How to sell more this Valentine’s Day
With tips from best-selling jeweller Claire Gent
Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest events in the crafting calendar, generating millions of pounds of sales in the UK. It’s estimated that in 2018 Britain will spend £980m on Valentine’s Day – a £15 million increase on 2015*. Figures also show that one in three people buy their Valentine gifts online, so love it or loathe it, it’s a great opportunity to sell your products to an audience desperate for thoughtful gifts ideas.
As independent designers and makers, you’re perfectly positioned to offer the unique gifts shoppers want to give, but how can you get your products in front of this ready audience, and what can you do to make them buy your items rather than something from the high street? We’re here to help, with seven simple tips and practical advice from best-selling jeweller Claire Gent…
Seven ways to sell more this Valentine’s Day
1. Offer personalisation
Give shoppers the opportunity to purchase a one-off piece by creating a personalised product. Personalisation is hugely popular and, as designers and makers, you’re in a great position to offer this as a special service to your customers. If you make jewellery, could you engrave initials, for example, or be more creative and replicate a wedding flower, include a line from a song, or incorporate a memory somehow? Our Gifts You Can Personalise guide has lots of ideas on how you can personalise products, but remember to always be original.
2. Create something unique
With so many products vying for attention on Valentine’s Day, think about what you could create that’s different and would capture not just attention but people’s imagination too. Be brave and think outside the box. Buyers will be looking for something special and could be willing to spend a little more than usual, so use that as an opportunity to get creative. Think about making a piece that will last a lifetime. There are heaps of great ideas online – try cutoutandkeep.net or Pinterest for daily inspiration – but be creative and original!
Once you’ve made your brilliant new product, that isn’t available anywhere else in the world, make sure your images are as amazing as your idea. Describe your product clearly, with measurements and sizes included. Then add a little personality to your listing – part of the beauty of buying handmade is knowing whose hands have made it.
3. Make it clear all Valentine gifts will arrive in time
Shoppers want to be absolutely sure their gift will arrive in time for Valentine’s Day and won’t order from your shop if there is any doubt around delivery dates. So make sure your shipping times are up to date on all your listings, and if you can offer next day delivery or Special Delivery write it on your listing. If you always post orders the same day or the next day, tell people in the listing! Make sure every potential customer feels confident ordering their Valentine gift from you.
4. Update your listings so they are seen in Valentine search results
You don’t have to create an entirely new range for Valentine’s Day. Not everyone wants hearts and flowers, so there are probably products in your collection that would make great presents just as they are. Make those easy to find for buyers by adding keywords relating to Valentine’s Day to your titles and descriptions, and adding relevant tags to your products.
Find out how to create listings that get seen in search results > How to write a listing that gets seen in search results
Get your work included in Google Shopping adverts for free! > Google Shopping – Product Listing Adverts for Folksy items
5. Get your work out there
There are lots of Valentine-themed gift guides around the internet and on social media at this time of year. Don’t be shy, get in touch with the curators, whether they are bloggers, ‘influencers’ or Instagrammers, to see if they are interested in featuring your work. Do your research first though – spend some time getting to know them and really think about why your work might be right for them.
If they hang out on Instagram or Twitter, get talking to them, introduce them to your new range, send them a sample or some really great images, or consider an offer for their followers that they would be willing to promote for you – maybe a special discount code or competition? Be friendly, honest and genuine but not too pushy. Bloggers and Instagrammers are always on the look-out for great content, so what’s the worst that can happen? You will need great, clear images of your work to stand the best chance.
You can also tweet us or send us your suggestions that you’d like us to include in our Valentine’s Day shopping guides here.
Top tip: Create a Valentine-themed blog post and tell us about it, so we can share it on our social media channels. Feature other makers along with one of your own pieces and let all the other sellers who you have included know, so they can share it on their social channels too.
6. Offer more – make shoppers feel special
Valentine’s Day is one of the only times when men do more shopping online than women (59% of men compared to 41% of women buy their Valentine gifts online – source here) and they tend to be more last-minute too. Make it easy for them to get it right.
Consider offering to wrap their gift or add a little ‘anonymous’ Valentine note. Make it clear in your listing that this is a service you can offer. Maybe you know another designer who makes beautiful wrapping paper, or has a range of Valentine’s cards that perfectly complement your products? Could you collaborate and bundle your items together in a Valentine’s pack?.
Read our post on good customer service here – A beginner’s guide to good customer service
Read our post on collaborating with other makers – How collaboration can help grow your craft business
7. Get ready early
It might be too late for this Valentine’s Day, but to get your Valentine items featured in the press, you need to start thinking about your product range as early as possible. It can be tricky when you’re in the middle of the Christmas rush, but if you can get a Valentine’s range made, photographed and listed in November or December, you stand a better chance of getting picked up by monthly magazines, who typically work three months ahead, so will be searching for Valentine’s Day products in November and December.
To maximise your chance of being found and featured in the press, make sure you add relevant keywords like ‘Valentine’, ‘Valentine’s Day’, ‘Valentine Gift’, ‘Valentine Gift for Him’ into your titles, descriptions and tags to optimise search results.
Think about creating a Valentine’s Day collection in your shop, where you can add any products you think might appeal to people looking for a Valentine’s Day gift.
Magazines need good quality, high-resolution images, so have a selection of lifestyle images and cut-outs ready to send. As a general guide, print publications need photos to be at least 300 dpi, no larger than 8MB and measure at least 10cm x 10cm.
Top tip: upload high-resolution images when you list items in your Folksy shop – the images will automatically get resized, but our system stores the originals, meaning we can quickly access your high-res images if a journalist needs them, without having to chase you.
Case Study: Claire Gent
Claire Gent designs contemporary jewellery, specialising in silver and hand-painted aluminium.
Inspired by the natural world, her pieces often involve woodland and flower motifs, which she sells from her Folksy shop.
✓ Think about how many pieces you want to offer and make sure you offer different price points.
✓ Your designs should be original and reflect your style.
If you’re going to use something obvious like a heart, apply your own spin on it to make it stand out.
✓ If you’re pushed for time, could you tweak some of your current designs?
I simply renamed one of my pendants ‘Lovebirds Necklace’ – it worked a treat!
✓ Once you have your beautifully made product, it’s important you present it well.
You could include a subtle prop next to it: a red rose or poetry print are classic examples.