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Expert Advice
Advice for Ecommerce Success
Our team of Ecommerce experts outline effective strategies for increasing and optimising your sales!
Christmas, the sales and now Valentine's Day: another opportunity to increase your turnover with the love fest that is the 14th of Feb!

1 in 3 people in the UK, buy their gifts online for Valentine’s day, and that breaks down to 59% of men compared to 41% of women buying gifts online. With the Valentine’s spend around the billion mark, that’s a healthy slice of the market up for grabs so get ready to seduce your buyers.

Get cupid on side and increase your sales with Actinic’s expert Advice.
Things to keep in mind:
1. 1 in 3 will buy their Valentine's Day presents online.
2. On average, people spend around £24.
3. Adapt to the male/female shopping habits and preferences.
4. Delivery by the 14th is non-negotiable, so reassure your buyers.
5. Declare your love to your customers: pamper them with outstanding customer service.
6. Highlight your recommendations and reviews to encourage sales

10 Valentine’s tips for boosting sales

Last year, the British Retail Consortium expected Valentine’s gift sales of over 1.3bn, getting a share of those sales is a must! To help you maximise your love sales the Actinic experts give you 10 top tips to ensure your site visitors are lovestruck all the way to the checkout!
01 Dedicate part of your site to Valentine's Day
73% of visitors of ecommerce sites leave after two minutes if they can’t find what they want (Source: Marketing Sherpa study). Best practice is to set up a section dedicated to Valentine’s Day, divided into two parts: women’s gift ideas and men’s gift ideas. Take into account that not all users have the same browsing habits; on average, ladies spend a lot of time looking at product images (zooming etc) and are more likely to search by brand, whereas gentlemen tend to search by product and read detailed product info (Source: InMoment).
So make the most of your product pages, use quality images accompanied by detailed and well-written text. Lead with your product’s best selling points to convince your buyer that this IS the gift for their loved one.

Pay some attention to your e-shop design, use a graphic skin that will draw the user’s attention to your Valentine’s offers, making them feel as if theses offers were made just for them. No need to go overboard, with a smorgasbord of hearts, kisses and who knows what else! Just let the customers know that you’re aware it’s a special day, have changed your site accordingly and have prepared some great deals. Put your star products on the front page with a call-to-action to lead your shoppers straight to your other sweet(heart!) deals. This is the perfect opportunity to use the Actinic drag and drop page editor to quickly add a touch of romance to your home page and create custom pages so both sexes can easily find just what their valentine needs!
02 Create product bundles and "Valentine Gift Boxes"
Apart from the traditional gifts like flowers, choccies, perfume, Valentine's Day is an opportunity to showcase the products in your catalogue which are particularly well suited to the day. If you sell electronic cigarettes, create duo sets to encourage tobacco smokers to quit together. If you sell candles, a pack of sensual candles should be at the forefront of your Valentines products. In summary, think about your catalogue and best position yourself to attract the Valentines shoppers.

Valentine's Day themed boxsets: romance, humour & seduction, luxury and sensuality etc. Stand out from the competition and offer your visitors tailored gift ideas for this love celebration: Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to increase your customers average basket, by offering packaged products, made simpler with the dedicated tool we’ve integrated into the Actinic solution.
03 Service First
With an average spend for a man of £26 and £21 for women, Valentine’s merits your attention - don’t skimp on service and make sure your site visitors can easily search your catalogue and then be guided to the check-out process. You could create a “Choose the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day” page for example, leading to your selection of recommended products. Create relevant content to increase the chances of instant buys. Create a banner to encourage telephone sales; “Tell us about your loved one and we’ll find you the perfect gift.” Make sure your phone number and email are in full view to increase MOTO (Mail Order, Telephone Order) sales.

For impeccable customer service and to stand out from the crowd you can offer a special Valentine’s wrapping service or a free card for your customer to scribble their sweet nothings!
Bear in mind that your regular customers will revisit for Valentines and will certainly appreciate the extra touches and your customer service efforts.
"Actinic offers a very effective MOTO feature. The numbers speak for themselves, an average basket with MOTO is 20% higher than on internet orders and our conversion rates are steadily increasing." Gaëlle Barré - Univers Broderie
04 Guaranteed delivery dates
You’ve heard the expression ‘time waits for no one,’ well you can be sure that love won’t either if your Valentine’s gift doesn’t arrive on the 14th! A D-day delivery guarantee is fundamental, if you want to see your customers all the way through the payment process. Which is why we recommend highlighting the delivery guarantee in the product descriptions and to reaffirm this promise throughout the whole of the buying process.

