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Setting aside some time to plan a thoughtful Valentine’s Day promotion can really help your business compete. With some easy tips and targeted promotions, you can make this a successful holiday for your business!

Remember to keep your customers and staff safe by adhering to standard COVID guidelines (wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, social distancing, etc.), and adhere to all local and state health regulations.

Safety Issues

  • Leave enough room in your store so that customers are not in close contact with each other. Keep the area near your cash register as open as possible and ensure that aisles are wide enough to allow for ease of movement and distancing.
  • If you’re providing online shopping and delivery, clearly spell out your order deadlines and delivery options. If you’re providing curbside pick-up as an alternate to delivery, train your staff in your process.

Marketing Basics

  • Review your customer base to decide who you want to target (men, women, younger/older adults, etc.), and plan accordingly with your merchandise or services.
  • Decorate your business. Visit your local party supply store and pick up pink, red, and white decorations.1
  • Create window displays. If your business has a front window, advertise your Valentine’s related goods and services in this prime real estate.2
  • Review what you ordered last year to see what was popular and what didn’t sell well.
  • For many businesses, such as florists and candy stores, it’s the busiest time of the year, so hire additional staff as needed.
  • Spotlight your Valentine’s Day items by placing those goods in one area, preferably close to the door and/or checkout area. Make this area stand out with decorations and signage.3
  • Increase sales with gift sets. If you sell items that go together well, consider creating gift sets at a discounted price. Items such as candles, soaps and lotions are complimentary.
  • For a service business such as a hair styling salon or spa, consider offering discounts for package deals on services.
  • Create special items just for Valentine’s Day. Consider making special items created or sold once per year; a chocolatier, for instance, could make special heart-shaped candies and include cute sayings about love on larger pieces.4
  • Don’t forget that men and women both shop for this occasion. Dedicate a special section of “for him” and “for her” gifts.

Marketing Campaigns

  • Online shopping has seen an increase in the age of COVID, so update your website and social media accounts with any changes to your business (such as safety procedures and online shopping/delivery options), as well as new products and specials.
  • There are many styles of marketing campaigns to engage customers, including direct mail, email, social media, and in-store signage.5
  • An email is one of the cheapest ways to communicate with clients, but send email promotions early so people can plan gift ideas ahead of time.6
  • Use Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. While it’s good to plan ahead with posts leading up to Valentine’s Day, you can also post information at the last minute and still reach shoppers via social media.

Restaurants

While many of the tips offered above also apply to restaurants, there are a few special considerations:

  • Much of your business this year will likely be takeout or delivery, so review these procedures and change as needed. Make sure you have enough staff and that they’re trained to handle increased business.7
  • For customers who place orders online in advance of the day, provide specials such as free dessert or discounts on appetizers.8
  • Don’t forget to order plenty of take-out packaging.9
  • In order to keep staff and customers as safe as possible, allow pickups only at the front door or a designated window rather than letting customers inside.
  • If that’s not possible, serve one customer at a time inside to avoid crowding. You can also use curbside delivery.

Finally, don’t forget that Valentine’s Day isn’t just for romantic partners, but many loved ones. People, especially women, may buy gifts for children, parents, friends, coworkers, and even their pets!10

Sources:

1, 5. Groupon

2, 4, 6. On Deck  

  1. Your Cash

7, 9. Xtrachef

  1. Restaurant
  2.  

  3. Sendible


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Megan Makula

Merchants Insurance Group

Merchants Insurance Group sells its products through a network of more than 1,000 independent insurance agents in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. We sell our products through independent insurance agents because we believe they provide value to policyholders through their broad range of products and their insurance expertise.