Valentine’s day isn’t just made for card shops and florists. Plenty of other retailers can capitalise on the event to gain attention and to cause some social media hype. The biggest thing is injecting humour into your displays and promotions. Even the most unromantic products can suddenly become fun and relevant. For example, although you may be selling hardware, perhaps a humorous promotion on a chalkboard a-board may attract some attention; “Dreaming of new decking for Valentine’s Day? Buy them a DIY voucher?”. This will catch the attention of passers-by, while also giving ideas to those whose partners are DIY enthusiasts.
Here are 10 tips for using Valentine’s day to attract attention and to boost your retail sales.
1) Make Sure Your Window Display Is On Point
Get creative! Your window display is your 2-5 second opportunity to attract attention from passers-by. There is nothing better than an excuse to have a seasonal theme. Particularly as window displays are best changed every 2 weeks. If you are in fashion retail, something fun like some articulated mannequins holding hands can be cute, but still classy. Perhaps one of them could even be holding a rose in the other hand.
A border made with a window vinyl or some paper hearts can be a way to add flourishes of colour to a display. The red of the Valentine’s hearts can make an excellent contrast with an otherwise very black and white display. For example, a the window display of a bridal shop would look beautiful with a mannequin adorned in a classic wedding dress, holding hands with another mannequin in a black suit. The flourishes of colour could then come from roses and petals on the floor of the display and the man’s pocket square.
Even other types of retail can use the theme. Grocery shops can use their window spaces to promote product bundles for a date night. Letter boards with red frames are a great way to display romantic sayings, or even just humorous Valentine’s Day related quotes. It’s just playing around with something that is going to attract attention. Don’t go too wild with the Valentine’s window display props, but flourishes and tasteful touches can really attract attention and encourage customers to come into your shop.
If you are on the look out for a few Valentine’s Day props, you can of course find some in our retail window display prop range.
2) The Independent’s Alliance
If you are on a high street with plenty of other independents, why not band together to draw customers onto the high street? There are lots of different ways to go about this, but here are a couple of ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Could you partner up with a restaurant or pub somewhere down your high street? Between you, you could offer a competition for people to enter where they give you their email address to enter.
If you are a fashion retailer then perhaps you offer an item of clothing or a voucher as the prize. You can offer the garments to get the wining couple dressed for their date night, and the restaurant could offer them a discount or a free course. This will provide you both with customers to email with promotions and so long as you promote it in your windows, can also help to increase your footfall in the build up to Valentine’s Day.
Another way to try it, may be to band together with multiple retailers on your high street. Each of you could contribute to a prize, perhaps something small from each of you. You could then run a promotion where all of you encourage customers to enter. In order to win, couples must visit each of the shops and find a paper heart, or collect a stamp on a card. Once they have visited all of you they can either be entered into a prize draw, or it is the first to finish wins or perhaps your prizes are so small for each than you can offer a prize to the first ten.
By doing this, you make your shop one of several memorable shops and you increase footfall and chances to upsell couples. In addition, you should of course be the shop where the prizes get presented – so you will be remembered particularly favourably!
3) Get Social!
Definitely do not underestimate the power of social media in the build up to Valentine’s Day. This is another opportunity for you to collaborate with other shops and restaurants on your high street. Perhaps you could agree to share each other’s posts or perhaps you could promote a #shoplocal campaign for your area. If you work together, you’re much more likely to build traction.
Make sure your pictures are eye-catching and try to get your customers involved with your posts too. You could even consider running a competition where your customers can tweet you with a picture in your shop and a local hashtag to enter. Or, you could opt for the popular Facebook style competition where you use one of your hero products as the star. Put the image on your Facebook account and ask your customers to like your page and share the post to stand a chance of winning.
If you also have a website, this is a great way to foster and integrated approach to your marketing. As more and more people share your post to enter, you will gain more people on your page that you can then promote to in the future. These people needn’t even be from your local area is they can buy online from your website.
If social is a little bit of a foreign language to you, then perhaps take a moment to read through this quick guide to using social media for a few ideas.
4) Valentine's Day Retail Isn't Just For Couples
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples. The single-tons are also out shopping – why not try and attract their attention too? Clever and quirky promotions on chalkboard, letter boards or light boxes can really say a lot. For example, a coffee shop could offer a Valentine’s Day buy one get one free offer on Lattes. But the twist is that if you’re single, you can claim the second one later. A bit of clever wording and not only does this attract the attention of passers-by, it also ends up getting shared on social media. Many retailers have enjoyed smart chalkboard campaigns that have gone viral. Don’t expect it to always to go viral, but at the very least you’ll attract customers.
If you need a new Chalkboard, take a look at our range.
5) Get Personal
Why not offer a personal shopping service? This will be exciting to existing couples as well as those going out on their first date. Perhaps you can help them find their perfect outfit, or the perfect gift. Present buying can be tricky for Valentine’s Day. So as a retailer with intimate knowledge of your products, perhaps you can ask open and easy questions. Things like, what is their favourite colour? You can then help them find the best ideas for their partner’s gift. Many people will appreciate the offer of help, even if they don’t end up following your advice. It’s another touch that adds value to the retail experience that you provide, and another thing that will help cement you in your customers’ minds.