Whatever delivery options you offer: you must honour your commitments. A satisfied customer will remember the quality of service for their next purchase ... as will an unhappy customer! For further advice on shipping and logistics as tools for building customer loyalty don’t hesitate to read this article from our experts.
05 Adapt your shipping fees
In regards to your shipping policy, we encourage you to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and take inspiration where needed to minimize shopping cart abandonment. With 43% of internet users abandoning their shopping cart because of unexpectedly high shipping costs (PayPal/ComScore Study) it’s not something to let slide. A growing number of etailers offer free shipping when a certain basket price is reached, the proportion of free deliveries also increases seasonally, particularly during the sales.
Sharing the love with your customers and offering free shipping on Valentine’s Day is definitely an option worth considering.
06 Targeted email and SMS campaigns
To hit his target, Cupid also uses email! The number one marketing channel to generate web traffic (Source: Email Marketing Attitude Study). To stand out from the crowd and achieve a record open rate, define your objectives and customize your mails accordingly using the Actinic newsletter tool.

Would you really want to send the same message to the regular who places orders every month, the customer who orders from time to time and the one-off buyer? We didn’t think so, so optimise your marketing spend by segmenting your customer base with our RFM tool that allows you to send different messages according to your customers purchasing habits.
"To keep in touch with our clients, we send out a newsletter twice a month, highlighting our new products and promotions. The impact is significant, 5 days after sending we’ve doubled our sales!” Emilie Delportes -
Don’t hesitate to take advantage of the ongoing sales period and offer special Valentine's Day promotions. Select a few sale items that would make perfect presents and put them in your email campaign. Remember to differentiate your calls-to-action in the main text of your newsletter, facilitating your customer’s search for womens or mens gifts and redirecting them to their dedicated section.

SMS marketing has exceptional open rates but still has a slightly intrusive feel to it. Plan an SMS campaign for your most loyal customers, where it seems appropriate to create a closer relationship.
"Every month, we carry out several SMS campaigns. Our open rates are consistently above 90% and our turnover doubles a few days after sending." Olivier LECLERCQ - Alliance Paintball
07 Create a retargeting strategy
According to a Digital Trends survey, 73% of customers prefer to buy through sites that use their data to provide a more personalised shopping experience. Not only do they want to be recognised when revisiting a site, but they also appreciate offers that connect with their tastes, interests and recent shopping trends.

Setting up a retargeting strategy is a wise choice for Valentine's Day. Online shoppers will visit several sites before making their final choices. Ensure you’re not forgotten by making friends with retargeting strategies.
The latest buys will happen on the 12th and 13th, in between their last visit to your site and their final decisions, you can encourage them to take action by linking your ads to great promotional offers.
08 Start a Google AdWords campaign
Google AdWords is a quick way to get your target audience to visit your site: 89% of UK online searchers, use Google search. The consultancy firm Bunnyfoot discovered that 81% of web users clicked on Google Adwords instead of general search results and 40% of customers didn’t know that they were adverts.
Opting for a Google AdWords campaign positions your products and ads at the top of Google rankings for your chosen keywords and will help you attract quality traffic to your online store.
A campaign run by Actinic’s experts, with an equivalent budget, can generate 3 times the results.
This is the moment to ask Actinic’s, Google AdWords certified, SEO experts to assist you set up your campaign. The objective: ensure your slice of the advertising cake is bigger than your competitors’!
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09 Make your presence known on Social Media
82% of Internet users, looking at buying online, consult social network reviews and believe them (Performics Social Highlights 3 study ). Facebook can be useful tool for Valentine's Day marketing. If you publish your estore on Facebook, using My Social Store, consider revamping your Facebook page to show your subscribers you have some dedicated offers on your online store! Creating a contest and putting one of your special Valentine items up for grabs is a good way to create some buzz.

Use social networks to find a new audience for your brand and your products. This will not only drive more traffic to your site but with more than 2.046 billion active social media accounts, that’s a lot of potential customers! According to a recent study by the Internet Advertising Bureau, 80% of consumers take into consideration a brand’s social media presence when buying and thinking of repeat buys. A staggering 70% of adult social networkers shop online, your customers are there, waiting for you! Make sure you put forward your products and brand in the ‘About’ section because your ultimate goal is greater sales, not frittering away your time. The final piece of good news is that after spending just 6 hours a week on social media marketing, 75% of marketers and small businesses reported an increase in their site traffic, while more than 64% generated an increase in leads (WeAreSocial).
10 Put your best reviews forward
For Valentine's Day, your buyers have little margin for error when it comes to getting the right gifts and keeping their lovelights burning! While some customers are willing to take ‘risks’ on original gifts, they’ll still want to make the right choice. 77% of online shoppers consult reviews before buying (Econsultancy) so it's time to showcase the products with the best reviews in your dedicated Valentine's Day section. It’s easy to integrate quality, authentic customer reviews onto your estore with the Shopping Satisfaction tool available to all Actinic sites.

Over to you!