Valentine’s Day trends and insights to help you increase your sales this year

Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales

A big part of being successful with ecommerce is looking ahead and planning accordingly.

You need to keep track of upcoming holidays and events for which you might want to create designs or run promotions. If not, you run the risk of planning too late and missing out. 

And while it may feel like we JUST finished with the holiday season, Valentine’s Day is already around the corner. So if you want to optimize your sales for this occasion, you need to start planning now. 

Valentine’s Day isn’t as big as Christmas, but it still offers a lot of selling opportunities. And if you want to do things right, there are a number of Valentine’s Day trends, in terms of timing and design ideas, that are worth paying attention to.  

Below, I talk about those trends in more depth so you can make this year your best Valentine’s Day yet. 

Let’s take a look…

Get the timing right

According to Etsy data from 2017, people start searching for things including the term “Valentine” as early as December 19th, with the weekly search volume really starting to accelerate at the beginning of January.

Searches peak after January 16th and before February 13th, as you can see in the graph below.

Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales

Image Source

So even though we just got through the holidays, people already have Valentine’s Day on their minds.

If you want to optimize your Valentine’s Day sales, you need to get your stores ready now.

Keep your inventory stocked with Valentine’s Day design trends

Valentine’s Day gift-giving has changed over the years. People now look for a broader range of gift ideas aside from those applying to only spouses and significant others. They look for gifts for their friends, themselves, and even gifts that show love for pets, which is great for you because it helps you tap into more niches and add even more designs to your inventory.

And a lot of people do NOT search “valentine’s day mug”. They search “gift for boyfriend”, “gift for wife”, or even just “accountant mug” or “lawyer gifts”.

In fact, many people specifically do NOT want Valentine’s Day-specific gifts because they won’t make sense for other times of the year.

Part of the way to win is just to add more designs overall, because more designs should help you make more sales.

With that in mind, here are a few of the more popular gift-gifting trends to emerge recently – they can sell for Valentine’s Day, but also throughout the year.

“Treat yo’ self”

If you were a fan of the TV show Parks and Recreation, this is where this phrase comes from. You obviously don’t need to have seen the show to understand the concept, though.

Indulging in self-care and self-celebration is important. And in addition to giving gifts to their loved ones, people also enjoy spoiling themselves.

Designs related to promoting relaxation and self-love and being your best self embody this mentality. Here are some examples: 

Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales

Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales

Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales

Give love to your friends

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of love worth celebrating around Valentine’s Day anymore.

Valentine’s Day has evolved to include expressions of love and appreciation toward friendships, family members, and even co-workers in some cases.

Celebrating female friendships has become especially popular, in part thanks to the inception of “Galentine’s Day,” another idea popularized by the show Parks and Recreation.

Celebrated on February 13th, Galentine’s Day is aimed at girls and women as a way to show their love for the important female figures in their lives.

Here is some Galentine’s Day specific design inspiration:

Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales

You could also just sell general year-round designs that celebrate friendship. Here’s some inspiration for that:

So, again, don’t limit your design ideas to just spouses and significant others. Include designs that celebrate friendships and other types of relationships as well.

Empower girls and women

And speaking of female relationships, another trend is to celebrate women’s empowerment.

Being in a relationship and celebrating that is amazing. But people, especially women, also want to celebrate feeling comfortable in their own skin and standing on their own feet.

So other design ideas you might want to try include inspirational messages related to strong women and feminism. Here are some examples:

Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales

Celebrate singles

The day after Valentine’s Day is Singles Awareness or Singles Appreciation Day. And since Valentine’s Day itself is no longer about celebrating just romantic love, it’s a great idea to incorporate designs related to being single as well. 

Some people may have recently gotten out of a relationship so they’re looking for items that promote self-love and being enough on your own. While other people enjoy their single status so they want to find items that celebrate that. 

