Following the great holiday season, businesses often find themselves experiencing a dip in January. That’s why this time of the year sees retailers racking their brains for new ways to incentivize customers. However, with February 14 – the first major holiday of the year – and its Valentine’s Day shopping craze, it comes easy!
All around the world, this year’s Valentine’s celebration will likely be different from previous ones. With social distancing still in place, many people will switch theme parks and cinemas for a picnic in a local park or a romantic dinner at home. Either way, great food will be involved.
Implementing Valentine’s Day strategy is simply a no-brainer. But how exactly can restaurants and local grocers work the loving spirit to drive sales?
All about the experience… But safely!
Don’t fret, romantic dinners are not going away – they might take on a new form, though. Apart from the pandemic factor, Valentine’s Day this year falls on Sunday, meaning that on the day itself, many consumers are likely to enjoy the company of their loved ones in the comfort of their home.
While the popularity of in-house chef visits is growing, the handiest consumers will probably be in charge of the cooking themselves. Restaurants can prepare a whole-themed dinner menu set for deliveries, and local grocers can offer meal-prep kits as well. However, these don’t only need to be targeting love-birds; people are also increasingly celebrating with friends or alone, particularly looking to treat themselves!
Creativity is much appreciated; if restaurants can add appealing storytelling (well-designed food tasting kits) or help a customer scheme a surprise, such as a customized dessert or a heart-shaped pizza, it can go a long way too.
Let’s get a little extra
It’s no novelty that customers tend to spend more for Valentine’s Day, especially by trading-up to pricier products. People are more willing to splash out and spoil their significant other (or themselves), so including some of the more unique ingredients into the mix can work wonders.
Restaurants are likely to see success with more elaborate meals, so take advantage of that or offer a limited-time recipe to bring in extra traffic. From Italian truffles to Georgian wine, local grocers can promote luxurious items and tailor special promotions to further incentivize shoppers.
When it comes to promoting relevant products, it’s also useful to know that consumers love treating their furry friends. In fact, one in four people does Valentine’s Day shopping for their pets, so a themed pets’ food offer can work surprisingly well.
Tap into consumer behavior trends
In 2020, 62% of Internet users were planning to spend money on an experience, whether that’s an evening out or tickets to an event. Then, 52% planned to give sweets – beating flowers and jewelry. This year, with outdoor events being limited significantly, it’s likely that we will see a shift to creative, at-home options instead. Candies and other gifts could see a further boost.
Restaurants can attract customers by offering extra gifts with purchases; local grocery stores can do the same, while also setting up bundles of relevant products at a discounted price. Keep convenience in mind too: Restaurants can offer free dinner for children, while grocery stores can offer free delivery with easy scheduling options.
With the pandemic, going the extra mile to create a unique customer experience for Valentine’s Day can not only boost sales but also work wonders for customer loyalty.
To learn more tips for restaurants and local grocers from Local Express, explore our blog!