3 eCommerce Strategies for Candy Brands this Valentine’s Day


3 Candy eCommerce Strategies We’re Crushing on This Valentine’s Day (1)

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), this year promises to be one of the biggest yet. For eCommerce, this is the first time the special day will be celebrated in a socially distant way, making it more important than ever before, especially for candy brands. 

The NRF expects consumers to spend $21.8 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts, with 75% agreeing that the pandemic means this holiday is more important than usual. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three key learnings from how candy brands performed in eCommerce last year, and see how they can be incorporated in your Valentine’s Day strategy this year.

1. Get your upper funnel campaigns ready to go

If you are running Valentine’s Day campaigns, you should make sure that upper funnel media is a key part of your digital strategy. According to MikMak stats, last year 89% of shopper traffic for candy brands was driven by upper funnel media. This meant that brands were finding their consumers ready to buy -- a trend that has been consistent across the grocery industry throughout 2020. 

Brands are familiar with the power of nostalgia and event-specific timing in growing product relevance and conversion. For an intimacy centered occasion like Valentine’s Day, awareness based media will likely continue to be an impactful strategy in driving “shopability”. 

2. Be available where consumers want to buy

Last Halloween, Hershey’s found that their online sales were not equally driven across retailers, but were instead concentrated in several major ones. In fact, our 2020 figures show that up to 95% of all eCommerce traffic for candy brands concentrated at four major retailer carts: Instacart, Target, Walmart, and Amazon. This means that upon viewing your ad and deciding to purchase your product, there is a high probability that your online shopper will be looking for one of these four retailers at check out.

For brands this Valentine’s Day, this means at minimum to review your campaign and inventory strategy to make sure that your products are well stocked at these popular retailers, and to ensure that one or more of these retailer options are available to consumers at checkout. Brands with access to a sophisticated eCommerce data inventory can pursue an even more comprehensive omnichannel strategy, layering in geolocational data to determine which retailers at what locations should anticipate higher demand.

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3. Make sure your products are ready to deliver and consume 

Last year, leading candy brands learned that their shoppers were not just ready to buy when they’re shopping online, but also ready to consume. Our data shows that for candy brands in 2020, Instacart was the most popular retailer destination, where 28% of all check out traffic takes place. 

That’s why in addition to impulse buys, brands like Hershey’s have begun to pay attention to impulse consumptions in their consumer shopping trends. From individually packaging candies to displaying delivery options and time, candy brands should be thinking about not just shortening the path to purchase for their shoppers, but also the path to consumption. 

Making the most of eCommerce on Valentine's Day

To make the most of this day, brands need to make sure that their Valentine’s Day campaigns are incorporating key takeaways from seasonal campaigns in the past. What’s more, Valentine’s Day is the first of many consumption driven eCommerce peaks. With Easter and Mother’s Day soon to follow, the first party data you collect during this time will help build better qualified audiences and more targeted campaigns for future events.

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