Here are some examples to give you inspiration: 

Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales

Don’t forget pet lovers

There are so many people who have pets they adore or who just love animals in general and so, pet-related gifts are really popular. 

Giving a gift that relates to someone’s pet adds a personal touch, especially if the gift includes a customized photo of that person’s pet or their pet’s name.

So when you’re thinking up Valentine’s Day designs, don’t forget to include some that relate to animals and are customizable. 

Be alternative 

Not everyone is interested in giving Valentine’s Day gifts with sweet or romantic designs. Some people prefer expressing their love in a quirkier or more humorous way. 

This has given rise to two offbeat design trends in Valentine’s Day gift-giving: the anti-valentine and what’s been coined as “valentude.” 

Going anti-valentine 

Anti-valentine designs still express love but they do so in a more ironic, sarcastic, or tongue-in-cheek way. Check out the two examples I found below: 

Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales

Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales

Showing “valentude”

“Valentude” designs are similar to the anti-valentines. But they are typically more playful, involving puns and a sillier vibe. Here are two examples: 

Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales
Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales

Run Valentine’s Day promotions – they pay off!

Research shows that people who shop for Valentine’s Day respond well to special deals and offers. 

According to the National Retail Federation

Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales

So to get people to spend more this year, consider running a promotion. And be sure to check out RachelRofe.com/etsyonsale (using that gets you free credits for Etsy’s Sales Event Manager). 

I hope you got a lot of ideas out of this post! What do you think of this list of Valentine’s Day trends? Do you have any other thoughts or insights? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Here's a compilation of useful insights and trends to boost your Valentine's Day ecommerce sales

2018 revenue numbers + Valentine’s Day 2019 plan

With 2018 over and Valentine’s Day just around the bend, I thought I’d do a review of how last year went and how I’m going to prep for the next upcoming sales spike.

I know many people like viewing these posts and glean some useful information from them.

In this post, I’m going to be completely transparent about…

  • My sales numbers for Amazon and Etsy
  • Which products sold best
  • And how I’m preparing to make 2019 even better.

This post is specifically about Amazon and Etsy, not my other things like marketing courses, eBay income, warehouse, stocks, etc.

Time sensitive: If you want to supercharge your holiday season sales, click here to watch the Jumpstart webinar replay.

That said, let’s jump into the review…

Here are my 2018 sales details

In 2018 I earned $438,052.93 on Amazon.

This could have been a bit higher but the FBM portion of my account was turned off from August through the end of December, where income peaks the highest.

Either way, considering this is highly passive — I’ll take it.

For Etsy, stats have been thus far:

Store #1: $30,365.25
Store #2: $15,652.47
Store #3: $5,789.86
Store #4 – $1,960.59
Store #5 – $16.95
Store #6: $177.90
Store #7: $17,258.71

That’s a total of $71,221.73.

My Amazon + Etsy income for 2018 was $509,274.66. Not bad!

I feel like I’ve figured out a good formula for how to do this (more on this later on) and I’m excited to share with you the 20% of actions that get the 80% of the results.

Before that, let’s dig into my bestsellers:

For Amazon, my best-sellers are:

Best-seller #1 – 15oz white mug (1770 orders)
Best-seller #2 – 11oz white mug (1731 orders)
Best-seller #3 -15oz white mug (968 orders)
Best-seller #4 – Travel mug (924 orders)
Best-seller #5 – Travel mug (911 orders)
Best-seller #6 -11oz white mug (683 orders)
Best-seller #7 -11oz white mug (557 orders)
Best-seller #8 -11oz black mug (518 orders)
Best-seller #9 -11oz white mug (456 orders)
Best-seller #10 -11oz black mug (445 orders)

There were 26,707 orders on Amazon total and these top 10 make up 33.56% of all orders (or 8963 sales).

I was selling thousands of items until August, but in Quarter 4 I was *only* selling FBA. At that point I had 146 items in Amazon and made 39.7% of my total sales for the year.

