Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is coming up—fast! But there’s still time for small businesses to prepare for the holiday. Here are some tips.

Tell your brand’s story: Last year, perhaps more than ever before and motivated by the crisis many businesses face due to the coronavirus, the call to shop small and support local businesses became mainstream. Consumers want to shop from brands whose mission they support and that have a compelling story.

To attract them, use your website and social channels to tell consumers about your business and build a community with your followers. Telling your company’s story is a great way to create an emotional connection with consumers and drive customer engagement.

Show some love to your highest-value customers: Holidays provide a great time to pay special attention to high-value customers through tactics like exclusive access to sales and giveaways, the ability to opt into text messaging for personalized recommendations, and more. The first step—identify your top customers. You don’t have to use third-party data to source this. You can review your website analytics or conduct a simple audit of your social channels to gauge your most popular products or services and most engaged customers and followers. Reviewing customer data enables retailers and e-tailers to pursue more targeted marketing tactics, which is a great way to build lasting relationships with customers and develop brand loyalty.

Create a seamless shopping experience: Providing an exceptional shopping experience for customers is key, whether your sales are taking place primarily online or if you have a physical storefront (if your state’s regulations allow your brick-and-mortar store to be open right now).

For any in-store shopping, consider touchless experiences and contactless services like delivery, phone orders, and curbside pick-up. If possible, leverage self-checkout or scan-and-go options.

Another important aspect of creating a good shopping experience is making sure your customers have the latest information about your business. Using a service to help manage your online listings can help ensure the most up-to-date information is available everywhere your business is listed online.

For online sales, ensuring an enhanced mobile experience is critical. As transactional mobile traffic continues to rise, as an online seller, you should consider further enhancing your mobile design, usability, and site security.

Maria Melo is a senior Small Business Advisor at Yahoo Small Business!

Valentine’s Day stock photo by Anna Stasia/Shutterstock