February the 14th always brings the promise of something special: it’s a day where love is celebrated with small (or sometimes grand) gestures. Whether lovebirds exchange thoughtful gifts or share a romantic dinner, Valentine’s Day is always about showing how much your sweetheart means to you. Over the years, however, Valentine’s Day has gradually become a special occasion to celebrate friendships and families, in addition to romantic couples. So, how can retailers win their shoppers’ hearts this holiday? Here are five strategies retailers can adopt to delight their Valentine’s Day shoppers.
1. Personalize the Customer Experience
68 percent of retailers have made delivering personalized experiences a priority, and the ones who fail to deliver will fail to capture the hearts – and wallets – of Valentine’s Day shoppers. There are many sophisticated, yet simple techniques retailers can use to personalize the customer experience. For example, customers like to receive gifts, especially on occasions like Valentine’s Day: why not, then, include a small present for each purchase they make? For larger purchases or long-time customers, sales associates can also increase the gift value, and add a personalized note based on the customer information they’ve recorded in their clienteling solution. What’s more, each retailer can offer perks unique to their business, such as jewelers who can provide free engraving services. By adding a personalized touch to the customer experience, shoppers feel appreciated and are thereby more likely to return. Building customer loyalty is about setting the bar higher, not just meeting expectations.
2. Experiential Rewards Matter Too
Research conducted by NRF last year found that younger customers were particularly interested in gifting each other experiences for Valentine’s Day. Rather than offering point-based rewards, retailers serving younger generations can take a less-traditional route by providing an unforgettable experience instead. By offering experiential rewards such as a fashion photoshoot or a massage session for two, retailers have endless opportunities to innovate and delight their customers. While it may be smart to offer couples certain perks, your single customers still expect you to show them a little love, so be sure not to leave them behind.
3. Exclusive Valentine’s Day Promotions
Investing in a best-of-breed end-to-end centralized suite can help retailers manage their promotions more efficiently, across all departments. With analytics at the core, the right retail solutions can help predict the future. Modern software enables retailers to make the right decisions to handle promotions, and prepare for key events like Valentine’s Day, months in advance. Expertly-timed sales can also work wonders by offering Valentine’s Day bestsellers at a price that last-minute shoppers cannot resist. Nowadays, retailers need to invest wisely in core systems that allow them to unify their processes, rather than purchasing unproven new technologies. Showing your customers you care about them and sending them personalized promotions can also go a long way.
4. Look for Selling Opportunities Both In-Store and Online
Creatively incorporating Valentine’s Day into your marketing campaigns both online and in-store is essential if you want to captivate your audience. 83 percent of Valentine’s Day celebrants now own a smartphone, and emoji mobile messaging cards can be a fun way for brands to engage with customers and encourage online sales according to NRF. What’s more, having a social selling-friendly e-commerce platform is essential, as shoppers will be inspired visually when they’re purchasing items. Valentine’s Day can also be the perfect opportunity to run contests on social media, as most people like to show a little competitive spirit, all while enjoying being part of a community. Retailers should also visually engage their customers in-store, with appealing decorations and Valentine’s Day-related products all wrapped in beautiful packages to encourage purchases.