Make the most of the Valentine’s Day vibe

If you’re feeling the post-Christmas slump, Valentine’s Day is your chance to boost revenue. Since jewellery is a popular gift item, don’t overlook the additional opportunities to spread awareness of your brand and expand your audience by capitalising on the online searches, extra foot traffic and buzz around this popular day! Here are some tactics to try on and before the 14th:

What are you hoping to achieve with your promotion, who are you targeting, and where should you spend your energy and time?
Before jumping into a campaign, consider what it most needs to accomplish. Are you looking to move old stock, position your brand as a premium lifestyle must-have, or simply make extra cash? This not only influences the wording and imagery around your campaign, but the kind of offer you present. Buy-one-get-one-free sales are best to clear inventory, while a discount might be best for driving revenue. Free delivery is another option for increased sales – as long as it’s done strategically. By setting a free shipping threshold that is both financially viable and slightly higher than your average order size, you’re not only giving your customer a break, but increasing the value of the orders that get placed.

Your business model also needs to be taken into account. If you’re a manufacturing jeweller who only makes to order, gift vouchers may be the way to go. This way the recipient gets to design the item and you get paid upfront with the possibility of them spending more than the voucher amount later. Plus, an NRF study into consumer thoughts and habits around Valentine’s Day found that 36.4% of respondents “indicated they’d be willing to spend a little more if they found the perfect gift for someone.” A voucher is an ideal way to take the pressure off the giver to choose the right present, and it also works as a last-minute option.

Speaking of ideal gifts – the importance of being attuned to the tastes and desires of your audience can’t be stressed enough. If you’re a bit stuck with a very broad audience or no real data on your customers, check your sales from previous years and stock up on the items that sold well around this time of year. A riskier option is to jump on a trend and craft an offer around that, but beware of misjudging the market or over purchasing stock items that you won’t be able to move after Valentine’s Day.

Competitions work when they follow certain parameters and have an objective to achieve. You’re ideally looking to make lots of sales or add to your audience by holding one – so choose your path carefully. A contest that engages both participants and bystanders will increase your reach more than a simple giveaway. For example, a competition over social media where people contend for the title of most creative marriage proposal (or a disastrous one that worked out in the end!) is entertaining for observers as well and could be shared quite widely. You would just need to factor in how to promote your jewellery at the same time. Make sure your prize is worthwhile. The chance for one lucky client to have their order refunded is a compelling option. If the prize is a gift item, it will need to be awarded a few days before Valentine’s Day.

If you don’t need to make immediate sales, V-Day is the perfect time to maintain relationships and say thank you. Take the opportunity to show your clients some gratitude by using a charitable organisation to make affordable gifts for your most loyal purchasers. Another way to spread the love is to donate a portion of your Valentine’s sales to a worthy cause that’s close to your customer’s hearts. Don’t forget to also show your employees how much you appreciate them with something as affordable as chocolate or heart shaped cookies – it will elevate the mood in-store, and happy employees will serve your customers better. Of course you should also treat your walk-in clients on the day too!

Valentine’s Day shopping trends have changed quite a bit over the years, and it’s certainly no longer just for romance, so don’t neglect the singles out there! With the rise of celeb terminology like ‘self partnered’ and the phenomenon of people giving themselves ‘anti-Valentine’s gifts’, this is a market segment you can’t afford to ignore. Encourage your audience to give themselves a well-deserved treat.

Partner with suitable parallel industry players:
Teaming up with other businesses to offer gift packages gives both of you access to each other’s audiences, and so as long as your brands are a good fit, it’s win-win. Bubbly, chocolates and flowers are romantic gift staples, but try and think out of the box, and keep your ideal customer in mind. Are there any reputable retailers who compliment your brand and would add value to your ideal clients? Valentine’s Day is not just about the gifts – many people will want to spend quality time with their loved one. Search your area for experiences you can include in your package deals – perhaps a harbour or lake cruise, a microlight or helicopter flip, a couple’s dance class, or a dinner and spa combo (along with an item of your jewellery of course!). Think about what your brand stands for when crafting this experience – if you’re catering to uptown ladies who spend most of their time in heels, their partners are unlikely to buy them a hike to a picnic at a waterfall!

