Flowers, boxes of chocolates, dinners, rings, dresses, bags…there is not only Love in the air on Valentine´s Day. Each February 14th and its surroundings are a pretty big deal for Retail. Modern love is still about gifting and sharing unique experiences on love´s festival. Despite the decrease of people who plan to celebrate Valentine´s Day – in the last decade US market as registered a dramatic fall from over 70% to 30% of adults planning to celebrate – sales are still projected to reach more than $20 billion. On average, consumers spent $162 on Valentine´s gifts, according to 2019´s survey conducted by National Retail Federation (NRF). Gifts for a significant other are still an important part of the holiday and those who celebrate are spending more.

In terms of customers´ preferences, traditional items like jewelry, clothing, flowers and candy are still popular for the holiday, but consumers are also looking to give a special experience,
especially when speaking about millennials and younger generations of customers. Creating a special moment or being unique are meant to be the most appealing drivers. According to NRF´s survey, department stores are the most popular Valentine’s Day shopping destination, visited by 35 percent of shoppers, followed by discount stores (32%), online (27%), specialty stores (18%),
florists (16%), small or local businesses (14%), jewelry stores and specialty clothing stores ( 9% each). It means Retailers should get themselves and their stocks ready for the holiday ASAP.

Love and inventory? You better plan in advance

It is never easy to find the balance between buying all that is needed and avoiding stock-outs or overstock, when scheduling holiday’s activations and campaigns. Planning in advance is always crucial for Retailers but it is not enough without a proper demand forecasting tools that help us to squeeze all cash – generating opportunities. Merchants manage usually thousands of products across different channels and some of them will not sell as well as others. As a consequence stocks need to be allocated in smart way demanding in advance planning and ongoing adjustments in order to
finding the perfect Retail balance. Planning your Valentine´s Day collection, managing new product introductions and mix, balancing stock between stores and creating special promotions are an important part of retail strategy for V-Day.

Taking control over your stocks

Analyticalways can help you to manage your stocks and know which products and sizes should be sent to your stores to avoid imminent stock-outs. Check out this video to quickly learn how to improve your stock planning, correct the on-hand inventory and stop losing sales thanks to the power of predictive analytics. Staying in control of the inventory means more sales and more sales mean more turnover and benefits for Retailers. Thanks to predictive technology, it is easier to make stock and assortment suggestions for each of the stores and better control the stock and customers´ demand.

Love at discount? Be aware of your margin, first.

Discounts, special deals, V-day packaging, free shipping: coming up with a proper promotion for Valentine´s day helps retailers to draw people into the store and drive sales, especially since all the customers are more and more looking for a deal. It is in the best interest of retail players to design a good strategy that leverages potential benefits and turnover of V-Day. Margin can be at risk and there is only one way to successful planning in advance: getting into the heart of your data to get an extra intelligence.

Love´s marketing: how to better engage on Valentine´s Day

Dedicating a special section for Valentine´s Day helps to get full attention of consumers on special items or promotions planned for the campaign. It should be scheduled and visible both on the website and store taking into account clients are used to seamless omnichannel experience. Putting in place a proper visual merchandising and display is absolutely crucial for Retail. Your salespeople can take a more active role in managing the visibility of merchandise and create more unique customer experience. Do not forget that your store teams can make a difference.