With research firm Savvy finding that 38% of UK shoppers intended to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, expecting to spend around £113,000,000 on jewellery alone, the romantic event still represents a valuable opportunity to drive sales, despite changing consumer behaviours.
In fact, Poundland reportedly sold 40,000 engagement rings just before Valentine’s Day this year, apparently purchased as ‘placeholders’ for the real thing.
However, consumers are becoming increasingly cautious and looking for more tailor-made experiences to ensure their spare pounds are not wasted. As consumer spending continues to shift across the year, we asked three experts for their learnings from Valentine’s Day 2020.
Michele Marzan, CSO, MainAd
“The profile of consumers who celebrate Valentine’s Day is shifting dynamically, and while the number of people making purchases is on the decline, the amount being spent is rising – in 2019, it reached $162 per consumer. Romantic couples are no longer the only ones driving this expenditure either, with more individuals also indulging themselves with self-gifting purchases.
“As a result, Valentine’s Day is becoming even more personal than before and advertisers need to reflect this in their targeting methods, adapting them to recapture the right audiences. By optimising touchpoints that generate the best response, such as in-app, advertisers can use customised messaging and creative to reach individual users, offering consumers a truly personalised experience.”
Darren Guarnaccia, CPO, Crownpeak
“When a consumer visits your site on Valentine’s Day it’s a huge opportunity for businesses to connect with their customers to make them feel cherished, valued and convey a value proposition that speaks to the desired outcomes they seek to fulfil with your products and services.
"Showing you care about your customer is about more than just offering a good product, it relies on excellent customer experience that includes demonstrating your understanding of their needs. Just like a Valentine’s Day gift, the way you treat a customer needs to be thoughtful and personal, demonstrating how much you value them while respecting their privacy preferences.
"Delivering value to your customer and helping them achieve their goals in a way that supersedes achieving you our own marketing goals is fundamental to make that connection and deliver meaningful experiences. The key to reaching your consumer’s heart is ensuring that every customer touchpoint within your company builds in a cohesive and consistent way, demonstrating that you care and respect your customer. Today’s audiences are spread across different digital channels, and organisations would be savvy to invest in technologies – such as emerging voice technology to connect at a deeper level – and show customers they’ll be there whenever and wherever they need them.”
Noam Shapira, co-Founder and co-CEO, Setoo
"According to a US study, on average young couples were predicted to spend a whopping $553 on Valentines Day 2020. The weekend saw many couples looking forward to weekends away together, perhaps to the romantic capital of Paris, for example. Maybe there was a marriage proposal planned, meaning nerves were running high with the hope that everything will fall into place without disruption.
"Flight delays or cancellations have the potential to ruin romantic trips, especially given the recent storms in the UK. With Valentines also falling at the start of February half-term, some flight prices increased up to 700%, adding even more expense and worry to the weekend. To put a rest to this in the future, travel marketers must consider how they can improve experiences for travellers that are dealing with delays and cancellations, and offer solutions, such as insurance, that address their individual needs.
"By adding specialised, parametric protection to their offerings, travel companies can automatically compensate consumers in the case of a flight delay or cancellation. These products remove the added hassle of the claims process entirely, meaning couples can look forward to their trips away without the worry of a bad experience or added financial loss looming over them. Instead, customers come away with a positive feeling about the company and the business benefits from the resulting revenue increases and reputation boost".
Sandra Loeffler, Regional Vice President, EMEA, Nielsen Marketing Effectiveness
"Typically at this time of year, consumers will see an influx of ads for the latest deals or
products aimed at those in love, especially on digital channels, such as video and social
media. In fact, Nielsen’s latest marketing report found that marketers prioritise digital
despite a lack of confidence in ROI measurement for these channels.
"But with the consumer path to purchase becoming increasingly fragmented and complex by the day, spanning every possible channel and platform, retail marketers cannot afford to base their decisions on a gut feeling or perception that is not backed up by data. Success on Valentine’s Day will depend on strategic media planning that incorporates effective measurement techniques to ensure their decisions are well-founded, both on and offline".
Clearly driving value for the individual is key to driving sales in a market where opportunities are seemingly getting smaller. By ensuring the customer is offered products and experiences that match up to their own, personal priorities, businesses can continue to protect revenues and grow – throughout the entire year.