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3 Sweet Valentine’s Day Tips to Woo Your Online Shoppers

Valentine’s Day is a sweet time for searches and sales, to the tune of $17.3 billion this past year. With half of purchases occurring within the week before Valentine’s Day and an average spend of $134, this last minute shopping holiday has both retailers and customers on their toes.1

Last-minute shopping: Valentine's Day searching and shopping tend to occur close to the big day. While 90 percent of gifts are purchased within three weeks of Valentine’s Day, the majority (51 percent) are bought in the days before.1 On the Yahoo Bing Network, Valentine-related searches begin to rise during the first week in February, as last-minute Cupids get busy. Some of them are still searching on February 14.2

More love to go around. Valentine’s Day is no longer reserved for lovers and spouses to demonstrate their affection. These days, family members, friends, classmates, colleagues and even pets can expect a token of love.1

The sweetest gifts. Did you know that over half of consumers plan to give candy, cards or flowers this Valentine’s Day?1 The traditional Cupids among us will spend $1 billion on candy, and 75 percent of that spend will be on chocolate.3 In fact, 59 percent of men and 83 percent of women say it's their preferred sweet treat – what a sweet time for sales!4

In addition, consumers will splurge on special experiences on Valentine's Day. Fifty-three percent will go out to dinner, 32 percent will prepare a special meal at home, and 16 percent will cuddle up with a movie rental.5 All these activities represent opportunities for marketers beyond the traditional gifts.

And the sweetest gift of all?  Sales!  Here are our top tips for wooing shoppers:

1. Fall in love with your mobile shoppers.

Mobile means on-the-go shopping for Valentine's Day, with 24 percent researching products and comparing prices on smartphones and another 32 percent doing the same on tablets. Fifteen to 20 percent will look up the locations of physical stores, as well as their hours and the best routes.1  And with over half of shoppers making a purchase the week of Valentine’s Day, many of these may be shoppers-on-the-go.

  • Select discount and deal-oriented keywords since smartphone customers search for deals
  • Use our Call Extensions feature to surface your business phone number inside your text ad
  • To drive foot traffic into your store, leverage Location Extensions, where your clickable phone number and directions will be displayed to help customers find your store – not just your website

2. Sweeten Up your Ad Copy

Anticipate what your customer will be in search of around Valentine’s Day and create dazzling ad copy to capture their attention.

  • Sweeten up your ad copy to target Valentine’s Day shoppers. For example, “Add some sparkle to Valentine’s Day with jewelry” or "Sweet talk your Valentine with a box of chocolates"
  • Customize your keywords and ad copy with Valentine’s Day seasonally relevant terms
  • Promote shipping options, especially "Guaranteed Delivery" if available. Be clear on shipping timeframe options and guaranteed delivery – you don’t want to disappoint customers if they don’t receive their order in time for Valentine’s Day
  • Include Valentine’s Day keywords to your keyword lists; consider using broad match to send more searchers your way who may be searching for related Valentine’s Day gift ideas

3. Fall in love with the Yahoo Bing Network this Valentine’s Day.

It would be heartbreaking to miss 29 percent of your potential customers this season of love, or access to the 32 million retail searchers not reached on Google.6 These cherished searchers are more likely to have spent lavishly on flowers in the previous six months or to have bought cards, gift foods and gift certificates.6

And finally, what advertiser isn’t infatuated with a more cost-effective solution than Google AdWords?7

For additional insights, check out our Valentine's Day seasonal insights deck on SlideShare below, and the Bing Ads Industry Insights Portal for more seasonal and vertical insights.

 Questions? Comments? Feel free to ping me on Twitter.

[1] Experian Marketing blog, November 2014

[2] Microsoft internal data

[3] Sweetworks, 2014

[4] Food Manufacturing, February 2014

[6] comScore qSearch (custom), US, June 2014

[7] AdGooroo, Google Adwords vs. Yahoo Bing Network – Average Cost per Click by Industry, Q1 2014