The ‘Day of Love’: Valentine’s Day in E-commerce

As online purchasing continues to increase in popularity, we are seeing more Valentine’s Day gifts bought online. Indeed, it’s predicted that loved up Britain’s will spend around £650 million on gifts this year, with around a third of these purchases taking place online. With Valentine’s Day spending eclipsing Easter now, there is clearly a huge potential for online retailers to capitalise on the holiday.

The most popular product categories

UK consumers spend on average £28.45 on gifts, with men spending more than women. Interestingly, older millennials spend the most on their partners, averaging £81. 50 percent of those celebrating the holiday will research, compare or purchase their Valentine’s Day gift online.
As is to be expected, jewellery, flowers and candy head the list of gifts purchased online. Indeed, around 400 percent more flowers are bought or ordered in the week running up to Valentine’s Day than during the rest of the year. A simple search on Google brings up a plethora of adverts promoting discounts on flowers and next day delivery.

Last minute marketing pays off

Like many holidays, Valentine’s gifts are often bought at short notice, spurred by retailers such as Amazon offering next or same day delivery. It is reported that 12thFebruary is the most popular day to purchase gifts online, especially those gifts that fall in the lower price categories (for example flowers or chocolates).
Therefore, it is important that retailers make their online presence stand out in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. The use of banners, promoted gift guides and social campaigns are crucial for driving these last minute sales. For example, Tiffany & Co display prominently on their homepage the last order date for gifts to arrive on time.

Online retailers are showcasing gift guides and last shipping dates on homepages (Source: Tiffany & Co.)

Speed and reliability wins

Retailers that offer express or same-day delivery will come out on top during the run-up to Valentine’s Day. As mentioned previously, a large portion of gifts are bought either the day or two days before the big day, so a reliable and speedy delivery service is key. To keep customer enquiries low, retailers should focus even more on proactive and personalised customer communication. Since the gift needs to arrive on time, customers need to be kept up-to-date about the status of their order, any potential delivery problems and the location of their parcel.

Exploiting cross-selling opportunities

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to make the most of cross-selling opportunities. Showcasing product suggestions and complementary products can drive sales even higher.
Personalised dispatch messages are the perfect platform for implementing cross-selling in your post-purchase strategy. Product suggestions or discount codes for their next purchase can easily be integrated into all shipping messages, thus increasing the repurchase rate.

Conclusion

Those who still think that Valentine’s Day cannot be capitalised on by online retailers are wrong. Gifts for loved ones are increasingly being ordered both online and at the last minute and ecommerce stores should take advantage of this. Additional options such as same-day delivery pay off particularly well in the week running up to Valentine’s Day.
Cross-selling opportunities should be exploited. Through creative marketing, reliable support and personalised customer communication, online retailers can hugely increase their sales on and around Valentine’s Day.

About the Author: Katharine
Katharine is Head of Marketing Communications - EMEA. An avid shopper, Katharine is passionate about helping retailers understand the importance of efficient post-purchase communications. When she isn’t looking for the latest trends for our blog, Katharine loves discovering new restaurants in London.