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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and it’s usually a very busy day for many small businesses, especially retailers, restaurants and florists. Here are some small business marketing ideas to help you increase foot traffic on February 14 this year.

How Australians spend Valentine’s Day

A 2015 survey undertaken by Canstar Blue offers interesting insights into how much Australians spend, and what they do on Valentine’s Day. The survey of 2,050 Australians in relationships found that, on average, individuals expected to spend $44.32 on gifts for their partners on Valentine’s Day.

So with many Australian’s planning to splash some cash on that special someone, what can your business do to attract customers celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?

1. Run a Valentine’s Day special.

Running a Valentine’s Day special is a simple and effective way to increase foot traffic. Consider, how can you promote your products and services to those celebrating Valentine’s Day? Your special may be straightforward, such as a restaurant offering a dinner special for two or a heart-shaped pizza (looks delicious!). A hotel could promote a Valentine’s Day package, with one night’s accommodation, champagne and chocolates for two. Or your special may take a different, more inclusive approach. For example, a beauty salon could run a special encouraging customers to treat themselves, or businesses can offer ‘two-for-one’ deals, which could apply to anything from bottles of wine to (heart-shaped) pizzas to movie tickets. 

2. Help make gifting easy.

Choosing the right Valentine’s Day gift can sometimes be difficult, so consider what your business can do to help make it easier for people. This is particularly true for retail businesses that are traditionally busy on Valentine’s Day, like florists, chocolate shops and lingerie stores. You could curate gift ideas and guides and share them on your social media or create a section in-store with ready-to-go gifts divided by price. Offer complimentary gift-wrapping and stay open an hour or two later than usual for any last-minute shoppers.

3. Show the love.

Give your customers a little love this Valentine’s Day by running a competition that shows you appreciate them! Choose a prize that ties back to your business – whether it’s a voucher from your clothing store, a gourmet hamper from your deli, or a week’s worth of coffee from your café. Promote it in-store, via an e-newsletter campaign and on your business social media pages. Then you can draw or choose a winner on Valentine’s Day.

4. Spread love to those who need it most.

As a business you may decide to make Valentine’s Day about showing those in need a little love. You could approach this in different ways, such as giving a percentage of your profits from the day to a charity you’re passionate about or one like HeartKids – who run a fundraising campaign called Sweethearts Day on Valentine’s Day. You could even partner with a local charity to host a love-themed fundraising event and sell a Valentine’s Day-themed gift – for example, a patisserie may make love heart-shaped cookies – from which the charity receives a share of the profits.

5. Run an ANTI-Valentine’s Day promotion!

While there are many people who celebrate Valentine’s Day, there are also plenty who don’t (46% of survey respondents planned to do nothing). So you may choose to stray from the norm and run a promotion targeting those who are NOT celebrating Valentine’s Day. For example, if you own an eatery, host an event that openly encourages all types of customers – singles, friends, couples and families – to come and enjoy a meal together in a Valentine’s Day free zone.

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