Shoppers are Needing More Than the Seasonal Aisles to Conquer Valentine’s Day This Year

Shoppers have awaited the retailer cue that officially signifies anew holiday is coming. Hues of pink flood the stores and hearts appear where Christmas trees or big game displays once lived—the candy still abounds, just in different wrappers. Although the aisles don’t look terribly different from what people are accustomed to seeing any other year as February 14th approaches, the shopper’s mindset has undoubtedly shifted.

It is typically quite the to-do to get reservations at the perfect restaurant and pick out the ideal gift before Valentine’s Day arrives. But this year, many will have to consider their date’s COVID preferences, state dining restrictions or how to manage without a babysitter. With more people celebrating from the comfort of their homes, this year could be more or less daunting depending on one’s craftiness.

52% of U.S. adults will celebrate Valentine’s Day this year and are forecast to spend $21.8 Billion. 73% of those celebrating say that it is more important to enjoy the holiday now more than ever. This data usually points to the tried-and-true seasonal aisles, however most shoppers will view the entire store as the Valentine’s Day aisle this year. They will need to pick out all the right ingredients to make a meal they typically wouldn’t try their hand at, and you can’t forget the candles, and maybe a new table cloth? This isn’t necessarily a new shopper journey per se, but it is quite the shift from how brands and retailers would typically approach Valentine’s Day.

While brands and retailers have been finding ways to pivot as a means of staying relevant and adding value to consumers lives, special occasions, such as Valentine’s Day, should see this effort multiplied. Although activating some of these extras in-store is ideal, there is plenty of opportunity within the digital space as well. One simple piece of content that consumers are almost always interested in, is a unique way a product can be used so they can get more out of it. It could be modifying it into a decoration, a phenomenal recipe they would have never thought of, or maybe even being able to incorporate the product into a game.

On the back end, retailers typically build endcaps or bundles of products that fit together, like avocados, lime juice and tortilla chips for Cinco de Mayo. For Valentine’s Day, brands should consider creating a partnership they revisit at this time every year. The more unexpected, but logical, the better. Shoppers want to see the convenience of the seasonal aisles take place throughout the entire store.

So, whether they are swiping right for a last-minute date or just wanting to try a cooking challenge with their significant other, like many things over the last year, Valentine’s Day will look a bit different. The holiday is still striving and thriving, but restaurant reservations will be nixed for something a bit more intimate

Contributed By: Aaron Miller, Senior Planner, Insight & Strategy, Denver

Image Source: Unsplash