That is VERY promising actually, because it means the other 60% were spread throughout the year. And it tells me there’s a lot of opportunity for Valentine’s Day!

Here’s how Valentine’s Day went last year

Last year, from January 1st 2018 through February 14, I grossed $35,405.80 on Amazon.

As you can see, sales took a big jump up as we got closer and closer to Valentine’s Day.

I’m *very* glad I had FBA (items pre-sent to Amazon) available on February 12th, which was a peak day where FBM (items printed on demand) wouldn’t have cut it.

Here’s what I’m doing to make 2019 Valentine’s Day Season even stronger

Last year was great, but I think this year can be better. I’ve been doing this long enough to know the 80/20 rule, or what 20% of actions yield 80% of results.

I’ve distilled down to the top 3 actions I’ll be taking this season:

#1: Send more items to FBA.

You saw the graph – sales jumped up that last week. On Feb 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 – all the Prime Eligible Days – there were 626 orders.

More than 1/3 of my total February sales were made in that 7 day period – and the bulk was sent with FBA.

When you send items into Amazon, they store them in their warehouses and make them eligible for “Prime” shipping. Having this label means shoppers can wait until the last minute to shop – and they definitely do.

That’s why in my Jumpstart Program one of the components is giving you 5 boxes of mugs to send to Amazon. The Jumpstart was set up to give you as much success as possible, and I believe this is a big piece of it.

That part alone can pay off Jumpstart, by the way.

#2: Make more designs.

Designs are always helpful. The more you have, the more opportunity you have to make sales.

Designs don’t need to be Valentine’s Day specific. People still shop things like “gift for accountant”, “gift for engineer” on Valentine’s Day. It’s just that the more buy buttons you have available, the more chances people have to buy from you.

In the Jumpstart Program we give you 200 done-for-you designs (100 designs in both black and white text) to get you started. You can put these designs on mugs, shirts, and whatever else you want, and they are all crafted the same way my bestsellers work.

#3: Make the RIGHT designs.

When I say the “right” designs, I mean… you want to go after the niches that people are actively searching for.

A big mistake I see people make is that they make designs that they think are clever versus designs that people are actively searching for.

Remember – people are actively typing in what they want to buy:

All you have to do is give it to them.

In the Jumpstart Program we give you access to SpotNiches. This tool has 3 components:

a) It looks at how many monthly searches there are for each phrase

b) It shows you how many results there are on Amazon, Etsy, and eBay for those phrases

c) It gives you an “opportunity” score that shows you the “money” niches with the most searches and the fewest results

This tool is GLORIOUS – and a major help.

If I had to add any other actions, I would say:

#4: Make things as simple as possible.

The easier you make things on yourself, the more likely it is that you’ll succeed.

Having integrations, while not necessary, are wildly helpful.

They allow you to create a product, hit the “upload” button, then get items sent over to Amazon, Etsy, and eBay on your behalf. Whenever you make a new sale, the customer information gets sent back into GearBubble’s warehouses. The warehouses create and ship the order for you, then GearBubble sends the tracking number to your customers. These are meant to help you have passive hands-off sales (though I recommend still checking up on your orders to make sure all is good).

This simplifies things and makes the entire process easier (and – surprise, they’re also included in the Jumpstart Program).

The more you can simplify overall, the better your likelihood of things working.

#5: Learn from people who know how to do things well.

Personally, I have purchased several tools and invested in courses to learn how to do things better.

I now pay $2500/month for an Amazon rep (started recently), bought courses on Etsy, etc, so I could learn for myself as well as give you the best info possible.

I would much rather save time by learning from people who know how to do things, or using processes that make things easier, than wasting time with trial and error.

This is part of the reason I think our LHS Facebook group is so helpful. People can talk with like-minded folks and get help from people who have been there, done that.

That’s why in the Jumpstart Program we offer weekly coaching where you can ask me as many questions as you want.

This program was 100% designed to help you jumpstart your success and start doing really well.

