Valentine’s Day has gone through a few iterations over the years. From the Parks and Recreation championing of “Galentine’s Day,” to a celebration of self-love and singledom, or prioritizing platonic loved-ones like family members—this day is not just for the romantics anymore. But, of course, they still show up, too.
This means that marketers need to look beyond the traditional target audience of couples. Companies should focus on catering to multiple preferences that reflect the more nuanced ways people are celebrating the holiday—and even those that are staunchly against it.
This is why we decided to focus on three non-obvious Valentine’s Day personas to reflect these emerging trends.
There’s been a shift among consumers to prioritize experiences over material items—and Valentine’s Day is no different.
According to the NRF (National Retail Federation), 25% of consumers celebrating Valentine’s Day in 2019 were looking for a “gift of experience.” It’s a trend that’s slightly more popular with younger generations, with 46% of millennials saying they gifted someone “an experience” and 83% of millennials saying they’re interested in receiving this kind of gift.
This presents a great opportunity for businesses in the travel, hospitality, and entertainment space to create tailored offers for Valentine’s Day. Geographic data can help promote local experiences (like an upcoming concert in a user’s city), while behavioral data can help travel companies understand who’s more likely to pounce on a “last-minute getaway” deal vs. buyers that have shown to be more meticulous planners.
The Treat-Yourself Crowd
People have been shrugging off the dread of being single on Valentine’s Day. In fact, many have come to see themselves as the perfect valentine to splurge on. Retailers can retarget visitors with specific items they’ve shown an interest in: based on time spent on product pages, or items they’ve added to their cart and then abandoned. If timed right, these campaigns can be just the sway shoppers needed—why not treat themselves for Valentine’s Day?
For added incentive, brands can offer a Valentine’s Day discount, or even a free shipping deal so shoppers can have purchases delivered to their door by February 14th.
The Proud Pet Parents
People love their pets, and it’s given rise to a niche audience for Valentine’s Day. 20% of people said they were planning to buy a gift for their pet, and the projected spend in 2019 for pet owners was $886 million. (So maybe it’s not so niche after all.)
Retailers can offer discounts on items based on the pet visitors are shopping for, while subscription services can send personalized boxes to customers. Pet groomers could also send targeted ads to local pet owners with February 14th specials.
(Are you a pet retailer looking for more website optimization ideas? Check out our case study with the Spanish brand Petsonic.)
It’s no secret that personalization is a make-or-break factor for customer satisfaction. For businesses, having a sharp understanding of users’ intent, preferences, interests and online behavior are crucial to creating relevant experiences. And, it’s important to stress here that relevance is highly dependent on context.
Which means everything from time of day to device being used, to holidays, has an impact.
This is why we wanted to highlight these not-so-obvious trends associated with Valentine’s Day. While there is still a focus on romance and all the mainstays of jewelry, chocolates, and candlelit dinners (52% of total Valentine’s Day spending still goes to significant others) there’s so much more opportunity here for businesses to tap into.
For more on ways to optimize digital customer experiences around the holidays, check out our ebook here.