Last Updated: February 3, 2022

Ideally, you start planning for retail holidays with plenty of time. But there are some easy ways to prepare last-minute, too. Even though Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly, retailers still have time to get ready for the giant retail holiday. After Valentine’s Day spending hit a record high of $27.4 billion in 2020, that number dropped to $21.8 billion in 2021, likely due to pandemic-related restrictions. But for this year, the numbers are more promising. As we’re getting closer to the lover’s holiday later this month, the National Retail Foundation expects Americans to spend nearly $24 billion, making it the second-highest V-Day spending year in history.

There are ways for any type of retailer to get in on the action. You don’t have to be a florist or confectionary merchant to take advantage of the spike in sales. So take a look at some of these last-minute Valentine’s business ideas to get started. It’s easy to run a simple promotion, create some gift sets, or even set up a gift wrapping station. Start 2022 with great Valentine’s Day marketing strategies and set yourself up for a successful remainder of the year.

  1. Start some valentine’s day promotions
  2. Set up and dedicated valentine’s area
  3. Keep It original
  4. Market to the shoppers themselves
  5. Add options for kids, parents, and pets
  6. Add a valentine’s twist to normal products
  7. Give shoppers ideas
  8. Offer freebies and prizes
  9. Make it funny
  10. Add gift wrapping

1. Start a Few Promotions

There is no better way to start planning for the holiday than by coming up with a few great promotions. Keep it simple with some gift baskets, bundled deals, and other Valentine’s themed ideas.

Help inspire your shoppers with promotions. And use it as an opportunity to cross and up-sell. Up your average transaction value while moving through your inventory at the same time. 

Be sure to monitor each promotion carefully with your retail POS. You never want the deal to be too good.

Picture showing an idea of Valentine's Day promotions

2. Set Up a Valentine’s Themed Area

Keep your retail space clean and well-organized with structured areas. During the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, add a special section solely devoted to the holiday.

This helps your shoppers quickly find what they’re looking for. And for those who had forgotten the holiday, it’s a good reminder that they may want to grab a few things.

You can change up your online store, too. Add some banners on your homepage to grab attention and promote any Valentine’s sales you’re running.

Picture illustrating a valentine’s themed area as a

3. Come Up With Some Original Ideas

Keep your store fresh with some unique ideas. Like we mentioned earlier, any type of merchant can participate in the festivities. For those of you that don’t sell products that easily fit the bill, use some creativity to make it fun and engaging.

Stay away from the pink and sappy stuff. Be fun and different to make your brand stand out.

4. Remember That Some People Are Shopping for Themselves

V-Day is growing in popularity for single people, too. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, many have decided to treat themselves. For merchants that don’t sell more traditional Valentine’s Day products, think about what items you could market to all the single people.

Additionally, you can target people buying something for their significant other. Just because they’re getting a gift for someone else doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t also get a gift for themself while they’re there.

5. Add Options for Kids, Parents, and Pets

Similarly, consumers are expanding their Valentine’s Day giving to other loved ones and pets. And for those who aren’t thinking about this, it’s another opportunity to give them the idea.

Like most consumer trends, spending on gifts for pets has increased exponentially over the past decade. With there being more pet owners than ever and people spending an unprecedented amount of time at home with those pets, it seems likely that this trend will continue for Valentine’s 2021.

Picture showing a Valentine's Day promotion idea for pets.

6. Put a Valentine’s Day Twist on Your Products

Spruce up your product line with some Valentine’s Day twists. Even adding some simple images can go a long way.

Think about adding smaller items that can turn a gift unrelated to Valentine’s into the perfect gift for the occasion.

Valentine's day craft for toddlers and kids

7. Give Shoppers Gift Ideas

Some of the best selling Valentine’s Day shopping items are pre-made gifts and product packages. Put together creative gift bundles and gift guides. Shopping for Valentine’s Day is a daunting task for a lot of people. Help them out. They’ll come to you for future holidays, too.

Educational materials and DIY stuff are more popular than ever. People want to buy things that require a little bit (but not too much) work. Think about things like cocktail sets, bonsai kits, and paint by numbers kind of stuff.

8. Offer Some Free Items for Inspiration

If you can let shoppers try it out, even better. There’s no better way of inspiring trust in a product than by allowing them to experience it before buying. 

An alternative would be to add a great return or exchange policy. People will feel a lot better about giving a gift if they know that the recipient can return it if they don’t love it (even though it’s an annoying move).

9. Make It Funny

Keep everything light-hearted. There’s no need to make the holiday as serious as some people take it. If you’re stretching it to make some products stand out as Valentine’s-related, at least make people laugh.

The funnier you are with your products, the funnier the gift giver can be with the recipient. Add a twist like this makes your brand and the shopping experience that much more memorable.

Illustration showing how to make a fun Valentine's Day gift.

10. Create a Gift Wrapping Station

People hate wrapping presents. You have to hide it from the recipient. Probably have to buy new wrapping paper, too. And then the paper sits in your closet for the next year. And it falls over every time you open your closet door. But then the next year, you forget you have it and you buy new paper. And then you never have the right tape either. And even if you do have all of it, the wrap job never looks good. Help your shoppers out. Just put in a gift-wrapping station instead.

Read also: Back-To-School Campaign Ideas For Retailers

Frequently Asked Questions About Valentine’s Day Marketing Tips

1. When should you start marketing on Valentine’s Day?

The question of when you should start your Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns has no single answer. However, it is advisable to start valentine’s day marketing a little early because most customers buy gifts for their loved ones before the holiday. Therefore, it is important to start advertising and marketing your products early enough to reach them before they buy anything else. It is even more crucial to advertise early if your product is customized and has a longer delivery time

2. What sells the most during Valentine’s?

People often buy several gifts for Valentine’s Day. The top-selling items usually on Valentine’s Day are jewelry, clothing, candy, flowers, greeting cards, sweets. There are also romantic dinners that are among the top spending on Valentine’s Gifts.

3. What are the most popular places to buy Valentine’s Day gifts?

Department stores were where most people planned to buy their Valentine’s Day gifts, while others shopped at discount stores and bought online for convenience at florists and jewelers.

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