Valentine's Day Marketing: 9 Ideas for Online Shops

Whether you love or hate Valentine’s Day, if you’re a business owner, you simply can’t ignore this holiday. In Europe, Valentine’s Day has become more and more popular in the last few years. This means that your business should probably pay attention to it.

If you're still not convinced, keep reading. We've got some (always-romantic) Valentine's Day statistics for you! You'll also get some marketing ideas on what your business can do to prepare for the holiday - don't worry; we've even got some ideas for the Valentine's Day haters out there, too!

This article is basically broken down into two parts:

  1. Valentine's Day statistics
  2. Valentine's Day marketing: 9 ideas for your online shop
Before we get started, it's worth reminding you that Valentine's Day is not the only gift-giving holiday! In fact, there are a bunch of different holidays around Europe that you might not be aware of. If you sell internationally, our Holidays Calendar is a great tool for your marketing efforts. Download it below:

European Sales Holidays Calendar  Different countries = different holidays. Download calendar

Valentine’s Day statistics across Europe

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like some good ol’ fashioned statistics (I know - I can be so romantic sometimes). All kidding aside, it seems attitudes are changing for many Europeans regarding Valentine's Day. Let's have a look at the biggest markets in Western Europe, starting with the UK:

Valentine's Day in the UK

Valentine's Day has been quite popular in the UK for a few years. A 2018 survey revealed that exactly half of British people definitely planned to celebrate Valentine's Day, while an additional 22% said that they might celebrate it.

The same Statista survey revealed that Valentine's Day was also more popular among younger demographics. When asked if they planned to celebrate, 60% of those aged 18-29 said yes.

For the 30-49 demographic, 54% said yes, and for those aged 50+, 34% said yes. 

How has Valentine's Day has developed since then? Simply look at how retail spending has increased:

Valentine's Day retail spending is set to hit £1 billion in the UK. 

Chart: Estimated retail spending on Valentine's Day (UK)

Source: Statista

Valentine's Day in Italy

Here's a look at what Italian women search for in the two weeks leading up to Valentine's Day.

Interestingly, the top searches seem to be a mix of products for men, women, and ones they can share together.

In any case, many of these product categories see huge boosts in search volume among Italian women:

Chart: most popular products searched online by women for Valentines Day in Italy in 2019

Source: Statista

Valentine's Day in Poland

If we look at the Polish market, the public seems to have quite a positive perspective. Of course, there will always be some cynics, but they shouldn't be ignored either (more on the V-day haters later).

Chart: Public perception of Valentine's Day in Poland (2020)

Source: Statista

Valentine's Day in France

Whether you think France is romantic or not (no comment), the numbers show that Valentine's Day is on the rise among French consumers. According to a survey from Ipsos:

49% of French couples say they celebrate Valentine's Day with their partner in one way or another.


Source: Nenin

If we look at the demographics, it is particularly true in younger circles:

60% of French consumers younger than 35 plan to celebrate Valentine's Day.

To be clear, older demographics (older than 35) perform quite well in this category as well (46%), but it's noteworthy how much more popular the holiday is with younger generations.

Generally speaking, it seems that the holiday is getting more and more popular every year throughout Europe. As younger consumers continue to embrace the holiday, you can expect holiday spending to go up each year.

Valentine's Day in Germany

Valentine's Day plans are quite mixed in Germany. Although, more than half (52%) of those in relationships will consider it an 'ordinary day', there are still plenty of people paying attention, especially if they are in a relationship.

44% of Germans in a relationship will have a romantic date with their partner on Valentine's Day.

Sure, most people still consider it just another day, but it's not all gloom in Deutschland.

Regardless of the cynics, a healthy amount of respondents who were in a relationship still planned to celebrate the holiday with their partners:

Chart: plans for Valentines Day by relationship status in Germany in 2019

Source: Statista

Valentine's Day in the Netherlands

Although Valentine's Day isn't the most celebrated holiday in the Netherlands (around 33% planned to partake), it's still a significant number worth paying attention to. 

If we dig a bit deeper, we see:

48% of Dutch men celebrating Valentine's Day planned to spend between €15 and €50.

Many women planned to spend less than €15. Therefore, from a marketing perspective, you might want to factor this into your ad campaigns' targeting strategies.

chart: V-day planned spending Netherlands

Source: Statista

Valentine's Day in Spain

Last but certainly not least, the Spanish seem to be the most romantic people in Europe! Sorry, Frenchies, but Spaniards put their money where their mouth is.