What about you? How would you like to do this Valentine’s Day? 

As you see, I’m re-launching my Jumpstart Coaching Program this week. Jumpstart is a high-end package that gives you everything you need to make your fourth quarter a success. The package includes…

  • 200 done-for-you designs
  • free mugs shipped to Amazon for you
  • SpotNiches software (!)
  • GearBubble credits
  • planning resources
  • laser coaching
  • accountability
  • and some behind-the-scenes looks at advanced strategies I’m testing out.

If you’d like to get a lot more sales this Valentine’s Day, I highly recommend you click here to learn more.

Jumpstart is available for a limited-time only, so I’d recommend you go through that replay ASAP — even if you’re just a little bit curious.

Here’s how to avoid the post-holiday sales slump and maintain your momentum (updated for 2019)

Here's how to avoid the post-holiday ecommerce sales slump and maintain your momentum

The holidays were a whirlwind this past year. Orders were coming in fast and furious, and LHSers and I made more sales this holiday season than any previous year. Awesome stuff!

Now that the holidays have passed, sales have slowed a bit. But I want to keep the momentum going as much as I can, and I’m sure you do too.

Plus, after doing this for a few years, I’ve learned there’s still plenty of opportunity after the holidays, and you can keep your sales going strong with a bit of creativity and ingenuity.

Last year, I wrote about a list of ways to optimize your post-holiday sales rate, which you can check out here. And this year, I decided to do the same thing.

Not only will the strategies help, but right after that we’ve got Valentine’s Day! (Look out for an email about my upcoming Jumpstart program for V-Day 2019).

In the meantime you can check out my list of other strategies to keep your post-holiday sales going strong, updated for 2019, below.

Bundle products together at
discounted rates

Bundles are awesome and they typically sell really well. You can market them as gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, upcoming holidays, like Valentine’s Day, or gifts for people you may have forgotten during the holidays.

Here are a few examples of people doing well selling items as bundles:

Creating themed bundles is especially effective. For example, for Valentine’s Day, you could create bundles that include a mug, women’s tank top, and necklace all featuring wife- or girlfriend-related designs or saying on them.

Similarly, you could do the same with items aimed at husbands and boyfriends.

Your bundles don’t all have to have to themes, though. You can also sell generic bundles.

Ideally, though, the items in your bundles should feature similar or related designs. For example, you could create a dog lovers’ bundle with different items featuring the same dog design.

Or, you could create bundles aimed at certain occupations, like teachers or coaches.

Whatever types of bundles you create, just sell them at a slightly discounted rate to what the total cost of the items is when you add each of their individual prices together.

For example, if your bundle consists of a mug, a necklace, and a magnet that costs $14.95, $18.95, and $4.85 respectively, you might sell the bundle for $35.95 (as opposed to $38.85, which is what the three items would cost if they were purchased individually).

Run a winter clearance sale for a limited time

People love clearances. And just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean people have stopped shopping entirely.

After the holidays, people have gift cards and cash they received as gifts to spend. So running a post-holiday sale is a fantastic way to keep your sales momentum going strong.

Plus, it’s a great way to push unsold or slow-selling inventory.

It works best if you can add a sense of urgency to your sales by running them for a limited amount of time, like for two or three days. This way, people will feel more compelled to act quickly.

And if you have an Etsy shop, there’s a tool you can use to automatically put your listings on sale. (I wrote about it a while back. You can check out that blog post here.)

Incentivize exchanges (as opposed to refunds)

Refunds and exchanges are bound to happen after the holidays. Items may arrive damaged or late, or people may just not be 100% satisfied with what they received.

To combat needing to issue too many refunds, try to offer incentives for either offering only partial refunds (in the event of items arriving late) or exchanging items.

If people write in because their items arrived damaged or they just aren’t satisfied, try getting people to exchange their defective item for something else in lieu of a refund.

