Our Readers' Opinions
February 7, 2014
Valentine’s Day Dilemma…

Fri Feb 7, 2014

Business Buzz

by Candice Sealey

Valentine’s is around the corner and it presents major opportunities for businesses especially retailers. From time to time, one hears business owners comment that Valentines is not very lucrative and that people don’t shop anymore; that coupled with the thought that some people don’t believe in Valentine’s can make retailers think twice before implementing Valentine’s promotions.{{more}} Here are some tips to assist in making the occasion a success for your business

1. If you’re a retail store/restaurant owner, you should definitely be reaping some of the benefits from increased spending – you should have already planned how you will attract sales. Merely decorating the windows, walls and displays in your business for Valentine’s Day is not enough. For customers to believe you care, your efforts must come out of authenticity. No one – not your customers or employees – is going to put more into the relationship they have with your business than you do. Your investment (the extent to which you go to show customers that you really care about them) will be reflected in their ‘love’ for and loyalty to your business. The return is never going to be more than your investment.

2. Be creative! If you are a restaurant, how about a special offer on dinners on the days before and after Valentine’s Day? Many people will be out on the 14th for dinner and a good time. If you have a restaurant/eating establishment, offer huge discounts the day before and after to pack the place for three days straight! Bakery/Chocolate Retailer: Send customers/have available/create an advert with: a tiny, heart-shaped box. It contains a single chocolate and a tiny card. The outside reads: ‘Will you be my Valentine? The inside reads: ‘If you say yes, I’ll give you 15% off between now and the end of the month’!

3. Put together Last minute offers: There will be many who delay shopping until the last minute, and if you can present options that are thoughtful, creative, beautifully packaged, and good on price, you can get their attention

4. Widen your appeal: Break out of the traditional Valentine’s Day flowers-candy-chocolates-dining gift list. What do you have that is funny, creative or special? There are people who are tired of the same old options. Give them something refreshing! Go with a red-and-white colour theme. Think out of the box by promoting anything that fits into your red-and-white criteria as potential Valentine’s material e.g offer a discount on any red or white items purchased between now and February 14 and offer an incentive with a future deal. Give a discounted voucher towards future purchases with any purchase made for Valentine’s Day.

5. Reward your best customers- Double loyalty points or rewards for all purchases by your most loyal customers or when customers purchase specific products or services in February. Send an e- Valentine’s card to your most loyal customers.

6. Take time to show some love to your employees! – Engaged employees who see themselves as aligned and connected with the brand and culture of the business where they work are happier, more likely to deliver exceptional customer service and more likely to proactively resolve customers’ problems. Your customers are much more likely to feel ‘loved’ by your business when your employees do. During February, send Valentines /notes of appreciation to your staff noting personal traits and talents you appreciate. Post customer feedback on Facebook and in employee break and lunch areas. Hold a Valentine’s Day lunch or send chocolates or flowers to staff!

Candice Sealey is Founder of Ignite! Full service Marketing & PR Consultancy Company offering tailored services to help businesses succeed. Let Ignite! help you create a social media policy that benefits both your brand and your employees. Create new sparks and get better results for your business.

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