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How Gift Basket Brands Are Advertising This Valentine’s Day

January 18, 2021 Erin Sweeney

Shutterstock_1283290498 Valentine's day greeting card with knitted hearts and gifts in basket. With space for your greetings

Traditional gifts for the Valentine’s Day holiday typically include chocolates, candy and flowers. Ecommerce gifting brands are combining all of these options and more in beautiful baskets, and they are leveraging the success and popularity of direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales to appeal to shoppers this Valentine’s Day. Digital innovations, including website optimizations, multichannel marketing and product customizations, have been deployed by ecommerce gift-giving brands this Valentine’s Day to increase engagement and drive sales.

Consumers Enjoy Giving An Array Of Gifts To Friends And Family On Valentine’s Day

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the average Valentine’s Day shopper in 2020 spent almost $200. The most popular gift or experience to give on Valentine’s Day in the U.S. in 2018 was an evening out. This year, while the country is still in the midst of the pandemic, many Valentine’s dollars will go to gifts purchased online, with total Valentine’s spending expected to exceed $25 billion in retail revenue. Among the most popular gifts for the holiday are chocolates, candy, cards, wine/alcohol, personalized gifts, flowers and jewelry, according to Statista.

Shutterstock_450244624 Picture presenting three girlfriends holding hearts in cafe

The American Floral Endowment recommends retailers offer diverse options for Valentine’s Day, as consumers are often purchasing gifts for more people than just their spouses or significant others. For example, Galentine's Day on February 13th celebrates platonic friendships, usually among women. In 2020, consumers also purchased for other family members, children’s friends and even pets. Gift baskets from ecommerce gift shops are offering a wide variety of fresh and unique combinations of products at various price points for Valentine’s Day this year. With the increase in ecommerce spending during the pandemic, the need for celebration in the long, pandemic winter, and the creative offerings from gift basket brands, Valentine’s Day 2021 should be a holiday to love. 

The Fruit Company Drives Sales With Dedicated Valentine’s Day Landing Page

The Fruit Company is a family-owned company that first started selling fruit baskets from their orchards in the Hood River valley of Oregon and now sell and ship fruit-themed gift baskets across the country. A box of chocolates is a quintessential gift for Valentine’s Day, and The Fruit Company builds on that tradition, noting “you can show how creative and thoughtful you are by passing up ordinary boxes of store-bought chocolates and giving our exquisite Chocolate Covered Cherries or a Valentine’s Day gift tower filled with goodies.” The Fruit Company website has a landing page for Valentine’s Day showcasing their selections for the holiday alongside their traditional best sellers. 

By creating a dedicated landing page for Valentine’s Day, The Fruit Company makes searching for holiday offerings easy, driving consumers to the dedicated page where they can easily make purchases. The Fruit Company offers free shipping for their popular Heart of Hearts Valentine’s Day gift tower, and partners with Costco stores to offer this best seller in retail outlets, increasing their reach, brand recognition and sales. 

Candy.com Optimizes Data To Prioritize Best-Selling Valentine’s Day Candy Options

Shutterstock_786614026 PISA/ITALY - 01/04/2018: a bouquet of pink-yellow tulips lies on a wooden surface. round candies Ferrero Rocher in a golden wrap are in the shape of a heart. gold curled ribbon for decoration.

Candy.com began selling candy, snacks and gifts in 2009, and the brand prides itself on providing the “corner candy store experience” online. The company is using data on Valentine’s Day candy sales to organize the holiday page on their website, placing a best-selling candy, Ferrero Rocher, at the top of the page where consumers can quickly find it. The Candy.com website is organized by filters, including type, color, flavor and brand, allowing consumers to assemble unique and varied Valentine’s Day gifts. And, for regular candy buyers, Candy.com offers a rewards program, where shoppers can gain points for purchases and shares, encouraging loyalty into the future. Candy.com also mixes in some of their unique offerings, such as a giant gummy bear on a stick, their World’s Largest Candy Heart and vintage brands into what they offer and recommend for Valentine’s Day. Consumers are drawn in by the best selling Valentine’s Day products, but once there, consumers often purchase some of Candy.com’s big ticket and distinctive items. 

