers are focusing on the biggest piece of the pie (gifts for significant others), there is money to be made by focusing on other gift recipients.

Family Members

Shoppers are most likely to buy gifts for family members, after significant others. A chunk of those sales will be for flowers, candy, jewelry and clothing, but there are other options as well. For example, for those wishing to show their love to an entire family, buying one gift that the whole family can use is a great choice.

In a Redbook Magazine online feature, suggested family gifts included a vintage popcorn popper, board games, an air fryer, candles, a cork globe, personalized family mugs, a karaoke machine, and an ice cream mixing set.

Further, Individual family members can be marketed to as Moms, Dads, parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts and uncles. A Popsugar feature on Valentine’s Day gifts for parents under $25 showcased items such as this bath bomb set. “By giving the mom on your list these sweet bath bomb sets ($20, originally $30), you’re presenting her with an experience: an hour of relaxation, soaking in an aromatic bath.”

Teachers and Classmates

My husband was a teacher for many years, and I can vouch for the fact that he got lots of Valentine’s Day gifts. While candy and gift cards were the most common, he’d also get items for the classroom, our home, and more. Plus, parents (including myself) would also include little gifts for our daughter’s classmates inside their Valentine’s Day cards. I hated to give candy, so I’d look for small items to include, like fun school supplies or toys.

Teachers and kids’ classmates are another great market for online companies at Valentine’s Day. If you have products that would appeal to this group, include the words teachers or classmates in e-mail Subject Lines, social media, websites and other marketing efforts.

Friends

We love our friends, and Valentine’s Day is a great time to show our love. But wait — there’s a new holiday that ups the ante for female friendship on Valentine’s Day. It’s called Galentine’s Day, and it went from fictional to full-force soon after it was introduced in a Parks and Recreation episode in 2010.

Amy Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope, states: “Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” She also gives out heartfelt gifts.

Today, society has embraced this concept. There are Galentine’s Day parties to exchange gifts with your BFFs. You can even buy a Galentine’s Day card from Hallmark. Gift ideas run the gamut, and that means opportunities to showcase all types of online gift ideas. Don’t forget to include “Galentine’s Day,” “BFF Valentine’s Day Gifts” or other words in your marketing efforts, to remind shoppers to buy gifts for friends.

Pets

Sometimes the most important person in our life is not a person — it’s our pet. We love our pets, and what better time to show our love than on Valentine’s Day?

If you do a Google search, you’ll notice many Valentine’s Day Gift Guide recommendations for pets. And they’re not just from pet companies like Chewy. Mainstream and lifestyle media outlets such as Romper, Hello Giggles and Woman’s Day online offer their Valentine’s Day pet gift recommendations.

The Woman’s Day gift feature includes items like the Chewy Vuiton Shoe Toy, Pinot Meow Cat Wine (it’s catnip-infused) and Valentine’s Day-themed pet collars. Practical gifts, such as dog beds, bowls and leashes are also included in these guides.

In addition to products for pets, gift guides offer ideas for pet lovers. In a Barkpost Valentine’s Day gift guide for dog lovers, items included a custom watercolor dog portrait and mugs featuring dogs.

Using phrases like “Valentine’s Day Gifts for Pet Lovers” or “Show the Love to Your Best Friend Fido” reminds shoppers to buy gifts for their pets and for the people who love them.

Co-Workers

You might spend more time with your co-workers than you do with your significant other. Valentine’s Day is an obvious time to show the love. Just make sure not to show romantic love to your “work wife” or “work husband.”

For those important folks, as well as your awesome co-workers, fun and/or functional is the way to go — such as funky plants, cool coffee mugs, and colorful lunch boxes.

Not sure if you should give cards or gifts to friends at the office? You’re not the only one. “Attempting to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the office could be seen as a violation of discrimination laws,” according to an article in The Balance Careers. When in doubt, don’t.

Singles

Did you know that half of the U.S. population identifies as single, and a quarter of them say they plan to do something for Valentine’s Day, according to Entrepreneur online, which reported on Bing statistics and analysis. Singles are willing to spend on themselves, too. A single man will spend $71 on average during the holiday and a single woman will spend $40. In addition to experiences, singles treat themselves to products in every category.

In fact, the month leading to Valentine’s Day is the busiest time of year for SinglesSwag, according to Jonathan Beskin, Founder and CEO of the monthly subscription box for single women.

But you don’t have to make products specifically for singles to get Valentine’s Day sales from singles or from those who love them. Just include them in your marketing efforts. Fun phrases include “Stylish Valentine’s Day Gifts for Single Girls,” “Amazing Anti-Valentine’s Day Gifts Your Single Friends Will Love,” and “Single or Not, Buy Yourself a Valentine’s Day Present.”

Final Thoughts

Start the year off strong by focusing on non-romantic Valentine’s Day sales. Tailor your marketing efforts towards Valentine’s Day gifts for family members, teachers and classmates, friends, pets, co-workers, and singles. Showing the love to everyone on Valentine’s Day gift lists will bring some love in the form of strong sales to your business.

 

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