For those of you that have not yet finished -- or started -- your Valentine’s Day shopping this year, fear not! You are not alone....In 2012, the top e-Commerce spending day last Valentine’s season was on the holiday itself - February 14th!

Similarly, if your business spikes around Valentine’s Day, be certain that you continue your advertising through Valentine’s Day as many shoppers will fall into the “last-minute” category.

Last year, both online and offline shoppers were prepared to spend more than they had in recent years past. According to the NRF, the average shopper spent $126 on Valentine’s Day. This is an excellent sign of consumer confidence, as we have not witnessed a number this high since 2008. Total sales for V-Day 2013 are estimated at $18.6M, up 5.97% vs. last year.

Many popular Valentine’s Day gift categories performed exceptionally well last season with the majority seeing double digit growth rates in traffic:

  • Flowers: +12%
  • Jewelry: +25%
  • GIfts: +27%
  • Watches: +30%
  • Gift Baskets: +15%
  • Intimate Apparel: +14%

Q4 2012 results are also good indicators of future performance. Specifically in the Jewelry category - we saw +50% increases in diamond and bridal/engagement jewelry last holiday season as well.

Yet, even greater query increases came via mobile devices last season:

  • Jewelry: +152%
  • Flowers: +129%
  • Gifts: +139%
  • Gourmet Foods: +137%
  • Gift Baskets: +185%

Last minute tip #1:
Be certain that you have complete keyword coverage across all product categories and devices, especially non-branded terms. For reference, last season, 76% of the top 200 search terms in flowers and gift baskets categories were non-branded queries. Be present when your customers are searching for you!

If you have a more specific category that you’re analyzing query demand for, check out the Google Trends tool which can provide a view of consumer search traffic on Below you’ll find an example for women’s dresses.

We see steady growth patterns from December into the Valentine’s Day season. The tool will provide you with daily updates for any terms you enter.

Last minute tip #2:
Leverage daily query data to understand how consumer demand aligns with your product assortment and adjust your bids, budgets and ad messaging accordingly.

With just days and hours remaining, consumers are short on time and often looking for quick ways to find and item and purchase it both in-store and on the go. This Valentine’s Day, consumer intention surveys revealed that 53.8% of shoppers estimate they’ll use their tablet devices to shop for gifts.

Last minute tip #3: 
Take advantage of simple solutions that can capture shoppers quickly as they are searching:

  • As consumers use their mobile devices to shop, customize your ad text with mobile call to actions, and similarly provide click-to-call links for easy phone orders. If your website is mobile-optimized or includes an app feature, promote these within your ads or via ad extensions as well
  • Add sitelinks to your mobile and desktop ads to allow the shopper to quickly find the item they were looking for - taking them deeper into the conversion funnel with just one click. You can also highlight promotional offers via sitelinks, as well as your most popular items for the Valentine’s Day season. In tests, ads that ran with sitelinks saw a 30% increase in CTR
  • Visually entice shoppers as they search with Product Listing Ads. Give them a view of the product, price, and brand in just one click

As consumer trends continue to change in our multi-screen world, the most important area to focus on is in creating one unified face for the customer - no matter what device or channel they may be using. Developing an omnichannel brand presence online and offline will be key to this Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Lastly, be sure that you take advantage of all our amazing technology this Valentine’s Day, and call, send an email, a text, or have a video Hangout to tell those that you care about how much they mean to you!

Happy Valentine’s Day to All!

Posted by Terra Hess, Google Retail Team