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Stealing the hearts, minds and wallets of shoppers this Valentine’s Day

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Phillip Smith
February14/ 2015

The Valentine’s holiday is just around the corner and whilst it may not reach the retail spikes of Christmas, or the crazy discount season between Cyber Monday and Black Friday, it’s still a high revenue generating day that all retailers will be looking to sink their teeth into.

Of course, many businesses can draw on previous experiences and start to build out a strategy based on their past success. However with shoppers becoming increasingly demanding and time-poor, knowing how to grab their attention, prove they can trust the brand and influence their purchase decisions, calls for the marriage of a number of important factors.

Of course, demonstrating commitment to customer service, ensuring delivery and resources are in place and employing the correct marketing methods is vital.

 Commitment to customer service

As well as showcasing any Valentine’s themed banners and adverts, commitment to customer satisfaction must be reflected in how other information is displayed too. Using the website to help shoppers buy with confidence has an important role in the purchase process and because of the nature of the day, last minute shoppers will want to know their purchase is safe when it comes to returns and exchanges. Displaying details on policies, FAQs and money-back guarantees should be prominently featured on the website alongside any product information.

Shoppers will also want to be assured that other consumers have had a good experience with your brand, this is where displaying customer feedback is crucial in clinching a sale. Make sure any reviews are visible among the product pages to encourage shoppers they can trust in the business.

Ensuring delivery and resources are in place

 Delivery is another deciding factor when it comes to purchases. One thing we can learn from Christmas is that there’s little margin for error – no retailer wants to follow suit with the problems faced by the likes of Yodel during the festive season. This year the holiday will be on a Saturday, so businesses should be aware that this could have an impact on operations if shipping options are limited to business day only. Those who fail to deliver on their promises will be vulnerable to loss of trust and repeat business – allowing a back-log at the last minute can cause delays. This means investing in extra resources a few days prior to the event is important. Whilst it may seem costly at the time, positive customer feedback will pay dividends. According to Google, great reviews can increase traffic by 17% so having a system in place to track customer feedback is certainly worthwhile.

Also keep in mind consumer rights. Particularly when selling items like flowers, explicit delivery dates are always binding. This applies particularly for instances when the customer is very much interested in having flowers delivered on time, especially if the business advertises delivery on that day.

Marketing methods

Employing extra resources also goes hand in hand with ramping up marketing efforts. Retailers should increase online marketing the previous week and then heavily upscale this during the evening of the 13th February and the morning of the day itself, in particular. This can include increasing Adword budgets and the frequency of email campaigns. Teaming up with Valentine’s related businesses such as restaurants and card shops can work well too – that way joint campaigns can be executed via social media to maximise the scope and number of followers. Remember, the timing and geography of campaigns must be well thought out in advance for the business to fully benefit.

Social proof and social media

Recommendations are a vital part of selling online, retailers should always make it possible for customers to share their purchases on social networking platforms  which will drive engagement and help generate value from social proof. Shoppers should easily be able to share via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest which should encourage potential new customers to visit your online store and consider a purchase.

 

Phillip Smith

Phillip is responsible for driving the UK business for Trusted Shops, coordinating different aspects across Sales, Marketing & Customer service. His team ensures E-commerce and multichannel retailers build trust and confidence with their customers, while creating a 100% safe environment for consumers to shop. As former Head of E-commerce, Phillip's knowledge and expertise in the e-commerce industry has been evident for the past 12 years working for niche and FMCG's online retailers.