The season of love is in the air, and Valentine’s Day is just right around the corner. Many lovers, couples, and even singles are now scrambling their way to find the perfect Valentine’s gift for their boo – a little symbol or token to show how much they care for their loved one. And with shopping behaviors changing over the past few years, e-commerce enterprises are continuously adapting and learning how to service better the needs of our customers who would go out of their way to show their sweethearts that they are head over heels for them!
But Valentine’s day rush is no joke. Online merchants must get their hands ready to handle the heat of the season, which like most seasons of gift-giving, records dramatic increases in orders placed. But along with this increased demand for our products is a higher and more complicated task of making sure that deliveries are made on time, conducted safely and satisfactorily and with no hassle or damages. Nobody wants their Valentine’s day gift to arrive a week after the Day of Hearts and miss that great opportunity to profess their love and care.
But worry not, our dear online sellers; in this piece, we will outline some of our tried and tested tips and guidelines on how to oil your machinery and get your engines ready for a foolproof (at least, mostly) Valentine’s day selling campaign!
Craft a strategic marketing plan
For things to work, we must have a clear, forward-looking, yet actionable plan of action. It must be made of steps to achieve our goals and a comprehensive look at the aspects that need emphasis. We must also be keen enough to look at which activities, tasks, or other types of plan complement and supplement each other so we can be successful in our objective to rake in profits and be of service to lovers this Valentine’s season.
Careful preparation. And it’s too much if only one head is thinking. Team up with your best buds or partner with a marketing agency – what’s doable is what we’d do, but the name of the game is bigger sales, bigger satisfaction, and a more solid and loyal customer base. We can plan promotional activities that cater to our most loyal followers, and also, hand out freebies, and put up ads to gather more customers to try out the products.
Once the plan is firmed up, the next step is actually to implement it. Effective implementation requires a clear designation of tasks and allocation of workload so that all team members can do things that match their skills and abilities while having that allowance and optimum condition to become more creative and own up the campaign as their own personal advocacy.
Define the goals to achieve within the timeframe
It’s good to be ambitious, but we must also keep our feet on the ground and be cautious at the same time that we do not bite off more than we can chew. Setting defined, realistic, doable, and achievable goals are the key to persisting in the, at times, dog-eat-dog world of business. It’s important that we set clear and defined metrics to measure our success against so we don’t put undue pressure and be drowned in unnecessary frustrations as to our effectiveness.
There are several criteria that you have to consider when setting your goals, and one of the most important is your current capacity and where your strengths lie. Also, take note of opportunities that you can grab to increase your capacity in the long run. Clear objectives serve as that shooting target where your team can focus their sight on hitting the mark. You may do so by being precise in the percentage of sales growth that you want to achieve. When you have goals as clear as these, you are activating the imagination, creativity, and resourcefulness of your team to cook up ways to win.
Add that Valentine’s flavor to your recipe
For customers, Valentine’s Day is a very important date. After spending on Christmas gifts, they start again to save up money and visit sites to look up the perfect gift for their loved ones. And we’re here to give them the venue to fulfill their wishes. Weeks before V-Day, we must be able to put out teasers, initial product lists, and other details on where they can buy their Valentine’s gifts.
Think like a customer
When choosing and curating your products or even acquiring seasonal product offerings, you must always think like a customer. Use their perspective in decision-making. Think of what is important to them, how they would like their loved ones to feel, what they themselves like receiving, and how much they’re willing to spend. This practice will give you an idea of how to build the right combination of products to sell and highlight.
Advertise and market extensively
Prepare Valentine’s day themed visuals
You gotta dress the part this season of love! Changing your website and social media assets and adding a bit of Valentine’s day vibe to your branding is the perfect way of signaling your loyal buyers that your campaign is beginning and that they may start to browse, bookmark, and add to their cart the items that pique their interest. Make sure though, that the interest is sustained, and look for methods to increase your conversion rate from views to actual checkouts and sales.
Let the public know about your campaign
Well, okay, we’re not doing the campaign in secret. At some point, we’d have to do a grand launch of our Valentine’s Day promotion. This must be done at the perfect time period, not so early that the impact might be lost and not too late that we might drown in competition.
The public announcement may be in the form of a banner, a press release, the launch of a dedicated site section, or anything that you’ve been brewing in your mind after your team’s brainstorming session.
Dedicate a site section for V-Day products
A dedicated site section may help you present the products that have the greatest potential according to your market research. These might be your classic, best-selling products or might be products that lag in sales but are potentially good items that can be profitable for the specific season.
