4 Ways to Care for Customers This Valentine’s Day

brandi-ann-uyemura_crop by Brandi-Ann Uyemura on February 14, 2014
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Valentine’s Day is a major spending holiday, second only to Christmas. In fact, consumers are expected to spend an average of $131 a person this year, with 51 percent of shoppers purchasing within a week of Feb. 14. Small businesses have a prime opportunity to benefit from Valentine’s Day sales.

What if you don’t sell traditional Valentine’s gifts like flowers, jewelry, or candy? Step outside the (chocolate) box to show appreciation for your clientele. Try these four holiday strategies to maximize sales and generate new interest in your small business.

1. Go with the holiday flow. Whether you run a storefront or an online business, make sure to design, decorate, and market with Valentine’s Day in mind. Small-business coach Janet Slack says, “Marketing ideas for Valentine’s Day should center around the themes of love, commitment, romance, and relationships.” Don’t sell consumer gift items? Decorate your products and/or services with holiday copy. For example, Slack suggests packaging two items together at a special price with the phrase “meant for each other.” It’s a fun way to participate in the holiday while providing customers with sweet deals.

2. Give back to your customers. Offering attractive discounts can lure customers who took a spending break in January (see #1). But giving personal, thoughtful gifts shows your appreciation for loyal customers. Business and leadership development coach Diane Helbig advises owners to consider recognizing regular patrons with gifts such as a picture frame or a gift card to a favorite restaurant.

3. Take advantage of social media. Slack says you can gain online visibility by conducting holiday-themed sweepstakes, contests, or giveaways. She suggests owners “run a Facebook contest, such as asking fans to post selfies with loved ones.” You can also reward customers who “check in [your store] on their smartphones, ‘like’ your business page, or otherwise help promote you on social media,” Slack explains. This encourages activity on your page and fosters interest in your business.

4. Partner up. If you’re not in the retail industry, partner with someone who is. Co-marketing with another business allows you to offer Valentine’s Day products and services and reach new customers. Slack suggests creating a promotion that gives customers a discount at one business when you spend money at the other. “This concept works equally well for online businesses or those without physical products,” she says.

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Brandi-Ann Uyemura writes from her home in Hawaii. She specializes in writing that heals and inspires others on a range of topics. She has a MA in Counseling Psychology, writes for print publications and websites, and is currently undertaking fiction.

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