To incentivize an exchange, you could offer a coupon code to be used on the customer’s next purchase. Or, you could offer to throw in a free gift, such as a sticker or magnet or some other low-cost item from your store.

Leverage the “New Year” mindset

The New Year is a time for resolutions. People switch gears from gift-giving and indulging in treats and festivities to becoming more focused on self-improvement and achieving their goals.

With that in mind, you can tailor your promotions to this New Year mindset. Plus, you can create products that leverage it as well.

Examples of the New Year mindset might include…

– getting in better shape by exercising more or eating healthier foods
– becoming more organized or productive at work or at home
– learning a new skill or hobby
– traveling more
– or spending more quality time with friends and family.

There are lots of ways you could turn these types of resolutions into design ideas. Here’s a super cute design aimed at eating healthier that I just found on Etsy:

And here’s another one that has to do with goal-achievement in general:

There are so many things you can do to leverage the New Year mindset. Just run quick Google searches for phrases like “set goals mug” or “exercise more mug” and see what inspiration you can find.

Run a contest or giveaway

There are lots of different types of contests or giveaways you can run.

A few years ago, I had a lot of success with a necklace giveaway I ran and promoted via Facebook.

You can read about how the process worked and the results I saw here.

Basically, you pick a product from your inventory to give away. Then, you set up a basic web page where people can sign up for the giveaway.

Next, you promote the giveaway via Facebook or Fiverr or however else and send emails to the people who sign up, letting them know the winners and where they can purchase your product if they don’t win.

This technique earned me $171.85 and over 500 new subscribers to my email list.

Try your hand at sponsored ads

Sponsored ads aren’t part of the Low Hanging System and you certainly don’t have to use them. But if you’d like to give ads a whirl, many people have had good results.

I actually partnered with Doug Johnson to create a course called the Viral Buyers System, which goes over the process that I use. You can learn more about it here.

And you can check out two quick success stories below:

The way sponsored ads work is

Take down any holiday-specific deals or promises

During the holidays, you may have added special offers or deals to your store. For example, you may have offered free shipping or made some kind of guarantee that’s no longer relevant after the holidays.

If that’s the case, be sure to remove any mentions of these holiday-specific offers and deals. If you leave them up and customers see them and come to expect them on their post-holiday purchases, you will either have to honor them or risk upsetting those customers.

So, now that the holidays are over, do a quick check around your stores and delete any offers or inventory that are no longer available.

Start launching new designs right away

This is one of the things I most recommend doing. I know you may be feeling a little worn out after the holidays. But one of the best ways to keep sales flowing is to continue churning out designs.

The designs can be about anything. Or you can check out my previous post about wacky and weird holidays and make designs related to one or more of those special days.

Also, Valentine’s Day is the next major, commercial holiday coming up. So you can start drumming up ideas that would make great gifts for customers to give their significant others.

Ideally, you want to come up with ideas that are relevant all year-round, though.

But just because a design mentions husbands or wives, or boyfriends or girlfriends, that doesn’t necessarily mean it applies to only Valentine’s Day. People still like giving gifts like that for birthdays, anniversaries, and just because.

And if you don’t have time to come up with new designs yourself, you can always sign up for my design club and receive 50 new designs from me each month.

Or, you can use SpotNiches to find popular phrases customers are searching for and come up with design ideas that way.

Join the Valentine’s Day Jumpstart

Next week I’ll be opening up the next Jumpstart program. Valentine’s Day is the next peak period to get tons of sales, and joining Jumpstart is a great way to get primed and ready for sales to come in.

We’ll get you sending items in for FBA so you can accept sales on Amazon until the last minute, you’ll get done-for-you designs, access to SpotNiches, and my coaching for you.

I’ll tell you more about that next week — and for now, here’s to a spectacular 2019. :)


What do you think of these strategies for maintaining your post-holiday sales momentum? Can you think of any of other techniques or ideas? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Here's how to avoid the post-holiday ecommerce sales slump and maintain your momentum