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7 tips for Valentine etailers

From flowers to candy to consumer electronics, the economy may be tough but Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that wise men and women in committed relationships aren't going to cut corners on. Here are 7 tips for etailers looking to maximize Valentine's Day sales.

Give recommendations. As a guy, I readily admit that picking the right gift for my girlfriend is often a challenge. Even though I know what she likes, there's always a bit of uncertainty. Is this too much? Is this not enough? Is this appropriate? Is this unique? Etailers can help their customers out by making Valentine's Day suggestions. What are your best sellers? Have any recommendations for different types of couples and relationships? For example, what gifts are ideal for new couples? What gifts are ideal for married couples? This is the perfect time to get creative with your copy and highlight the intangible characteristics of the items you're selling and how they can make for unique gifts for that special someone.

Upsell. One of the best recommendations you can make: what a customer can add to his or her order to make his or her Valentine's Day gift even better.

Remind. Some etailers send out too many emails when it's not appropriate. But now is the perfect time to send out an email reminding those with low romantic IQs that Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Be sure to use the opportunity to make a few recommendations. And remember: Valentine's Day isn't just for couples; it's the perfect day to treat yourself so be sure to promote an ideal gift for those who are still waiting to meet Mr. or Ms. Right.

Personalise. If at all possible, give customers the opportunity to personalise their gifts. Whether it's offering gift wrap, premium greeting cards or personalization of the product itself, few want to feel that their Valentine's Day gifts are bland and unoriginal. Valentine's Day is one of the most personal of holidays so make sure your customers don't feel like you're offering gifts that are impersonal!

Make order deadlines clear. Not having a gift on Valentine's Day is bad. Really bad. And it's one of those days on which an excuse only makes matters worse, no matter how legitimate it is. Etailers need to make it clear when orders must be received by for timely deliver so that customers know when their orders must be placed.

Offer shipping discounts and upgrades. Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away, meaning that procrastinators will soon been in dire straits. Their procrastination, however, could be your profit. If possible, think about offering shipping discounts, free shipping or free rush delivery upgrades to those who order above a certain amount. They get a better gift (and they don't get dumped) and you get a larger sale. That's win-win.

Deliver. Given what's at stake when someone orders a Valentine's Day gift from you (relationship life or death), this is one holiday that demands you provide stellar customer support, make sure your customers know where their orders are and make sure they get them on time.

By implementing some or all of these tips, you'll be well on your way to building a long-term relationship with your customers. Some of them may even be so delighted with your service that they'll (temporarily) feel like marrying you.

Source: econsultancy