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Now a month plus into the New Year and love is in the air for both retailers and the shoppers whose affection retailers are hoping to win over. According to recently released data from the National Retail Federation (NRF), US shoppers are projected to spend $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day this year, up 7.7% from $18.2 billion in 2017, and falling just shy of the record $19.7 billion that shoppers spent on the holiday in 2016.

The NRF also reports that shoppers will spend 5.1% more per person this year than they did last year. In fact, Mintel’s US report on non-winter holiday shopping shows that one in five Americans plans to spend more on Valentine’s Day in 2018 than the year prior, especially among men aged 18-34. But how can brands earn those extra dollars?

What’s making shoppers swoon?

  • Guarantee delivery by Feb. 14: Reassuring shoppers that their gift will arrive in time for them to give it to their valentine will go a long way toward allaying their fears that they’ll be left empty-handed.
  • Price isn’t everything: Shoppers are always looking for a bargain, but Valentine’s Day is one of the holidays where it’s important for a shopper to get their gift right. In fact, 37% of those who celebrate holidays say that getting the right gift is more important than the price. Shoppers also aren’t nearly as conditioned to expect steep discounts on Valentine’s Day as they are during the winter holiday shopping season.
  • Take the guesswork out of it: Finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gift can be stressful. Putting together a simple quiz based on what a shopper knows about their sweetheart could help them make the right decision when it comes to finding the right gift, and helps brands maximize the chance of securing a sale.
  • Bundle up: Online retailers could throw in a free gift as a reward for shoppers spending more money on their site, or create bundled packages centered around a specific theme. This has the twofold impact of both helping a retailer or brand differentiate itself from the competition while also helping introduce shoppers to products they might not otherwise buy.

What online retailers are doing this year

Matt Lindner joined Mintel as Senior eCommerce Analyst after covering omnichannel retailing for a leading business publication.