The Valentine’s Day shopping trends you need to know

Last year, Americans spent $19.7 billion on Valentine’s Day, beating the previous record by an impressive $800 million! If trends continue, 2017 should see Valentine’s Day become a $20 billion holiday for the very first time.

Point is, Valentine’s Day is a lot bigger than you might have thought. It’s not just a box of chocolates and a Hallmark card anymore: the holiday is big business, with over half of Americans celebrating it.

As the owner of an online store, you should be thinking about how to get your piece of that 20 billion dollar pie. It’s also a great way for you to test out some CTAs, sales, and email subject lines before heading into Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in the next few months.

So without further ado, here’s what you need to know to have a super successful Valentine’s Day!

1: It’s not too late to get big wins

According to Ecommerce Worldwide, over 90% of Valentine’s Day purchases haven’t been made yet, so there’s still plenty of time for your business to rack up a lot of sales.

That doesn’t mean you should be sitting on your hands, though: the biggest days for shopping, according to VeInteractive, are the 7th and 11th of February. And according to Facebook, 64% of women and 68% of men start planning for Valentine’s Day in the last week.

All this means you’ve got just about a week to roll out some great sales and take advantage!

Pro Tip: Nobody will buy a last minute gift online if it won’t get there by Valentine’s Day. They’ll end up going to a brick and mortar instead. Because of all those last minute shoppers out there, we recommend offering expedited shipping options or specials that guarantee arrival before the 14th.

2. Nearly one third of people plan to shop online

In 2016, 27.9% of people planned to do their Valentine’s Day shopping online. While that isn’t quite as impressive as the percentage of holiday season purchases made online, that number is very likely going to continue to rise.

This is good news for website owners. Now’s the time to spruce up your site and update your landing pages and hero images with your Valentine’s Day deals. If you can capture the attention of someone on the hunt for that perfect gift, then they’ll be more likely to buy from you, and a lot less likely to deal with the headache of heading to the mall.

3. Men spend almost twice as much as women

The average woman will spend about $97 this Valentine’s day, according to The Shelf. While that’s nothing to sneeze at, the average man spends $191.

Those grand romantic gestures you always see men doing in Hollywood movies? Turns out it’s pricy to pull off.

That’s why you should be targeting men at about the same ratio (2:1) in your marketing and ad spend.

Pro Tip: Men are almost twice as likely to click on a Valentine’s Day related ad as women. When you combine this with the above fact that they’re also going to spend a lot more on average, it’s a no brainer that you should be targeting them.

Start running Facebook ads now. Target men with gift ideas for their significant other, and tack on a special deal— a key selling point will be how much the items are on sale!

4. The biggest shopping categories are exactly what you think they are…

Ranking the categories by order of money spent:

(Source)

That’s probably about what you thought, no?

Pro Tip: If you sell an item that falls into one of these categories, then start spreading the word! It’s worth putting some extra money behind your promotions as you’ll likely see big returns.

5. Don’t forget about Fido

Humans aren’t the only ones feeling the love on Valentine’s Day. Our furry friends are also getting showered in affection — to the tune of $700 million dollars!

Almost 20% of Americans will buy something for their pets, usually for under $6.

That means even if you’re not in the world of cards, or chocolate, or red heart-shaped pillows, you can still cash in on the holiday!

Pro Tip: Some pet owners would love to get their little friends a gift for Valentine’s Day, but many might not have even considered it! That’s why it’s important to put the idea in their heads—ideally a couple weeks in advance. So get the word out through your marketing channels and make sure animal lovers know that, no, it’s not weird if you get Whiskers a pink rhinestone collar for Valentine’s Day.

Wrapping up

There’s one more thing you should keep in mind. Ecommerce is a growing but relatively small player in Valentine’s Day, in part because so many people go out on dates, or do special nights out with their special someone. But those who do shop online spend 31% more than those who buy in brick and mortar stores!

So make sure you’re targeting those high value customers and keep pushing your marketing efforts for the next two weeks!