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You need a sexy product and 5 other Valentine’s Day ecommerce myths

Yieldify’s Account Director Ky Ismet debunks commonly held Valentine’s Day eCommerce myths and offers his insights into how eCommerce sites can increase their conversion rates.

At one time or another we’ve all heard the sentiment ‘it’s the thought that counts.’

On Valentine’s Day, this simply isn’t true.

With Americans alone expected to spend $18.9 billion on gifts, [1] this Valentine’s isn’t just one for the romantics; it’s another great opportunity for your business.

With that in mind, we wanted to dispel a few Valentine’s eCommerce myths to help ensure your business performs this Valentine’s Day.

Myth 1: You need a sexy product

Valentine’s is an easy sell if you’re a florist, jeweller or confectioner. However, whatever goods your business sells – if you can find the right angle – you’ll be able to push your products this Valentine’s day.

MegaRed, a US based supplements seller, provide a fine example:

Their Valentine’s campaign ‘whose heart do you love?’ enabled customers to send a free sample of krill oil (known to be beneficial for the heart) to their loved ones – ensuring their ticker was in top shape for the big day.

In the B2B sector, Cisco successfully sold their eminently unsexy router with their tongue-firmly-in-cheek, ‘The Perfect Gift for Valentine’s Day’ video. Forget diamonds, holidays and carving your initials into a tree: the parody introduces Cisco’s router as the 4th way to woo your loved one and the ‘ultimate expression of everlasting affection.’

These examples prove that if you’ve got the imagination, you can sell almost anything on Valentine’s Day.

Myth 2: It’s all about couples

Valentine’s Day isn’t all about your customer’s partners.

This year buyers are intending to spread the love to family members (58.7%), friends (22.3%), colleagues (12.4%) and even their beloved pets (21.2%). [2]

If your customers are buying for all their loved ones, why wouldn’t your business target a broader audience?

A fashion retailer could, for example, nudge customers to ‘share the love with your children this Valentine’s Day’, making children’s products a part of their Valentine’s offering.

Myth 3: Valentine’s is optional (for your customers)

This myth contains a cautionary note for your customers.

A recent survey revealed 18% of people aren’t planning on buying their partners a gift this Valentine’s. [3]

This unsentimental minority may be in for a nasty surprise: separate research reveals that 53% of women would call time on their relationship if they didn’t receive a present on Valentine’s Day. [4]

Reduce both your site’s basket abandonment rate (and the number of break ups) over the holiday by gently reminding your customers just how important their purchase could be.

Myth 4: Men don’t expect much

Last Valentine’s Day, men spent an average of $108.38 on gifts, more than twice as much as women who paid out $49.41. [5]

This news will come as a surprise to the overly-optimistic men surveyed by Chase bank:

They anticipated their partners would spend $230 on their Valentine’s gift – higher than the women who were expecting a gift costing an average of $196. [6]

While the women’s market is still dominant, there is a clear demand for men’s Valentine’s gifts. By selecting the right products and using appropriate messaging your business could be well placed to take advantage of this market.

Myth 5: You need over-the-top discounts to stand out

Heavy discounts during Black Friday ‘blew some retailers off course at Christmas.’ [7]

Avoid pain this Valentine’s Day by eschewing the heavy discounts and offer your customers something different.

Simple touches such as a Valentine’s themed design and a well timed offer can be just as beneficial to your conversion rates as heavily discounted products.

For example 93% of online buyers are encouraged to buy more products if free shipping is included. [8].

If you have the margins, it’s definitely worth exploring.

Myth 6: Valentine’s Day buys are last-minute and in-store

Valentine’s is synonymous with the last-minute dash to your nearest store. Or, for the truly desperate, their local garage forecourt.

But perhaps this stereotype needs a rethink.

Last year online sales rose 21% in the week running up to Valentine’s Day [9] with online flower retailers Interflora and Serenata Flowers seeing a 30% growth in online sales [10].

These figures suggest that lovestruck buyers are now more willing to both plan ahead and spend online.

Also over 4 in 10 smartphone users will use their mobiles in their purchase process this Valentine’s Day [11]. Along with steady in-store sales the evidence point towards Valentine’s Day following eCommerce trends towards an omnichannel future.

Undoubtedly Valentine’s Day remains sentiment-soaked and bloated with hackneyed lovey-dovey cliché.

But this year, the holiday is modernising and evolving in line with current eCommerce trends.

Keeping in mind the above busted myths can help inform your brand’s online strategy for Mother’s Day, Easter and other key sales periods in the year ahead.

Want to learn more about how Yieldify can help increase your conversion rate? Click below to get in touch.

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[1] https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/cupid-shower-americans-jewelry-candy-this-valentines-day

[2] ibid.

[3] RetailMeNot

[4] http://www.statisticbrain.com/valentines-day-statistics/

[5] https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/consumers-keep-budgets-check-this-valentines-day-according-nrf

[6] Chase bank

[7] Nick Bubb, Retail-week.com

[8] https://blog.compete.com/2010/01/14/can-shipping-costs-affect-online-sales/

[9] http://tfmainsights.com/the-2015-ecommerce-trend-report/

[10] http://businesslife.ba.com/Ideas/Features/Lovenomics-the-business-of-Valentines-Day.html

[11] http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1012009