It’s easy to get lost in the craziness leading up to, during, and in the weeks following the winter holidays. However, there is another major opportunity for online retailers just 5 weeks away that can’t be forgotten in the shuffle, the 2nd biggest gift-giving holiday of the year: Valentine’s Day on February 14th! In fact, after Thanksgiving and Christmas, Valentine’s Day is the highest consumer spending holiday overall. With record spending for Valentine’s Day in 2012, more of the same is expected this year. It’s also reported that roughly 30% of celebrants will turn to the internet to do their shopping. Calling it “Christmas in February” might be an overstatement, but it’s still a significant piece of business that should be prepared for.
While most of this money will be spent on gifts for the shopper’s partner; like flowers, candy, and cards, there will still be a great amount spent on less romantic gifts for parents, friends, children and even pets, making the holiday relevant to online retailers of all different types. Being just around the corner, it’s never too early to start thinking about gift-oriented features and strategies to both drive traffic and facilitate a smooth conversion.
Nexternal clients should consider some of these best practices for a gift-oriented holiday of this magnitude:
- Create a Valentine’s Day Coupon or discount and send out with a bulk email. Nexternal clients can do this with the Mail Wizard in the Customers section.
- Enable Multiple Ship-to Addresses in a single order. Many customers place orders containing multiple products intended for more than one person. This can be activated in Settings/Site Options/Multiple Ship To.
- Enable Preferred Delivery Date. This is a great way to allow the customer to specify their ideal delivery date and offer peace of mind that their package will arrive in time. (Settings/Site Options)
- Allow Gift Messaging and Wrapping. This is a nice touch when also allowing for multiple ship-to addresses, since it’s likely that the product is being shipped directly to the gift recipient. These can each be turned in Settings/Site Options.
- Consider creating a Valentine’s Day Category. For products that would make good gifts, try drawing more attention to them by establishing a temporary category and making it a secondary home for those items.
Remember, the eCommerce calendar is a circular one. While it’s easy to focus on the big holidays, there are several hidden gems throughout the year. Easter and Mother’s Day are not too far away, so keep this entry bookmarked! Don’t be shy about exploring other ideas with your account executive either!