February 14th; a day whereby flowers, cards and lavish meals are presented to loved ones in the name of roman saint, St. Valentine. But as you opened your own shutters this morning, heart balloons awry from yesterday’s working day, a feeling of dread washed over you. The holiday of love and lust had not performed as you’d hoped, with a shop full of seasonal stock lurking in its wake. All is not lost, for we have some tips on how to recover your losses and to better prepare for 2018. Whether you are a florist or a small gift shop, it’s time to think outside the (chocolate) box…
Recover your losses 🌹
As an independent retailer, you have freedom over what happens to your stock (within reason). Aside from keeping your offers going and reducing the price of products, try these:
- Repurpose leftover roses by dressing them up in fresh bouquets, and re-wrap chocolate boxes in vibrant Easter colours
- If your edible goodies are nearing a best before date, hand them out to customers throughout the day as a sample, or share them amongst staff as a treat
- Drape Valentine’s decorations across your shelves and till area to create a shabby chic feel
Hold a post-Valentine’s event
Valentine’s Day is not celebrated by all, and as such, there could be an opportunity in there for you. The 13th February marks Galentine’s Day; a date to glorify females and their best friends. Round your troops to flourish ideas for events that you could host in-store, such as a mother & baby event or a speed dating session.
Better prepare for 2018 ❤
As an independent gift shop or florist, you can impress the husbands, wives, and partners looking for something a little more personable. Make use of any materials you keep in store, including brown recycled paper, wicker baskets and mismatched gift tags. Be vocal about locally grown plants, fresh flowers or handmade trinkets; don’t be afraid to cut through that commercial noise! Put your own spin on romantic classics such as red roses by wrapping them in song sheets or a fancy foil.
Go against the grain by lowering your prices
Most businesses charge a pretty penny for Valentine’s Day gifts, especially as the day draws near. Try lowering the price of a popular product for a limited number of purchases, ensuring you up-sell the offer in store or advertise it on social media. If a customer is umm-ing and ahh-ing about a product, throw in accessories at little cost; for example, a tag and ribbon for handmade chocolates or silk flowers for bouquets.
Offer free gift wrapping
Stemming from a pagan fertility festival, Valentine’s Day is now more about presentation and less about purpose. Gift wrapping can be a stressful exercise, particularly for those hoping to capture the heart of a new crush. Make free gift wrapping a deal-maker for customers choosing to buy from you over another small business.
Wish your customers a happy Valentine’s Day
It might sound simple, but wishing your customers a happy Valentine’s Day will really show them that you are in the spirit. Brief your staff members to spark conversation about Valentine’s Day plans; this will stimulate excitement among your customers and will provide you with feedback on the kinds of products you should sell more of. If you’ve got an A-board outside, chalk a warm message across it to entice customers into your shop. A cheeky promotional message will also work well!
Dress your shop
Dressing your shop for Valentine’s Day doesn’t need days of preparation. String pink and red pom-poms around shelves, or drape wooden hearts above the entrance as an acting archway. Additionally, hang a cork board on the wall and invite customers to write love notes on heart-shaped post-it notes for some face-to-face engagement.
Don’t forget to spread the love online
Updating your online shop will really get you ahead of the game; give your customers the opportunity to browse for gifts early on. Advertise promotional offers, and ensure you duplicate any in-store activity. Having a beautiful store, good quality products and a glowing rapport with customers should be vocalised on every platform you have access to.