Whichever products you choose, the rule of thumb in curating this section is to highlight the uniqueness of each item as Valentine’s gift, describe the quality and functionality, and evoke in your customers the satisfaction they want to see as soon as their partners receive the item.
Produce blog posts and gift guides
If your brand already maintains a blog for marketing and promotion purposes, it will be useful to add V-Day-specific posts and gift guides into your blog posting plan for the weeks leading to the Day of Hearts. If otherwise, you can find in the network some reputable blogs which you can partner with to review your products. Who knows, they might give you a slot in their blog posts and item lists.
Influencers gather attention toward you
In the age of social media, influencers act as community leaders. Their positions, statements, comments, and reviews are respected in their specific niches and may help you greatly in reaching and capturing a specific target audience. The same way that you’d do with a blogger or blog site would also be the way to go with influencers. Having them test, review and feature your products gives you mileage and exposure in their respective communities.
Fulfillment and logistics determine success
Free shipping and free gift-wrapping
Free shipping is a go-to promo if you want to attract customers, especially when they are at the point of weighing their options. This still rings true even for V-Day promos. Another thing that can be of help for your campaign to gather more exposure and which might present an edge is free gift-wrapping. However, you’d have to check your projected number of orders and the capacity of your personnel to handle such a surge in workload. Consider hiring a logistics partner or a fulfillment agency to do the work for you if that’s well within your budget to offload your regular team.
Prepare for peaks to get deliveries on time
System and preparation go a long way. A foresight on how systems should work during the peak days and hours will save you a lot of trouble. An efficient fulfillment, picking, and packing protocol can save you a lot of time and ensure that your deliveries will come to your customer’s doorstep at just the right time that they expect it. No amount of troubleshooting can be at par with the positive points of an efficient fulfillment and logistics system and process. Before you make any changes, though, sift through some resources, ask colleagues and friends, or come to some training for you to gain a solid foundation of knowledge to handle order and delivery peaks without sacrificing quality, efficiency, and oh, your reputation.
Time to avail of a logistics engine service
When it’s too much to handle and fulfillment processes are eating too much of your time, it just might be the perfect time to call our trusted friends in the logistics engine industry. The Logistics engine is the perfect integration – a fusion of groundbreaking software and a vast network of reputable logistics partners and hubs.
Logistics engine providers such as Locad provide you with a unified Control Tower where you can integrate and manage omnichannel processes such as orders and payments in a single site. It also links you to the most trusted third-party logistics partners and stores your products intelligently at the nearest hub to your customer for faster, safer, and more efficient fulfillment and delivery.
Perks, freebies, and promos attract the sales
Bundle and curate your best products
Curation and presentation add more value to your simple product listings. By making use of your dedicated section on your website, or available templates on your favorite online marketplaces, you can present your products better to your target audience. For example, bundling chocolates and flowers can be a good idea. Or a little trinket of love can be paired with some writing materials to allow buyers to personalize a love note. Or maybe you can add a personalized case to the tech products you sell.
Another good idea may be to consider partnering with other brands in your niche or those with a bigger reach (which, in effect, increases your exposure) as well. You can create limited promos in certain marketplaces (might be yours or theirs, both). Or you can join one-stop shops and propose a bundling of your products with some of their best-sellers.
The first goal of curating is attracting customers to view, but details inside your dedicated sites and product listings must be comprehensive enough to turn your site traffic into cold, hard sales.
Hold online or offline events or contests
Throw in a Valentine’s Day party to increase exposure, encourage traffic and realize sales. Online contests or counterpart offline events are an enjoyable and value-added way that can turn your target customers’ attention to your brand. Aside from the freebies and perks that they can win by participating, you can also use this opportunity to give your customers participation to highlight the qualities of your product and how it factors into their actual lives.
Oh, and don’t forget the last-minute sales, which you should snappily launch on the proper date before Valentine’s Day (a few days before will do) to boost sales. Make sure though, that you set a cut-off date for orders and shipping so you wouldn’t be too overwhelmed with the work it would take.
Help lovers show love in the best way possible
The most important thing we have to prepare is our mindset. All of us love people, in one way or another. Aside from sales, it is the greatest pleasure for us sellers to know that our well-loved products become well-enjoyed symbols and tokens of appreciation, care, and intimate emotions for the people dear to your customers.
Be a cupid this season of love. Spread the love, sell your products, and make people happier than ever! Best wishes!