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“Valentine’s Day is the first consumer holiday of the year. Any business slowdown from the Christmas season can pick speed when retailers and businesses gain a sales boost on February 14,” – VendHQ.com

The middle of February is a special time of the year for people and businesses alike. Human beings look forward to romantic liaisons and celebrating friendship, while businesses seek to capitalize on selling opportunities afforded by Saint Valentine’s Day. In 2017, brands and businesses sold merchandise (such as chocolate, flowers, jewelry, fragrances, confectionery, etc.) worth an estimated $20 billion in the weeks leading to Saint Valentine’s Day in the United States. This is serious money and therefore, commercial organizations must focus on winning customer hearts during this brief festival. Various strategies can help businesses to boost sales in the days and weeks leading to February 14. We shall examine some of the strategies below.

Brands and businesses intent on winning customer hearts should work to personalize the customer’s experience. Retailers and merchants can add a brief note thanking customers by their name when they shop at these establishments. This can help consumers gain a positive shopping experience that goes beyond the everyday. In addition, businesses can choose to add a small token when customers shop above a certain dollar value. Further, jewelers can offer free engraving services for regular customers that shop around Valentine’s Day. These techniques enable commercial and retail establishments to usher in Valentine’s Day celebrations ahead of the calendar date.

Retail businesses can innovate certain trade practices in pursuit of winning customer hearts. Every gift or token handed to customers may not necessarily be material or tangible. Experiential rewards represent an interesting variation in modern gifting. Thus, retailers may offer friends and lovers opportunity to star in a fashion photo shoot or undergo a deep body massage by trained masseurs. This tactic hinges on the experience; it will be retained in the minds of participating customers for a long time. The happy customers may report their experiences to family and friends, thereby encouraging additional footfalls in business premises. We note that the outcomes of such business tactics represent the real-world equivalent of ‘viral’ actions native to social media.

Valentine’s Day promotions help brands and businesses at winning customer hearts. Business managers and brand strategists can brainstorm to locate and execute innovative ideas that help to promote sales. For instance, a chocolate maker can create sales promotions centered round personalized gift hampers. Per this scheme, customers that shop above a certain value are entitled to a free hamper. This tactic should help the business to connect with customers and to drive product sales. In addition, businesses can offer customers opportunities to hand deliver gift packs to addresses of the customer’s choice. This technique hinges on an individual’s thoughtful gestures for friends that live in different geographies. These tactics can be refined for businesses that pursue winning customer hearts.

Social media-driven campaigns enable modern commercial operator’s intent at winning customer hearts. This technique is driven by the widespread ubiquity of social media platforms. At a basic level, brands and businesses can offer shoppers opportunity to shop via special February 14 sections in shopping apps. A range of fresh products, special prices, gadgets, greetings, etc. can greet visitors when they peruse these electronic store fronts. In addition, electronic merchants can offer digital coupons to customers that can be redeemed at a future date. These techniques, when used in combinations, help businesses compete at winning customer hearts.

Contests and other activities can be organized on social media handles in a bid to fire up the competitive spirits. As part of the scheme, winners and runners up can collect a gift or special hamper from traditional stores and other outlets. These real-world establishments can also offer customers large surprise gifts in the form of gift wrapped mirrors and photo frames, etc. Further, customers can be photographed (with their consent) when they visit retail stores in the weeks prior to Valentine’s Day. A lottery or a lucky draw can select a winner; the business can reward the winner with gifts and other ‘goodies’.

Helping shoppers to find the perfect gift for a friend or a mate can help businesses in winning customer hearts. Premium merchandise, when beautifully packaged and offered as recommendations, has the ability to drive sales at retail stores. This tactic essentially hinges on boosting the consumer’s knowledge in terms of the choices available to him or her. From a business point of view, this tactic can help businesses to clear out slow moving inventory.

Retailers and e-commerce operators can elect to create gifting guides for shoppers and customers. This can help them at winning customer hearts during the month of February and beyond. The gifting guides can be sent to customers through email, instant messaging, snail mail, etc. Merchants can also choose to position these guides prominently for the benefit of shoppers and store visitors. The gifting guides can outline price points and product attributes for a variety of merchandise. The intent behind creating these guides is to expand consumer choice and to offer gifting ideas for various budgets. For instance, a florist can offer shoppers elaborate bouquets that cost the proverbial ‘pretty penny’ or just a bunch of long-stemmed red roses. These tactics enable the business to gain the custom of a wide range of clients.

Valentine’s Day should be treated as a day to indulge friends and loved ones. Businesses should incite this emotion among shoppers with a view to promote sales and encourage ‘retail therapy.’ For instance, a manufacturer of ladies’ handbags can elect to create product suggestions beyond the primary piece of merchandise. A bottle of fragrance, a bar of dark chocolate, a declaration of love etched on shiny metal or pale ivory can complete the perfect package for Valentine’s Day. Most shoppers would not mind the enhanced price tag for this composite gift item. This may even sell like the proverbial ‘hot cakes.’ We note that this approach is guaranteed to help businesses excel at the art of winning customer hearts.

Businesses can invite nominations from regular shoppers and visitors in the weeks leading to February 14. The campaigns can generate free publicity for the business. A list of nominees can be targeted with select items of merchandise and other forms of special treatment. We may state that the nominees may be pleasantly surprised and may participate in the scheme wholeheartedly. We note that this approach to boosting the velocity of commercial transactions should help businesses master the art of winning customer hearts.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined various selling techniques that empower businesses to win the hearts of their clients and customers. Every brand or business must realize that innovation should drive business campaigns that seek to connect commerce with customers. Marketing gimmicks and sleight of hand tactics can issue short-term boosts to selling activities. However, solid outcomes can ensue when a business delivers clear value to clients and customers. The foregoing techniques can help modern enterprises to reap huge dividends in the middle of February. The commercial payoffs can rival earnings from other prominent festivals. Indeed, commercial operators in every geography are waiting to jumpstart earnings with the blessings of Saint Valentine.

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