February 5, 2019 By SmartBiz Team

U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $196.31 on Valentine’s Day in 2020, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation.

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“Americans are looking forward to pampering and indulging their loved ones with flowers, candy, dinner and all of the other Valentine’s Day stops,” said Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation President and CEO. “With the holidays behind them and the winter months dragging along, consumers are looking for something to celebrate this time of year.”

How can you reach those looking to celebrate the day of love? There are lots of low-cost and creative ways to capitalize on Valentine's Day. Read on for actionable ideas to attract customers and increase sales.

Make Valentine’s Day Customer Appreciation Day

A whopping 68% of customers leave because of what they perceive as indifference from a business. The definition of indifference is “unimportance” and “unresponsiveness”. These are not words you want associated with your small business. Use February 14th as a day to show love for your customers.

One easy and thrifty way to show appreciation is to send a personalized note or email letting them know you appreciate their business. Be sure to add a few personalized details so your note doesn’t read like a form letter. You can also feature photos of customers (with their permission) on your website, in an email or in your store along with a big “we love our customers” message.

Run a Contest

Shoppers love an opportunity to get discounts or free stuff. To run a Valentine’s Day contest in-store, you can go old school and use entry forms and a ballot box. Go digital and promote via email or newsletter. If you have a healthy social media following, running a contest on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter is easy and low-cost.

Prizes can be a discount on your products or services. You can also put together a gift basket filled with Valentine’s Day goodies – from chocolate to bubble bath to a restaurant gift certificate, this is the time to get creative. If you have a brick and mortar store, display the basket prominently.

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Product Bundle Specials

In bundle pricing, businesses sell a package or set of goods or services for a lower price than they would charge if bought separately. A bundle pricing strategy help you to increase your profit by giving customers a discount. It’s a win-win!

Set the Mood

If you have a storefront, decorate for Valentine’s Day. Discount or dollar stores can be a great resource for signage, balloons and other themed decorations. Go beyond hearts and flowers – visit Pinterest for lots of decorating inspiration. Don’t forget about music! Choose a love themed playlist to get customers in the mood.

Remember the Procrastinators

If you’ve been in a grocery store early on February 14th, you’ve probably seen flowers, chocolate and cards being snatched up by last minute shoppers. Not all of your customers plan early for this holiday. Email last-minute messages and Valentine’s Day ideas or offer extra-special discounts the day of.

Celebrate the Singles

Of course, not everyone is paired up like Noah’s Ark. Add a twist to the usual Valentine’s Day celebration and launch a “celebrate yourself” promotion just for singles. You can do this through social media promotion, an in-store singles event or a special single-themed giveaway basket.

Valentine’s Day is one of the big retail celebrations but there are many more opportunities throughout the year. Check out our calendar for a comprehensive list of important monthly and daily observations you can use to promote your products or services: Marketing Calendar: When to Promote Your Business.

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