For many performance marketers, Valentine’s Day creates a huge sales opportunity. So, as the romantic, money-spending celebration nears, let’s look at some of the sectors poised to benefit most from Valentine’s Day weekend.
In 2014, loved-up partners in the UK spent £1.3 billion on their other halves as we splashed out on quintessential Valentine’s gifts. All online commerce sites should be designed to lead visitors down the conversion funnel; encouraging them to add items to their basket and arrive at the checkout stage with minimum hassle.
The percentage of customers who go on to purchase the items in their basket make up the basket conversion rate. This metric is hugely important as it is a major indication of a customer’s readiness to buy, as well as the site’s ability to convert interest into sales. Increasing this metric should therefore be the aim for all performance marketers, especially during periods of high buying activity.
Analysis of overall basket conversion rates leading up to Valentine’s Day 2015:
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As we can see in the table above, compared to the fortnight before Valentine’s day, in the fortnight prior to it the basket conversion rate for the floral sector rose was up an impressive 9.25%. This is perhaps unsurprising given the tradition of giving flowers to your loved ones. It is also often regarded as a last minute gift, making it more likely for the customer who places a bouquet in their basket to complete the transaction, rather than abandoning to continue their time-sensitive search elsewhere.
Perhaps another anticipated result given the nature of Valentine’s Day, the adult sector enjoyed a 5.10% basket conversion rate uplift in the run up to Valentine’s compared to the fortnight prior to this in 2015. Such an uplift may also suggest that customers feel more comfortable purchasing these type of items in the privacy of the internet rather than in-store – a preference retailers clearly should keep in mind.
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A result that is sure to shock many - the basket conversion rate for the ticketing sector in the fortnight before Valentine’s decreased by a whopping 8.54%. This may be a sign that ticketing sites could be doing more, particularly on their basket and checkout pages, to retain the interest of their customers. They could also benefit by creating Valentine-specific offers and campaigns to become the gift of choice.
The travel industry also saw a decrease in basket conversion rate from the fortnights of January to February. In the two weeks prior to Valentine’s, the basket conversion rate stood at a lowly 9.85%. This is particularly unexpected given that the online travel industry enjoys an average basket conversion rate of 19%. This drop suggests that, like for the ticketing sector, much improvement needs to be made to their basket and checkout pages to convert customer interest into customer sales. However, it could also be that consumers plan trips further in advance, so Valentine’s offers should be built into your December/January marketing strategy.
Valentine’s Day expenditure in the UK has grown year-on-year, and 2016 is not about to put paid to this trend. According to Google’s ‘Very Mobile Valentine’s Day’ infographic, mobile will also be more important than ever as consumers plan their romantic gestures at the weekend, with a 60% rise in Valentine's Day related searches year on year. Retailers involved in the floral industry, and the adult category are set to be the ones that according to our data, profit most.