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Love in the time of Covid-19: woo your customers this Valentine’s Day

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This year’s Valentine’s Day is sure to be one of a kind, but that doesn’t mean people won’t be spoiling their other half. While fancy restaurant dates might have to be relocated to the dining room table, the search for the perfect gift is still very much on.

The love economy is growing five times as fast as the global economy, and Valentine’s Day spend has gone up 17% since 2017 according to a recent Mastercard study of card transactions from over 53 countries.

Romantics across the world are spending more than ever, and the UK is no exception. Case in point: despite last year’s pandemic outbreak, UK consumers still spent over £1 billion on gifts, with an average basket of £35 per person.

As feelings run strong and pockets run deep, here’s what you can do to make smitten consumers go to your brand to spoil their loved one.

Continued physical distancing and lockdowns will make it difficult for customers to shop as usual, so it’s paramount to create a connected and fluid in-store and online shopping experience. The already hazy delimitation between online and offline is becoming even more blurry today, with consumers switching from online research and in-store buying to online buying and in-store collection at the drop of a hat. While the in-store experience can be more attractive when buying a gift, there’s something to be said for the very efficient nature of online shopping. So, you should make sure your advertising is tailored to both digital-savvy users and those who prefer the traditional retail experience.

Location data should also be an integral part of your strategy. Shoppers will be browsing different shops and brands to find the right gift, so reaching consumers at the most appropriate time and place will play in your favor and increase your chances of getting them into stores.

By using advanced targeting tools like dynamic catchment areas and identifying those customers who are within an optimal travel-time to your points of sale, you’ll be able to deliver more efficient advertising. Leveraging hyper-precise location targeting is the key to reach shoppers who are near your store and get them through your doors. By going one step further and using dynamically optimized creatives, you can make things even easier for them by showing them a map with walking or driving directions to your nearest point of sale.

Omnichannel Valentines

Another thing to keep in mind is to use omnichannel advertising. It goes without saying that mobile has become the go-to channel to reach consumers. But while mobile should indeed be your primary focus to deliver advertising, combining it with other channels is a foolproof way to boost traffic to your store or e-shop. Brands see a 2.5x higher visitation rate when they combine mobile and (D)OOH for example, which shows that utilizing a cross-screen approach and using different medias in your mix is vital to drive visits that will positively impact your bottom line.

As a last piece of advice, you should give as much importance to your advertising message as your ad format. By using innovative units, you’ll have an impactful effect on users and convert them to buy from your brand. Just like customers are looking for a gift that will make their other half go "wow", you should turn to formats that will generate excitement and drive them to buy your product. Something that could work well for this is a countdown format with a clear messaging and an engaging call to action to remind your consumers that it’s now or never.

This Valentine’s Day, couples will be going the extra mile to show their love after an eventful year. Capture the hearts of your customers and make them swoon with creative ads and omnichannel activations to help them find your nearest store or access your e-shop to buy the perfect gift.

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