Williams Sonoma Leverages Influencer Marketing To Drive Sales Of High-End Valentine’s Day Gifts

Williams Sonoma valentines day

Williams Sonoma is making the most of the fact that Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year. On the Valentine’s Day page of the Williams Sonoma website and across social media channels, Gaby Dalkin, author, blogger and cookbook author, is featured planning ahead for the leisurely weekend morning. “Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday this year, so I’ll be celebrating in bed with my one true love — carbs!! And also chocolate. My husband Thomas is welcome to join me for breakfast too.” The influencer messaging allows Williams Sonoma to showcase their breakfast baskets, ranging from the Le Marais Breakfast in Bed Box for $79.95 to the Fortnum & Mason Breakfast Hamper for $275.95, plus their more traditional Valentine’s Day boxed chocolates. The Spruce, an online magazine with inspiration for the home, rated Williams Sonoma gift baskets “best overall” in their article on the best gift baskets for 2021 because of the diversity of their options and the range of price points offered across Williams Sonoma offerings. 

Ecommerce Brand Mouth Offers Out-Of-The-Ordinary Gift Baskets For Valentine’s Day 

Mouth, a 2012 ecommerce startup for packaged indie foods, features a curated list of Valentine’s Day gift boxes on their 2021 gift guide. Mouth is marketing its unique gift boxes for the holiday of love with witty titles such as “It Must’ve Brine Love: Pickle Gift Boxes,” “Love on the Rocks: Whiskey Gift Boxes,” and “It Had to Be Brew: Coffee and Tea Gift Boxes.” Mouth is also using Valentine’s Day to sell their monthly subscription boxes under the title “Always and Forever,” scaling revenue throughout the year.

Unique Valentine’s Day Gifts And Customization Encourage Sales For Ecommerce Gift Store Knacks

Customization is a hot trend right now and a strategy advertisers can use to connect with their customers and build brand affinity this Valentine's Day. Knacks, an ecommerce “modern” gift store, allows customers to choose a combination of gifts that are attractively packaged together with a personalized card before being shipped to their recipient. There is no extra charge for the personalization. If shoppers need inspiration, there are filters available based on the recipient profile (ex. college student, for him, for her) or interests, triggering recommendations that fit the shoppers parameters. Knacks also offers unique prepackaged best sellers for a wide audience on Valentine’s Day recipients. Knacks best sellers include a Girl Power collection for a “Galentine” friend, which includes a “Be The Change” soy wax candle and Bitchstix lip balm and a Just Breathe collection of spa items for that friend that just wants to relax. Unique gift offerings can capture audiences that are looking for something out of the ordinary, often garnering word of mouth praise and repeat shoppers.

According to Google Trends, consumers start to shop for Valentine’s gift baskets right after the Christmas holiday, so gift basket brands are wise to promote their products and delivery services early and often. A dedicated tab on a retailer’s website ensures shoppers can find Valentine’s Day offerings through online searches, driving traffic to appropriate ecommerce pages to maximize basket size and conversion rates. Whether offering traditional, high-end, unique or custom Valentine’s Day gifts, ecommerce gift brands should make it easy and fun for shoppers to browse, order and ship gifts to their loved ones.

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About the Author

Erin Sweeney

Erin Sweeney is a freelance writer and professional educator. Throughout her 12 years of experience in secondary education, she has taught advanced composition, business communications and research methodology. Erin has a keen interest in psychology and the science of motivation. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from Saint Anselm College and a Master’s in Education from Plymouth State University. Through research and writing, Erin contributes to DMS Insights with informative articles surrounding the digital and performance marketing industries.

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