Prep Your E-commerce Site for Valentine’s Day
Any holiday associated with gift giving presents opportunities for e-commerce businesses.
Valentine’s Day is no exception. People spend a total of $18.9 billion for Valentine’s Day gifts and celebrations, with each person spending around $100-$200 a piece to please their loved one.
If any of the products you sell would make sense as Valentine’s Day gifts, then you should be thinking about how to make your website work extra hard this February so you can tap into some of that spending.
Here are a few steps you can take to get your e-commerce site ready for the holiday of love.
1. Identify and highlight your most gift-worthy products.
Go through your product offerings to identify the items that make the most sense for someone to buy as a gift for a significant other. Create graphics and copy for your homepage and other relevant pages on your website to highlight these products as great Valentine’s Day choices for anyone who visits your website during the weeks leading up to the holiday.
For someone struggling to figure out what to buy their partner, you’re making it easier for them to see their options and make a decision, which makes it that much more likely for them to click through and make a purchase. Take a look at how Amazon does it:
2. Bundle relevant products together to make better gifts.
Some couples will be hesitant to buy a product for Valentine’s Day that they fear will seem cheap or like it’s not enough for the occasion. One way to overcome that concern is by packaging multiple products together.
For example, let’s say you sell soap, bubble bath, and candles. Each one of those products on their own might not seem like much of a gift – imagine just getting a bar of (admittedly nice) soap for Valentine’s Day – but packaged together into a nice-looking gift basket, they’re suddenly an attractive Valentine’s Day option.
Go through your product listings with an eye for items that can be combined into even better products together than they were apart. And make sure you include these combo-products in the list of items you highlight throughout the website leading up to the big day.
3. Offer Valentine’s Day specials.
Everyone likes to feel like they’re getting a good deal. If anything that’s especially true on Valentine’s Day, since many people are looking for gifts that seem expensive or fancy without necessarily wanting to spend a huge amount. So give your visitors what they want. Offer them high-quality items that will clearly make great gifts at prices that won’t leave them broke going into March.
Promote your specials on the homepage, to your email subscribers, and throughout the rest of your website. And make them time sensitive to encourage shoppers to order faster, rather than putting it off until it’s too late.
4. Create Valentine’s Day themed content.
While content marketing is a long game, that doesn’t mean it can’t be put to good use for seasonal marketing. Use your blog and any other content platforms to push out content related to Valentine’s Day.
Think about questions your customers are likely to have and challenges you can help with. You could put together a Valentine’s Day gift guide (with some of your own products included), write a blog post on great date ideas (maybe including an idea or two that involves one of your products), or create a video on how to make tasty sweets for your partner (that happen to use an ingredient you sell). Not all of the holiday content should necessarily promote your products directly, but make sure it’s relevant in some way to your brand and what you sell.
You can provide helpful information to potential customers, bring new visitors to your website, and improve your SEO for Valentine’s Day related searches all at once.
5. Offer affordable fast shipping.
For any gift-focused holiday, timing matters. Giving someone a gift on February 16 just won’t play out the same way as getting it to them on Valentine’s Day itself. For e-commerce sites, that means the worry about products shipping in time can make visitors hesitate to press that “buy” button.
The best way for you to overcome that objection is to make it clear when your customers will get their products. For early shoppers, post on your site how long they have left to put in their order and still get it in time using the cheapest shipping option, as in the Spreadshirt example below. For late browsers, promote the shipping option they need to choose for guaranteed delivery in time (Choose 2-day shipping to get your order before February 14!).
And if you can afford it, make those shipping options affordable. Expensive shipping costs are a big cause of cart abandonment, and you don’t want to lose a sale at the last minute because the shipping doubles the total cost of the purchase. Look for ways to make the cost of shipping affordable for both you and them. That could be a flat fee, free shipping for orders over a certain amount, or free shipping for Valentine’s Day orders made by a certain date. If you can remove that barrier to purchase, you can count on more sales.
6. Offer free or affordable gift-wrapping.
You know the whole point of most Valentine’s Day purchases is that they’ll be given as gifts. If your customers can receive the products already fully wrapped, you’re removing another pain point for them and making their life easier.
Free gift-wrapping can earn you some serious good will and make people more likely to buy, but even just making it an affordable add-on can make buying from you this Valentine’s Day a better experience that makes them more likely to come back to your brand in the future.
7. Keep your marketing inclusive.
Valentine’s Day is very couple-centric, and most marketing reflects that. But heterosexual couples aren’t the only ones that celebrate Valentine’s Day, and making your marketing more inclusive is a way to stand out and reach part of the market other brands often forget.
Single people spend money on Valentine’s Day too. Whether they use the opportunity to celebrate friendships or invest in self-care, they’re an audience worth considering in your marketing as well.
And remember that not all couples that celebrate Valentine’s Day are heterosexual. If you make your marketing all about gifts for “him” and “her,” you’re leaving out a lot of potential LGBTQ customers. Look for ways to craft your marketing messages so that they include everyone.
8. Optimize for mobile.
Optimizing your website for mobile shopping should be second nature to you by now, but it’s at least as important that all of your Valentine’s Day online marketing be mobile friendly as it is the rest of the year. About half of all Valentine’s Day e-commerce searches come from mobile devices, according to Bing’s data.
Make sure the promotions you use for Valentine’s Day work as well on a mobile device as they do on a desktop, so you don’t risk losing half of your customer base to a bad user experience.
To your Valentine’s Day success…
Even if you don’t sell candy and flowers, you may be able to make Valentine’s Day into a success for your brand. Valentine’s Day means different things to different people and romance and self-care aren’t one size fits all. Think about your audience and what gifts and product options are likely to be most meaningful to them on Valentine’s Day and create your marketing campaign for the holiday based on that.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.