Also: check out our article on men’s engagement rings – Valentine’s is a very common day to pop the question!

The Campaign:
Promote all your deals in one place on your website’s homepage or on a display in-store to catch the eye and get browsers to take a closer look at your wares. For those of you without a physical store, your email list and social media channels must do the heavy lifting. Weave little reminders into your wording that customers who buy from you will be supporting a small artisanal business, and be avoiding the chaos and wasted time of shopping malls. Make sure that your website is set up to collect email addresses so you can remarket to visitors who find you through an online search, and it’s also a good idea to offer a discount to new sign-ups, valid until the 14th February. Even if they don’t buy anything now you’ve at least got their email address for future campaigns, which is especially valuable if you’re paying to appear in Google searches. If you have an online store, make sure to set up an automated email sequence to follow up with those who don’t complete their orders. Abandoned cart rates are especially high during the Valentine’s period as shoppers look for the best options online. Your website should also have social media links easily visible for those who prefer to follow brands that way. Did you know that nearly 60% of Instagram users claim that they do so in order to stay up to date on sales and promotions? Update Stories and cover images across all platforms to reflect the Valentine’s Day theme. Although most merchants report that people don’t actually start buying until about the week before, start posting related content from the last week of January to get people prepared for the upcoming spend, as a lot of people are impatiently waiting for that January pay check after the Christmas splurge and need a reminder to budget for a gift. Encourage your followers to tag others (perhaps as a hint to the gift-givers) in order to maximise your reach. Don’t forget to use hashtags relevant to the items you’re selling! This enables users who are searching for similar businesses or products to find your offering, and just 1-2 can increase your engagement by 20%. Especially as the day draws closer and delivery deadlines get tight, also include your location.

All your language and imagery should highlight the emotional aspects of jewellery buying. If you have a touching personal story to share about love or Valentine’s, publish it to your blog or email list to connect with your audience. Research has shown that many people will only make a purchase after being exposed to 7 digital touch points – so send at least two to three emails to your audience in the run-up to the day and post every day on social media. Make sure your email subject line is compelling and reveals the problem that you’re solving, for example that your gift options are under a certain price, or that one of them will be perfect for a loved one. Your current audience is more likely to spend money with you than new subscribers, so don’t neglect them!

Top tip: Make it easier for the purchaser by posting a short article or bullet-point guide on your average turnaround times and approximate costs of your popular items so they know what they’re in for, and make sure to use relevant keywords for SEO. You can also find additional tips from our Christmas marketing article that can be implemented for Valentine’s day

Cater to last minute shoppers:
Apart from gift vouchers, you could also offer an on-the-day event experience like a cocktail function, movie night or poetry reading in-store. This will be a saving grace for those who’ve left it too late to make a reservation, or who have not had time to buy a gift. It also doubles as an opportunity to showcase your line to a potentially new audience and build relationships with your current clients. Ideally it would be free to encourage sales, but if you can’t easily cover costs, an entrance fee would be acceptable if you’re offering a memorable experience. There are partnership opportunities with other brands here too. You could have a spa company serving up mani/pedis and neck massages while you dish out the bubbly and canapés (also possibly supplied by a partner looking to increase their exposure to your market). Think about what parallel industries might add value to your customers – a stylist or hair and makeup expert could offer consulting on the night. Having a photo booth or even professional photographer on site allows your guests to go home with a lovely memory, and a draw on the night could be the cherry on top for one lucky person.

Afterwards:

  • Take down all the details of clients who bought engagement rings for Valentine’s Day and make a note to follow-up about their plans for wedding bands.
  • March Madness sales are becoming more and more popular, so if you didn’t get the desired sales in February, give it another go this month when most people have recovered from the ‘Janu-worry’ financial drought
  • Grade 12s are all dreaming of their Matric Dance night around this time of year. Reach out to your local designers and seamstresses and see if there are any opportunities to pair your jewellery with their clothing

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