According to Statista, Spaniards were the highest Valentine's Day spenders. Of those planning to buy gifts on Valentine's Day:

Spaniards spend £111 on Valentine's Day gifts annually, the highest in Europe.

For context, Italy and France were tied for 2nd place with around £107, followed by Germany at £84.

Valentine’s Day marketing: 9 ideas for your online shop

heart in shopping cart

Source: Shutterstock/plutmaverick

So, you’ve decided you want your online shop to do something for Valentine’s Day, but you’re not quite sure what you can do. Let’s look at a few ideas for your business.

1. Create a Valentine’s theme on your page

Perhaps, you can change the header image on your homepage or slightly alter your logo. Some visual cues on your page are never a bad idea.

With the Christmas and New Year’s hangover, Valentine’s Day has a way of creeping up on us (men). A reminder on your page might inspire visitors to make a quick purchase and 'get it out of the way'.

Woops Homepage

The homepage of Woops makes me hungry... for love!  

2. Create a Gift Guide for 'Him' and 'Her'

Once you’ve added all the products you think your customers would like to your inventory, help guide them to these temporary products with a 'Gift guide' page. You can divide these pages into different categories (e.g. For him, For her, For the Haters, etc.).

As men generally tend to spend more than women on this holiday, you might want to focus on male shoppers, but naturally, this depends on your shop. 

Also, be sure to make this page easily discoverable by placing links at the top of your homepage or even directly in the navigation. Either way, a dedicated landing page could really make sense here, especially if you run an ad campaign.

perfect landing page checklist

3. Offer unique Valentine’s Day products

Depending on what kind of store you run, you might want to consider offering a few Valentine’s Day-themed products. Your products don’t have to be cheesy. They can be “love-themed” without having to be tacky.

heart-shaped candle holders

These 'romantic' candlestick holders can be used any time of year.

Valentines Day card for gamersYour products don’t necessarily have to be so “lubby-dubby” either. Remember, love is supposed to be fun, so have fun with your products. People celebrating V-Day usually have a sense of humour, so don’t feel the need to be totally romantic in your marketing efforts. Even non-romantics celebrate Valentine’s Day. Check out this card for couples that game together (Source: Scribbler).

Don't forget what was mentioned above. Many people plan to give gifts to family members as well. It might be worth finding some products targeted to children or mothers.

If you go this route, make sure people can find this section. Place it high up on your website. This way, you might end up inspiring a visitor to buy something for someone else important to them; someone they didn't initially think about buying a Valentine's Day gift for. We'll touch on that a bit more later in the article.

4. Share some of the love you've received from your customers

social media creator tool for love

If Valentine's Day is all about love, then sharing the love you've received from your past customers can be a clever way of building trust with your followers as well as potential customers.

If your company collects customer reviews, you can find your best reviews and create a Valentine's-themed graphic to share on social media.

Pro-tip: Try finding product reviews or service reviews that use the word "love". Create a nice graphic around it, share it on your social media channels, and of course, use the right hashtags.

Begin by searching your reviews for the most relevant keywords (e.g. love). Once you've found your ideal review, you can now create an image to share on social media.

With the Trusted Shops Social Media Creator, you can upload custom backgrounds (in this case, something Valentine's Day-themed) and generate images for all your social media channels with a few clicks.

All you need now is a clever text to accompany your social media posts and you've got a great way of reminding shoppers of the upcoming holiday, while also building trust.

In order to share that love, you need to collect reviews and display them on your site. Reviews build trust with potential customers (i.e. people who've never bought from you before) and boost the SEO of your site.

Learn more about how increasing trust boosts sales in our whitepaper below:

7 tips to increase sales by building trust  Implement trustworthy elements in your online shop Download whitepaper

5. Connect with a charity

Find a charity to donate some of your profits to. Although it might not seem like the appropriate holiday for charities and donations, it all comes down to love in the end, doesn’t it? 

If you decide to go down this route, make sure to mention this on your homepage or the landing page somewhere.

6. Offer discounts

As with many sale holidays, you might want to consider offering a special discount for your shop in your Valentine's Day marketing efforts. You could use this strategy in a number of ways. For example, you could reward past customers for their loyalty or offer it to new customers by advertising on social networks and across the internet.

You don’t have to go crazy with a 50% discount. Normally a 20-30% discount works quite well, too.

Small extras like free shipping or free gift wrapping can also help improve conversions.

7. Focus on non-romantic gifts

You can go a couple different ways with the concept of non-romantic gifts:

i love my cat t-shirtCreate a landing page that is targeted at people who are buying gifts for people who aren't their romantic partners, as we touched on earlier.

