Three ways to tempt reluctant Valentine’s Day shoppers

A retail expert has identified her top tips for sparking sales in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, with a new report revealing only a third of women plan to purchase a present for their partner.


The report, which is based on a survey of 465 women, was conducted by personal care company The Heat Group.


According to the survey, only 33% of respondents intend to spend money on a gift for their partner for Valentine’s Day this year, while 42% said they never buy gifts for the occasion.


Gillian Franklin, managing director of The Heat Group, says in light of subdued retail conditions, retailers are trying harder than ever to use events like Valentine’s Day to boost sales.


“However, with only a third of women planning to spend on gifts this Valentine’s Day, retailers may face another letdown,” Franklin says.


When looking at the planned spend on Valentine’s Day gifts, 7% of women plan to spend less than $20, 13% plan to spend $20-$50 and 10% plan to spend $50-$100. Only 3% plan to spend more than $100.


“This isn’t positive news for retailers… I encourage them to focus on the women who are planning to spend money on a Valentine’s gift – there is still a market to tap into,” Franklin says.


Franklin identifies three ways to overcome the Valentine’s Day curmudgeons:


1. Cross merchandise


As there are less and less people visiting stores, you need to find as many ways as possible to capture those people who are in the store, namely by cross-merchandising.


If you want to get men or women in the store to think about Valentine’s Day, you should bring the Valentine’s Day merchandise into other areas.


Tap into the people who are already there. It’s such a low-hanging fruit for retailers but it’s often a missed opportunity.


2. Value-add


Everybody is looking for some sort of value-add. The days of selling the same box of chocolates is probably not going to be a success because some other retailer will value-add.


3. Partner up


There are also opportunities to find other retail partners who have a vested interest in adding value. Who are the retailers or brands that you are compatible with?


For example, there’s the people who sell chocolates and the people who sell flowers. Why not pull them together?


Say to your customers, ‘If you come to us, we’ll add in flowers or chocolates [from another retailer] and will only cost $5 more’. By sharing the cost, you both get a sale.


Retailers have to think outside the square and find brands that have a similar target audience. It makes everyone’s marketing dollar go that much further.


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