Valentine’s Day is an excellent holiday to market your retail or service business, and it really doesn’t even matter what you sell. Honestly, before I opened my business, I always scoffed at Valentine’s Day – I was looking at it through the eyes of a consumer, which has served me well when helping small businesses strategize.   I can’t wait to share some tips with you to help you take advantage of Valentine’s Day as a retail giant.

  1. Promise Fair Pricing. I consider this a guerilla tactic because everyone else is padding their pricing on a ridiculous level, if you market as fair, unchanging pricing, you’re establishing your business as one that cares about the consumer.  Flowers, red roses, in particular, will go up nearly 100% in cost during Valentine’s Day. There are numerous factors which contribute to this price increase, including needing to import roses from warm-weather areas, hiring extra help, and extended hours, but the average consumer doesn’t consider all of these points – they see an increase in price. Many of whom will pay this price because of the convenience of delivery, which brings me to #2.
  2. Offer Valentine’s Day Delivery. If at all possible (even if it’s just local), offer Valentine’s Day gift delivery. Offering this extra service will definitely make your business more appealing to a consumer, especially one who is stuck at work and can’t personally make a big gesture for the one he/she loves. This one extra service (whether you charge or not, and it’s typical to charge) can appeal to numerous last-minute shoppers and multi-taskers.
  3. Create Gifts for All Couples. In our ever-changing world, it’s ironic that consumerism holds steadfast to hetero-normativity, especially when there is so much to be gained by widening your business audience. If you work to appeal to LGBTQ couples on Valentine’s Day, you’re broadening to an entire target market who is traditionally pushed by the wayside – you can bet that will not only translate into Valentine’s Day business but into appreciative long-term customers.
  4. Offer a Handwritten Card. What’s almost as amazing as receiving a gift from your love on Valentine’s Day? – Reading the adorable, sweet card he/she wrote for you. Offering this service (especially as a free add-on with a certain dollar-amount purchase) will put you above the rest. Anyone can print out a card or even the little note that comes with flowers, but offering to actually handwrite a Valentine’s Day card is incredibly endearing, personal, and customized – creating a next-level for small business customer service.
  5. Partner Up with Another Small Business. Think about the incredible add-ons you can choose when you order Valentine’s Day flowers online – add a box of chocolate for 9.99, a teddy bear for 24.99, a mylar balloon for 8.99, etc. These partnerships aren’t an accident and having those partnerships ensures every small business wins. Work with another local small business to create these sales partnerships in order to help grow both your businesses and create truly appealing gifts. For example, if you sell jewelry, you could offer a ceramic holder or wood-carved box as an add-on; if you sell soaps and bath and body products, you could offer a candle as an add-on. Partner with these other small businesses by making wholesale purchases from them, or even drop-shipping. However you decide to partner, it’s definitely an amazing way to stand out compared to what big-box stores will offer.

When it comes to making your business stand out for Valentine’s Day, the trick is to think like a consumer – What will make my life the easiest? What will be most appealing to my partner? What can I purchase that will already be beautiful without me having to do any extra work?

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

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