Share the Love with Customers this Valentine’s Day

For many retailers, Valentine’s Day is a critical holiday and a springboard for new year profits. Valentine’s Day sales reached an all-time high of $19.7 billion in 2016, per the National Retail Federation, and are predicted to dip only slightly this year to $18.2 billion. With over 25% of Valentine’s Day purchases occurring online, retailers must play Cupid and use everything they know about each customer to match them with hyper-relevant experiences that convert.

Valentine’s Day offers marketers and merchandisers more than just love and romance — it’s an opportunity to influence customers’ preferences and intent.

Unfortunately, many retailers are unable to understand an individual customer’s path to purchase across all the touchpoints and technologies in their stack. They need to understand what makes each customer different and unique. They need to look past averages to the diverse individuals in a customer base – and explore how to maximize the value of each one. And they need to do this at scale.

AI and Deep Learning can help solve this for retailers. By understanding and combining online and offline shopping patterns, product catalog and inventory data, as well as other third-party data sources, retailers can deliver experiences that are tailored to each individual customer and anticipate their needs.

For example, to maximize the potential of Valentine’s Day, retailers’ product recommendations must be personalized. Valentine’s Day shoppers are one of the demographics most likely to buy cross-sell items – they may buy flowers, cards, chocolate and other gifts at the same time. Retailers need to take advantage of this behavior and make it fast and painless for customers to add relevant items to their cart.

Knowledge, as ever, is the key for online retailers. When it comes to the major shopping dates, understanding your customers’ behavior and recognizing them as individuals allows you to be prepared, exceed their demands and anticipate their desires in order to deliver a successful Valentine’s Day. Being able to adapt your merchandising strategy in real time in response to the individual needs of each shopper is critical.

Matt Helmke

Matt is the senior director of communications and content at Reflektion. He’s led global communications, content and brand strategy programs for high-profile, culture-shifting Fortune 500 business divisions, as well as innovative, early-stage startups. The common thread running through his career is a passion for disruptive technologies focused on improving and redefining end-user experiences. Outside of technology, his passions include his family, music, bourbon, craft beers, fishing and swimming… but not all at once.