Businesses highlight their sales strategies for Valentine’s Day

New research shows loved-up couples intend to celebrate Valentine’s Day by eating out, with spending expected to surge by 8%, while romantic getaways are also high on the agenda.


According to IBISWorld, Australians will spend approximately $936 million in the lead-up to February 14, with the average person planning to spend $41 on their partner.


The categories tipped to do well include hospitality and tourism, while greeting cards, chocolate and clothing will enjoy less than optimal growth this year.


In total, IBISWorld estimates Australians will spend $34.02 million on eating out this Valentine’s Day – up 8% from last year – while romantic getaways will also be popular.


“Couples are expected to take advantage of Valentine’s Day falling on a Thursday and enjoy an extended weekend break at a bed and breakfast, city hotel or country house,” the report said.


According to IBISWorld general manager Karen Dobie, couples will spend $437.61 million on romantic weekends this Valentine’s Day, up 3.65% from last year.


So how can start-ups tap into these trends? StartupSmart highlights how three different businesses are cashing in on Valentine’s Day this year.


1. One Cent Flights


Since its launch in August last year, One Cent Flights has sold more than 175 flights. Now, it is offering cash-strapped consumers the chance to surprise a loved one with a trip to Paris.


The website’s first double-ticket auction will be two return tickets to Paris in celebration of Valentine’s Day.


“We wanted to give users the chance to give their loved ones something a little more than the standard flowers and chocolates,” says founder Elliott Donazzan.


“We thought that two return tickets to Paris, the city of love, would be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.


“We felt this was the perfect time to auction two return tickets together. What better way to show someone how much you care than with a special holiday to Paris for two?”


2. Dimmi


After receiving an investment from Telstra’s venture capital arm, restaurant booking network Dimmi formed a partnership with BigPond Telstra.


“BigPond Telstra has created a dedicated Dimmi dining category and heavily promoted Dimmi to their extensive audience,” chief executive Stevan Premutico told StartupSmart this month.


“A good example of the partnership coming alive is a joint Valentine’s Day promotion that we are co-working on at the moment, which will also include a full takeover of the BigPond website.”


3. Epson


This Valentine’s Day, Epson is running a contest featuring a web video, in which a young man takes pictures of himself holding up signs, professing his love for various women.


He uses the Epson Connect app on his phone to send the photos to each of these women, but only manages to confuse them all.


The “Be Here, Print There” Remote Romeo Contest involves suggesting each woman’s response via social media. Ten winners will receive Epson printers.


“Flowers and chocolate are so old school,” Epson America’s Jeff Muto said in a statement.


“Today’s mobile users are looking for new, real-time ways to share and show their affection, and printed photos are a perfect way to express their love from anywhere.


“Our relationship-based contest has some fun with this idea, and is a terrific stage for showcasing the ease and impact of printing remotely.”


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