We're talking about moms, grandchildren, pet lovers, people like that.

If you sell products to pet owners, this might be a good opportunity to sell some human products for a change! Check out this t-shirt from spreadshirt.

You can sell products with a love-theme of course even if it's intended for non-romantic people. However, these could be normal run-of-the-mill gifts or products as well.

You don't have to sell romantic gifts in order to benefit from the holiday. Sure, it's basically just an excuse to have a sale, but if you market it right, you might get more than a couple buyers. Either way, have fun with it if you go the non-romantic route.

European Sales Holidays Calendar  Different countries = different holidays. Download calendar

8. Be proactive with your marketing efforts: ads, email, social media

If you’re going to extend your product catalogue for this holiday, make sure you reach out to your past customers by sending out an email a few weeks ahead of time. This will remind them of the upcoming holiday and hopefully lead them to your shop for a purchase.

Similarly, get your social media accounts to post reminders about the upcoming holidays as well. Show your products in action with some nice, natural images.

You might even want to consider having a contest on social media. Inspire your customers to take part with some romantic or funny images. Offer some of your products as a prize or offer extra discounts to the top 5 images you receive. Remember to promote specific hashtags that can be connected to your brand.

Naturally, you have a lot of options when it comes to running a contest, but it could be worth testing it out. Hopefully, you’ll get your audience to share this contest with their friends and gain even more exposure.

Finally, you can reach out to your entire target audience by advertising on Google or Facebook. By micro-targeting to different audience groups, you can slightly alter your ads and text to suit every demographic that you want to reach.

If you run product ads, remember to target your audience with gifts for their partners, not for themselves (in most cases)! More on that below.

shopping cart filled with hearts

Source: shutterstock/Sergey Peterman

9. Offer 'Anti-Valentine's Day' products

We touched on this topic briefly (Remember the 'I love my cat t-shirt'?).

Not everyone loves Valentine’s Day. According to Google, interest in Valentine’s Day alternatives has been surprisingly on the rise. Searches for 'Galentine’s Day' and 'Singles Awareness Day' have increased in recent years. 

Consider a few options that go against the grain. With a clever product, you'll need equally clever landing pages and ads. Think about making a gift guide or a dedicated landing page for all your Anti-Valentine's Day products.

Here are a few directions you could go with it: 

Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D)

Singles Awareness Day is celebrated the day after Valentine’s Day. Naturally, these people have a sense of humour as well and can take a joke. Sure, it might be a trend, but we all have that self-deprecating friend who can have a laugh at their own expense. 

A celebration of singlehood

Have you heard of Singles' Day? It's an incredibly popular holiday in China, but it has grown in popularity across the world in recent years.

Single's Day isn't exactly an Anti-Valentine's Day though and it takes place in November (11/11 because one is the loneliest number). It's more of a celebration of your singlehood. And that's exactly the type of angle you could consider to target this audience.

Focus on self-care and items that are more of a treat to spoil oneself.

Valentine's Day Haters

Some people, on the other hand, are incredibly cynical about Valentine's Day. If they actually buy a present, it will only be done so ironically. Because this demographic is very real, you might want to consider having some tongue-in-cheek gifts or even some straight up anti-Valentine’s Day gifts.

i hate cupid tshirt

Check out the image on the right, from Zazzle. Wishing Cupid a horrible death in a romantic red font is one way to celebrate.

It might sound ridiculous, but there has been a precedent for this before and it was actually a genius marketing ploy.

During Elvis' reign as the King of Rock, his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, had a clever idea for how to sell merchandise to the small group of consumers who didn't like Elvis. He produced and sold "I hate Elvis" products as well, and they sold quite well!

Other Valentine alternatives have been popping up. Galentine’s Day, a holiday celebrated on February 13th, which was made popular by the US sitcom, Parks & Recreation, has gained popularity in recent years. It’s a day where “ladies celebrate ladies” and female friends come together to appreciate each other.


Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to increase sales and get more shoppers aware of your website. There are, of course, some unique opportunities with Valentine’s Day by creating new products and targeting those who love the holiday as well as those who don’t.

Classic holiday marketing methods work well during the period leading up to Valentine’s Day as well. Whatever you do, don’t ignore this holiday or you might miss out on some great opportunities.


Alon Eisenberg

Alon Eisenberg has been the Content Manager UK at Trusted Shops since 2017. He graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor's degree in Communications in 2004.

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